Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine develops a sideways curvature. Most cases are mild, but can worsen over time. If you or a loved one have begun to show signs of scoliosis, you may wish to have it examined by a specialist for a diagnosis and to learn more.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, “the spine is made up of a stack of rectangular-shaped building blocks called vertebrae.” Normally, these building blocks are stacked straight up and down. However, when scoliosis occurs, the vertebrae are curved or rotated such that the spine resembles an “S” or “C” shape.
Scoliosis can sometimes occur alongside conditions like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, but most often cases are mild and the cause is unknown. The condition most often begins in adolescence, but can also result from the degeneration of spinal discs later in life. It can be identified by uneven shoulders, hips or waist, by one side of the rib cage or shoulder blades being more prominent than the other. The unevenness might also be noticeable when you bend forward.
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons writes that scoliosis is normally diagnosed through a physical examination, x-ray, spinal radiograph, CT scan or MRI. The severity is determined by the degree of the spine’s curve. One of the most simple tests for screening is called the Adam’s Bend Forward Test, where you may be asked to bend forward at the waist to better display any abnormalities.
To get diagnosed, you’ll want to reach out to a specialist to discuss your concerns and schedule an exam.
According to the Mayo Clinic, scoliosis treatment can vary based on the severity of the curve and likelihood that it will worsen. If a curve is mild enough, your doctor may simply wish to monitor it to make sure it doesn’t progress.
In children, a doctor may recommend wearing a brace to help prevent the curve from worsening as they grow. These are most commonly plastic and can be worn beneath your clothing. However, when scoliosis is severe, surgery may be recommended to help correct the curve.
In addition to these two common options, the Schroth Method is another approach to treating scoliosis. The Schroth Method is a method of physical therapy in which a trained specialist guides you in customized exercises to help your spine’s condition.
While a scoliosis diagnosis can be disconcerting at first, it’s often nothing to worry about. Most cases of scoliosis remain mild, and only need to be checked up on by a specialist to ensure that they don’t progress further. However, if you are in a position where you need treatment, rest assured—there are options. To learn more about scoliosis treatment with Motus Integrative Health, reach out today!
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