Scoliosis refers to a sideways curvature and rotation of the spine. It usually begins from a minor trauma that disturbs the body’s mechanics and sets up a process of musculoskeletal compensation and change. It may appear as early as a child learns to walk or, more commonly, in adolescence. Rarely do you discover your own or your child’s scoliosis, for it is gradual and without early symptoms.
With early detection, scoliosis can be treated and corrected before abnormal bone growth and exaggerated musculoskeletal imbalances occur. If the condition is caught early enough, it can be completely corrected.
Congenital scoliosis is present at birth. Neuromuscular scoliosis is caused by diseases such a polio or cerebral palsy. This general term refers to scoliosis which does damage to nerves and muscles. Traumatic scoliosis results from an injury to a spine. Ideopathic scoliosis accounts for the majority of cases. The cause is unknown. The curvature begins sometime before or during the adolescent growth spurt and is much more pronounced in girls. This condition often continues to worsen, causing sever pain in later years. People diagnosed with mild scoliosis as teenagers should have their spines checked regularly. Scoliosis from birth trauma is not common, but does occur. Occasionally a difficult birth can leave an infant with anatomical defects.
Chiropractors are trained in early detection and treatment of scoliosis. Through vertebral manipulation, they can correct the rotation. Heel and foot supports help reduce the curve. Special exercises can greatly improve muscle tone and balance. Regular adjustment and correction of the vertebral curvature and rotation may completely correct the condition. Even in mild curvatures, which occur in 10 percent of the cases, regular observation and adjustment are recommended, for the curve can increase at any time. If the curvature is extreme, which occurs in 40 to 60 percent of the cases, surgery or spinal supports may be necessary.
What You Can Do
Exercises which slowly strengthen and stretch the spine are excellent for scoliosis. Either your doctor or a teacher trained in the therapeutic uses of stretching movement, such as yoga, can suggest special exercises. Fortunately, scoliosis is a condition which can be controlled and improved.