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Posted on 08-18-2016

Chiropractic care provides new solutions to your health problems. Many individuals, particularly adolescents, suffer from scoliosis, and chiropractic treatments have proven effective in addressing this health problem.

Scoliosis comes from the Greek for “crookedness” and refers to a condition where a person’s spine begins to bend sideways. Scoliosis can manifest as a single curve (“C”-shaped) or doubly curved (“S”-shaped). This condition typically affects the mid spine, followed by lower areas. Scoliosis most often manifests in children between ages ten and 15, with females at a greater risk. In the general population, the overall incidence of scoliosis for adolescents over 14 years old is approximately 1.5 percent.

Although the majority of scoliosis cases are mild, if the condition progresses then it can cause serious health problems such as:

  • Chronic back pain
  • Heart and lung compression
  • Nerve disorders
  • Leg length differences
  • Lowered self-image

What Causes Scoliosis?

The actual etymology is largely unknown; however in some cases a structural abnormality such as malformed vertebrae or disc problems is to blame. The most frequently diagnosed form is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis of unknown cause.

Diagnosing Scoliosis

Chiropractors perform the Adams test as a scoliosis screening. This test involves directing the patient to bend over and touch his or her toes so the chiropractor can check for rib protrusion or irregularities. For scoliotic spines, the ribs will protrude more on the side with the curve than the other. In some cases, this test may indicate the cause because functional scoliosis curves tend to disappear when the spineis stretched whereas structural curves will not.

Scoliosis is classified as mild (the spine is bent fewer than 20 degrees from vertical), moderate (the bend is between 20 and 55 degrees), or severe (a bend in excess of 70 degrees).

Treatment Options

For patients presenting with mild scoliosis, the most common treatment is simple monitoring to ensure that the disease does not progress. In moderate and severe cases, treatment is warranted as spinal subluxation—or degeneration—can occur. Chiropractors are trained to locate and correct subluxations to reduce the symptoms and strive to correct the curve angle; however, in severe cases, surgery is the only option to prevent further damage and to protect organs and nerves.

Despite being rather controversial due to the dearth of research studies on chiropractic care for scoliosis treatment, this intervention has demonstrated effectiveness in treating short-term, acute pain whereas more chronic cases may need a referral to a spinal orthopedist if the condition worsens.

For more information, or to schedule a consultation to see how chiropractic care can help your health issues, please contact us.

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