Scoliosis means “bending” is a medical condition with abnormal curvature of the spine. It is a third-dimensional abnormality that happens when a human spine rotates and is curved sideways. The curvature can happen in any part of the spine but evidence shows that the upper spine and lower back are the major affected parts. Scoliosis can happen in people with cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy conditions.
In other words, Scoliosis is defined by a C-shaped or S-shaped curve in the spine. Most Scoliosis conditions are seen in childhood. But this can also happen in adult people. Research shows that Scoliosis occurs in 3% of the population. Most often this medical condition has no reason, hence it is well known as an idiopathic disease.
In this article, we will let you know everything about Scoliosis with its symptoms, treatment, and how physical therapy can be helpful.
Different Types of Scoliosis
There are 4 major types of scoliosis and the treatment depends on the type.
- Functional scoliosis
Functional scoliosis develops due to abnormality or dysfunction. Carrying things like bags, computer bags, and purses on one side of the body can develop this condition. Muscle spasm in one side of the body is also another reason for this type of scoliosis. Functional scoliosis is flexible and does not require treatment. Simple stretching, strengthening, and posture correction exercises can help in improving this condition.
- Neuromuscular scoliosis
Improper development of the spine is the benign reason behind neuromuscular scoliosis and needs proper treatment. Sometimes surgery is also suggested to the patient.
- Degenerative scoliosis
Arthritic changes of the spine in old age are the main cause of degenerative scoliosis. It occurs only in adults of older age with disc degeneration, vertebral compression, osteoporosis, and fracture. This type of scoliosis occurs mainly in the lumbar spine and causes low back pain.
- Adolescent Idiopathic scoliosis
Adolescent Idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is also known as idiopathic scoliosis. This is the most common type of scoliosis most people suffer. Girls between the age group 10 to 18 years old are mostly affected by this type of condition. The convex side of the curve points towards the right side of the body in Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The curvature rotates backward on the convex side creating a 3D curve. 80% of cases of scoliosis are detected as AIS in medical science.
Symptoms of scoliosis
Symptoms of Scoliosis may include:
- Back pain
- Slow nerve action
- Respiratory or cardiac problems
- Pain in neck, rib, and buttock
- Uneven shoulder
- Trouble breathing
- One hip will be higher than the other hip
- Uneven waist
- The one-shoulder blade that’s higher than the other
- Rotating spine
- problems breathing because of the reduced area in the chest for lungs to expand
What causes Scoliosis?
As we mentioned, scoliosis does not have any specific reason and is defined as an idiopathic medical condition. But there are common reasons that doctors identify inpatient:
- A genetic disorder called muscular dystrophy
- Birth defects
- Previous surgery on the chest wall during childhood
- Abnormality in spinal cord
- Infection in bone or injury in the spine
- Cerebral palsy
- Patient with a family history of scoliosis
- If one leg is longer than the other then there are chances of scoliosis
There are several risk factors of developing scoliosis and here are some of them listed below:
- Sex: Though, both males and females develop symptoms of scoliosis, females have a higher risk of getting this condition.
- Age: People from any age group may get scoliosis, but often it is seen more in between the ages 10 and 12 years. In the case of infant scoliosis (this is very rare) scoliosis occurs below age 3 years.
- Bone maturity: If a patient’s bone has not stopped growing then the risk of developing scoliosis is high.
- Family history of Scoliosis: If any of your family members have a history of scoliosis, then chances are high that you may get scoliosis. But most children with scoliosis don’t have a family history of the disease.
How Scoliosis is diagnosed
Physical examination of the suspecting patient or imaging tests is the ways to diagnose scoliosis. If a person has symptoms that can be from scoliosis, the doctor does a physical exam of the spine. To confirm the condition some imaging tests are recommended to have a closer look at your spine.
In the physical exam, the doctor checks your back by asking you to stand straight with arms at your sides. They will check for spine curvature and whether your shoulders and waist area are symmetrical. Apart from this, the doctor will ask you to bend down to check your upper and lower back for any curvature. In imaging tests, doctors look for x-ray, CT scans, bone scans, and MRI scans.
When to see a doctor?
If you are facing any issues in the spine and fee any of the symptoms from the above-mentioneioned scoliosis symptoms then consult a specialist immediately.
Treatment for scoliosis
Depending on the factors there are several treatments available for scoliosis. The primary and majorly practiced treatments are bracing and surgery.
A brace can be helpful if your scoliosis is growing and the curvature is more than 25 to 40 degrees. There is no evidence that a brace can straighten the spine but helps in preventing growth. This treatment has a higher effect if the condition is detected in an early stage.
How to use a brace?
The patient has to wear the brace around o’clock until they stop growing. There are 2 types of braces- Underarm and Milwaukee. Underarm braces are made from plastic and are body fit. This type of braces is used to treat lower spinal curves. Milwaukee braces are to cover from neck to entire torso. These braces are used in conditions where underarm braces do not show any effect.
Surgery is recommended for patients with curves greater than 40 degrees. If scoliosis is diagnosed lately and creates discomfort in leading normal life doctors to suggest surgery.
Some of the risks of spinal fusion surgery include:
- Infection can happen
- excessive bleeding may occur
- failure to heal
- May damage nerve
Managing your Scoliosis
Manage your scoliosis with our Scoliosis therapy sessions. Brooklyn Scoliosis therapy center has a number of expert therapists who can help you strengthen your muscles and bone with various therapy processes so that you can get back to your normal life. Let’s not allow the condition to rule you. Rather be a fighter and defeat the condition.
Reach out to us to understand how therapy can help in your scoliosis condition.