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Scoliosis is a common disease that affects everyone from babies to adults, but it is most common among children of the ages 10 to 15 years old. Usually, scoliosis in children fixes itself with growth and does not require any treatment but sometimes when the problem is worse, it can persist and lead to adult scoliosis as well. Pillars of wellness can help you get to know everything related to scoliosis. Read more to find that out.
What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is basically a disorder in the spinal cord that causes a deformity in the shape of the spine. The deformity can either be “C” shaped or “S” shaped according to Medicine New Today.
A normal spine, when viewed or observed from the side has a bent look. It appears to be bending forward in the middle area of the spine known as the thoracic spine. This is known as kyphosis. Another normal curve seen in the spine is in the lumbar and cervical spine which are the lower and upper parts of the spine. These parts appear to be bending backward. This phenomenon is known as the lordosis of the spine.
Children and adults who have scoliosis lead to the development of a curve in their spine. This curve either looks like a “C” or an “S”. if the curve developed is slight and is not at a very large angle, it does not usually require any treatment rather is just kept under supervision for any increase in the curve. Most of the times, the curve fixes itself if it is not at a large angle.
According to medicinenet, statistics show that girls are more likely to develop this problem as compared to boys. Girls have a 50 percent more chance of facing scoliosis problem. Also, children are more likely to develop scoliosis as compared to adults, but the severity of the problem does not depend on the age of the patient.
Basic facts about scoliosis:
- The symptoms of scoliosis can be reduced with therapy and medicines but there is no permanent cure.
- In very rare cases, the patient might need to undergo surgery which can fix the problem to some extent.
- The early the problem is diagnosed the better treatment can be provided. Scoliosis can cause the development of lung and heart problems apart from the visible back problems and disorientation of the body.
- Most of the times scoliosis is prevented from increasing with the help of shoulder braces.
- Scoliosis has many types and each type has its own symptoms and causes but most of the patients have no obvious reason for developing scoliosis.
Where in most cases the exact reason for the development of scoliosis is not found, there are some cases in which doctors can comprehend the exact cause of development of scoliosis.
The structural and non-structural scoliosis have clear cut reasons that can be determined by the physician but idiopathic scoliosis has no obvious reason.
Non-structural scoliosis cause:
- Deformity in other parts of the body can lead to structural scoliosis such as one leg being longer than the other.
- Muscle spasms in different parts of the body which forces the spine to curve into scoliosis.
- Infections in inflammations in the body which produce an unnecessary burden on the spine and causes it to curve.
Structural scoliosis cause:
In structural scoliosis, unlike non-structural scoliosis, the curve becomes hard and cannot be reversed. There are many causes of this type of scoliosis:
- Tumors in the body specifically in the back area can cause severe scoliosis.
- The weakness of the muscles and disorders in their way of working.
- The rigidity of muscles which makes movement difficult.
- Birth defects in the muscles or the spine.
- Genetic problems which include down syndrome.
The typical signs of scoliosis seen in all the patients are:
- The leaning of the body to one side.
- Visible deformity in the spine.
- One shoulder or hip bone leaning.
- Ill-fitting of most of the clothes.
- One side of the rids protruding towards the outside.
The treatment of scoliosis cannot be started right away. It needs some research and history taking on behalf of the physician. The gender of the patient plays a very important role in treating scoliosis. In females, the problem is more severe and can lead to more complications. The severity of the curve and the maturity of the bone have a significant effect of how the problem will be treated and if the spine can be taken back to its own position. The two most common types of scoliosis treatment are:
- Bracing: for patients who have a non-rigid and developing bone structure are given this treatment. Moreover, as this treatment is more of a prevention for worsening of the problem, only patients with mild or very moderate scoliosis problem are given the option to opt for a brace. This brace is recommended to be worn at all times and does not restrict any movement but due to the tightness, some patient prefers taking it off during the daytime. The more regularly this brace is worn, the better are the results.
- Cast: this is used for infants to fix the problem and prevent it from developing. This cast is similar to a fracture cast and is worn at all times. It requires regular changing as well.
- In non-structural scoliosis, the treatment of scoliosis is usually the treatment of the problem. Once the problem is fixed scoliosis goes away.
Can this problem be fixed with physical therapy?
In most cases, where the symptoms of the patient are compatible with physiotherapy and physical therapy treatment procedures, the problem’s severity can be decreased using physical therapy. For example, a nine years old female patient who was suffering from scoliosis was referred to physiotherapy.
After the required treatment, there was seen a 55 percent improvement in the curve. After regular checkup and follow-ups, it was seen that scoliosis had stopped developing and the bone has acquired a permanent position with only slight changes in the angles if the spine.
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