Scoliosis is the abnormal curving or twisting of the spine to the side. In a correct spine structure, front-to-back curves should be seen along the spine from the neck to the pelvis. This disorder seems to be hereditary in some families. It is not known why in many cases, scoliosis appears in children, adolescents, and young adults who previously had normal spine. Scoliosis with an unknown cause is referred to as idiopathic scoliosis. This condition affects both boys and girls, but girls with idiopathic scoliosis are more expected to develop worse curve condition that may warrant treatment.
Scoliosis is a chronic disease that can eventually get worse when not treated immediately. In some cases, a curved spine that grows during a person’s infancy or childhood may be neglected and untreated until he reaches his teenage years. Such position of the spine can have serious consequences. It affects muscle development, including the growth of ligaments around the spinal column, which causes the pelvis and the ribs to twist or rotate to the other side.
Prevention of Scoliosis
It is unfortunate for people who have risk factors for scoliosis, especially those where this disorder runs in the family, that most cases of scoliosis cannot be prevented. The only exception to this is for scoliosis that is related to osteoporosis.
In numerous studies conducted, it hasn’t been proven yet that maintaining a good posture and doing regular exercises can actually prevent scoliosis. The common measures for increasing bone mass and strengthening bones, on the other hand, may not be helpful in preventing scoliosis either. Even boosting one’s intakes of vitamin D and calcium that are known to promote bone health are of no significant effect. Neither is doing regular weight exercises. The only benefit that can be gained from these measures is that they may help prevent situations associated with spinal fractures. However, early detection can definitely help prevent worsening of the condition.
It is advisable, therefore, to check your child’s spine conditions and development regularly, even during infancy. Your local chiropractor can really help you with this. Any concerns should be discussed with a health care specialist. Regular pediatric examinations and school nurse assessments can identify signs and symptoms of scoliosis.
Treatment for Scoliosis
The treatment for scoliosis depends on several factors, including the patient’s age and sex, the gravity of the scoliosis as determined by the spinal curvature, the type of scoliosis, as well as the location of the curve. In girls, it should also be identified whether the patient has started to menstruate or not yet. The time when menstruation begins is directly linked with the stage of her bone growth. Knowledge of this will help identify the risk of the disease progressing.
The good news for patients is that in most cases, scoliosis is minor and requires no complicated treatments. The key critical thing to watch out for and to make sure is that the condition should not get worse. Hence, the affected person should engage in regular check-ups and be examined regularly by his or her doctor specializing in bone health.
In more serious cases that cause pain and discomfort, treatment is typically required. Back-strengthening exercises are one form of physical treatment that may be done. For the worst cases of scoliosis, however, the use of special back braces and surgery should be considered.
If you notice an abnormal curve in your child’s spine, it is important that you visit your child’s doctor immediately so he can do a thorough exam on your child. In these and other cases where scoliosis is detected for the first time, it is best to get professional help.