What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a condition in which an individual’s spine has lateral, or side to side curvature. On an x-ray, scoliosis curves can often look like a simple “S” or a “C” shape.
Scoliosis curves can actually occur at many levels of the spine; the cervical/neck region, thoracic/rib region and lumbar/low back region. As well as, also occurring at multiple regions in the same individual. Some patterns of scoliosis curves are more common than others, but hardly ever are two patients’ spines identical.
Causes And Types
Although it has seemingly existed since the beginning of time, the causes of scoliosis are generally unknown. The National Health Service states that for 80% of the cases there is no known cause. There are four types of scoliosis, and they are based on what age the patient is when they are diagnosed:
Infantile scoliosis is diagnosed from birth until the age of three
Juvenile scoliosis is diagnosed from the ages of three to ten
Adolescent scoliosis is diagnosed from the age of ten until the growing process is complete.
Adult scoliosis is diagnosed after skeletal maturity.
The symptoms of scoliosis vary depending on the severity of the condition. The symptoms are almost always physical, and with minor cases of scoliosis the symptoms can be almost nonexistent. Scoliosis can often be detected with the naked eye. One of the most common symptoms are uneven shoulders or waist. A person with scoliosis may also have a shoulder blade or side of the rib cage that protrudes more than the other side, and they may also have an inability to stand straight. The head may also be an indicator. If it isn’t centered above the pelvis, scoliosis may be the cause. These symptoms can cause physical strains on the body, and chronic back pain and problems are not common.
The diagnosis of scoliosis is generally straight forward and pain free. Children across America are often screened at school or by their family doctor or chiropractor. The screening includes an examination of the back/spine, shoulders, chest, pelvis and legs. If the doctor has trouble diagnosing scoliosis during the screening, an x-ray, MRI, or bone scan might be necessary.
After the x-ray, MRI, or bone scan is completed, the doctor will measure the curvature of the spine, and if there is a curve, an alternative scoliosis treatment method should begin right away so the curve cannot progress and create more problems for the patient
Think You May Have Scoliosis?
Schedule a new patient exam to find out