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Scoliosis: Detection and Treatment
writes, "Everyone's spine has natural curves. These curves round our shoulders and make our lower back curve slightly inward. But some people have spines that also curve from side to side, and rotate. These sideways curves of the spine cause stiffness and pain. Sometimes the curve is temporary. It might be due to muscle spasms, inflammation or having different leg lengths. Unlike poor posture, these curves cannot be corrected simply by learning to stand up straight."
Scoliosis is more common in females and begins in childhood. If it is detected early, scoliosis treatment will prevent it from worsening over time. Most exams for scoliosis include the Adam's Forward Bending Test which has been adopted by many schools. It requires the student to bend at the waist as someone views the spinal alignment. If there is an abnormal prominence or hump parents will be notified. Unfortunately this method does not detect minor curves, only more advanced curvatures will show positive with this test. Curvatures are most successfully treated when caught early and at a lesser degree. Scoliosis is best detected by a health care professional whom focuses on the spine such as orthopedist, chiropractors, osteopaths, and physical therapists.

Usually there are no symptoms. But symptoms can include:

- Backache or low-back pain

- Tired feeling in the spine after sitting or standing for a long time

- Uneven hips or shoulders (one shoulder may be higher than the other)

- Spine curves more to one side

Scoliosis can be treated in various ways to help alleviate pain and restore normal functionality. Treatment depends on many things:

- The cause of your scoliosis

- The location of the curve in your spine

- The severity of the curve

- The age of the patient, and if your body is still growing

Chiropractic care can help improve this condition. They look at your overall health, examining your spine as well as other factors of your lifestyle. They help to identify the cause and discuss the symptoms and previous injuries, your family's health history, and recreational and work-related activities.

Physical therapy should be added to scoliosis treatment to increase muscle strength and mobility.

Acupuncture can also be used to relieve pain by stimulating musculature and soft tissue. Releasing tension, spasms and cramps by needling trigger points and motor points can aid in muscle repair.

An orthopedic brace can be used to prevent the curve from worsening and does not limit physical activity. Moist heat will help alleviate some pain. In extreme cases surgery may be required but only after the continuous observation has shown that a brace is not helping. Spinal fusion and instrumentation is a surgery specialized for people with scoliosis whereas rods and hooks are inserted to help align your spine and prevent further curving.

Regardless of the treatment used, regular visits to observe the progression of scoliosis are an integral part of living a full and happy life.

Dr. Christie Hafer

Dr. Hafer, have you found that patients with scoliosis have other things wrong with them internally- like is it linked to a poor immune system or digestion? I have scoliosis and have suffered from many other mild ailments. Thanks.

-- anan1, Mar 16, 2012 07:37pm

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