It is estimated that 5 to 7 million people in the United States are affected by scoliosis. Although there are many common back conditions, scoliosis has the most potential to create a great amount of discomfort and immobility. Luckily, chiropractors can provide relief for patients and getting proper care for this issue is vital for quality of life and day-to-day activities.
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis can be described as the sideways curvature of the spine. Patients who do not have scoliosis typically have a spine that is vertical and straight. Scoliosis can affect any part of the spine but the chest area and lower section of the back are the most common regions. In many cases, the cause of the curvature is unknown. Neurological diseases, trauma and tumors are said to be responsible in about only 20% of patients.
Scoliosis is found to be two times more common in women than men. The curvature can be seen at any age and is more common when the patient is older than 10. Scoliosis is said to be hereditary, which means people who have scoliosis are more likely to have children with scoliosis as well. However, when it comes to the severity of the curves, there is no correlation between one generation to the next.
Types of Scoliosis
- Idiopathic Curve – no real cause of the spinal curve
- Congenital Curve – the spinal curve was present at birth
- Paralytic Curve – resulting from a spinal curve injury
- Myopathic Deformity – the muscles do not work properly to support the spine
- Secondary – other conditions such as osteoporosis or osteomalacia cause the curvature
How A Chiropractor Can Help
When treating scoliosis, many chiropractors will look for joints that are “stuck” in the spine and try to make them “unstuck.” However, the issue of joint mobility is not the main problem with scoliosis. The main problem is the location of the joint. Chiropractors will not take the traditional approach to correcting this issue because they do not want to add more pressure on the spinal joint. Once this happens, the surrounding nerves will be aggravated and make the condition worse.
The first thing that needs to happen in a patient with scoliosis is the repositioning of the joints in the spine. Aside from that, the muscles need to be relaxed and the brain needs to be trained to use the muscles and spinal joints differently. In order for scoliosis to be effectively treated, all of these things need to happen together. It is because of this that chiropractors may include scoliosis massages, stretches and exercises. Scoliosis-specific adjustments are incorporated for the best results.
Scoliosis should not be ignored. For more information, contact your chiropractor.