All of us have had health-related issues at some time or other. Whether it's low back pain, headaches, asthma, gastritis, an ankle sprain, or a rotator cuff injury, we've all had a health problem ...View Article
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
Scoliosis is the condition in which an abnormal curvature of the spine exists. According to statistics, this condition affects seven million or more people in our country. Although scoliosis may develop in children or adults, the most common time in which this diagnosis is made is between 10 and 15 years of age. Factors involved in the development of abnormal curvature include unevenness in leg length, where one leg is shorter than the other, neurological disease, and genetics.
Technically, spinal curvature greater than 10 degrees qualifies as scoliosis. The spine, made up of several individual bones and discs, is designed to remain relatively upright, with only slight curves in precise directions. Alignment is maintained by the ligaments, tendons, and muscles that span the neck, shoulders, and back. Misalignment in scoliosis may involve a sideways curve or an extended curve forward or backward. In some cases, rotation of one or more vertebrae is also noted.
Depending on the severity of spinal curvature, a number of issues may develop. These include:
Chronic pain and tension
Limited range of motion
Inhibited heart and lung function in severe cases
When curvature is noticeable, the patient may experience decreased self-esteem and embarrassment about physical appearance.
In most cases, scoliosis involves a curvature of no more than 20 degrees. This is typically not noticeable except to the trained eye. When curvature is noticed at an early age when development is ongoing, we monitor the growth of the spine carefully.
Historically, scoliosis has been treated only when the condition is severe (meaning organs are affected). In such cases, an orthotic brace may be prescribed or surgery may be recommended. The course of action for minor curvature is to watch and wait. The problem with this approach is that even a mild curve in the spine can lead to chronic pain and diminished quality of life. An option that we present to our patients is to manage this condition with routine chiropractic care.
Patients of Eastside Spine & Injury in Milwaukie will find a multi-modality approach to scoliosis. Dr. Sims may address spinal health with gentle manipulation to align vertebrae and may relax tensed muscles with mild electrical muscle stimulation. Pain may also be managed with massage therapy or physical therapy exercise. Our alternative therapies do not reverse spinal curvature, but they have been successful in stopping or slowing the progression of scoliosis and in significantly improving comfort.
Scoliosis is not a sentence to a lifetime of pain and limitation. Contact Eastside Spine & Injury today to discover your treatment options. Call us today at (503) 654-7400!