What is Scoliosis?
- Published on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 12:54
- Dr. Beverly Foster
Scoliosis, a disease affecting about four percent of youngsters between the ages of 9 and 14, results in an abnormal curvature of the spine that can become progressively worse. Unless it’s detected early and treated, it can cause deformity that’s difficult to correct. But when detected early, its progression can be halted in many cases.
How can scoliosis be detected?
Your chiropractor is highly experienced in screening, diagnosing and treating scoliosis. Also there are some screening programs in schools designed to detect it. A home check is also a good place to start.
How do I do a home check?
Have the child strip to the waist and face away from you. Signs of possible scoliosis are an obvious curve in the spine, a tilted head or one shoulder or hip higher than the other one. Now have the youngster grasp hands in front and bend over at the waist. Do the ribs appear higher on one side than the other? Have him turn sideways and bend down again. Is there an excessive curve or angle in the upper back rather than the normal gentle curve?
If you see any of these signs, report them to your chiropractor as soon as possible and arrange for a thorough examination. When detected and diagnosed early, scoliosis can usually be treated successfully with conservative methods.
What kind of treatments are used?
For early mild cases, regular exams are recommended along with flexibility exercises and mild manipulative therapy. Moderate cases may require a scoliatic brace along with chiropractic adjustments designed to pull the spine into a more normal position and to strengthen muscles. Electric muscle stimulation may also be used in some situations. Only the extremely severe cases may require surgery and hospitalization. The great majority of young people treated for scoliosis can expect little if any loss of mobility or change of appearance. They will be fully capable of taking part in all school activities, including sports. Remember, the earlier the detection and necessary treatment begins, the better the results.