Scoliosis and Chiropractic Treatment
5 to 7 million people in the United States alone suffer from scoliosis. Found more often in female than males, scoliosis can develop at any age, but often surfaces in 10-15 year olds. This abnormal condition is known as a curvature of the spine, but with the right care, most people end up living normal lives.
Scoliosis: An Overview
Normally, our nervous system works through reflexes and postural control to keep our spines straight. Sometimes, a lateral curvature develops, and if it’s larger than 10 degrees, it’s classified as scoliosis. Two different types of scoliosis may occur: lordosis, in which the curvature leans towards the front, and kyphosis, in which the curvature is more towards the back. More than 80% of the time, there is no specific reason that scoliosis develops; the other 20% of the time is caused either by a hereditary passing down of the condition or through trauma or other psychological conditions.
Evaluating the Condition
The first thing to do when evaluating whether or not scoliosis is present is to go over family history and to do a physical examination. Should the condition be discovered, further evaluation is needed in order to determine whether or not there was a probable cause for the development of the spine curvature. Those with significant curvatures require an x-ray to find out a possible cause, and whether any internal organs will be affected by the scoliosis. X-rays may be ordered on a regular basis in order to continue checking up on the patient’s condition.
Due to most cases of scoliosis not being extremely severe, the most common form of treatment is simply careful observation of the patient. Bracing is the preferred form of treatment for children whose skeletons have not fully matured and whose curves are between 25 and 45 degrees. Surgery is used only when the spinal curvatures reach an excess of 45 degrees. Chiropractic treatments include spinal manipulation, therapeutic exercises, and muscle stimulation through the use of electric shocks. Physical activity is also a good idea for people with scoliosis, and patients should be encouraged to stay active.