When a normal spine is viewed from behind, the vertebrae line up vertically in a straight line. For patients with scoliosis, this is not the case. Scoliosis refers to a condition when the spine has developed a curve in it that prevents the vertebrae from lining up properly. This abnormal curvature affects the appearance of the affected person and creates muscle pain and tension.
Scoliosis can be categorized into four different types:
- Congenital Scoliosis: Congenital scoliosis is a result of a bone abnormality present from birth.
- Neuromuscular Scoliosis: When there is an abnormality in the muscles or nerves caused by a separate condition such as cerebral palsy or spinal bifida, the resulting curvature of the spine is diagnosed as neuromuscular scoliosis.
- Degenerative Scoliosis: If the spinal column has been damaged due to accident, osteoporosis or other injury or illness, the patient may end up with degenerative scoliosis.
- Idiopathic Scoliosis: The most common type of scoliosis, the exact cause of idiopathic scoliosis has not been found but it is believed to be hereditary.
When a child receives health screenings at school, scoliosis is one of the conditions checked for. At least 2-3% of all 16 year olds in the United States have some form of scoliosis. If you suspect your child may have scoliosis, look to see if they have any of the following signs:
- One shoulder appears higher than the other
- One shoulder blade is more prominent than the other
- Their waist is uneven
- They lean to one side
A diagnosis of scoliosis cannot be given without sufficient x-rays and a bone exam. Although chiropractic care cannot heal scoliosis, we can help alleviate the discomfort it causes through gentle spinal manipulations, ultrasound therapy, therapeutic massage and acupuncture. Schedule an appointment with Chiropractic Healing Center to learn more.