Scoliosis is a medical diagnosis that has been referred to in the past as curvature of the spine. Instead of the normally straight development of the spine, a curved or sideways development occurs. In certain instances, the vertebrae may twist. The condition affects more than seven million Americans. Scoliosis is most commonly diagnosed between the growth ages of 10 – 16 and may last several years, or a lifetime.
Few symptoms occur in mild cases, which are most common; however, more advanced conditions can be painful and may evolve into spinal deformities. The types of scoliosis are:
- Congenital – an abnormality in the bone that is present from birth
- Degenerative – a result of trauma, prior back surgery, osteoporosis (bone loss), or collapse of the bone
- Neuromuscular – muscles or nerves that do not function appropriately, as may be found with patients with cerebral palsy or spina bifida
- Idiopathic – believed to be an inherited condition with scientifically-conclusive cause
Often a parent, pediatrician, or school screening may find signs of scoliosis, which can include leaning to a dominant side, a pronounced shoulder blade, asymmetrical waist, or uneven shoulders. Scoliosis also contributes to reduced range of motion, stiffness and pain, self-consciousness about appearance and in serious conditions, less-than-optimal lung and heart function. Diagnostic evaluation may involve bone examination and medical imaging.
Orthotic braces or surgery is typically recommended for patients with severe scoliosis. For milder cases, when the organs are not compromised and the curvature is not significant, conventional healthcare practitioners may suggest monitoring the condition to see how it progresses.
Brian Sims, doctor of chiropractic medicine, and our professional rehabilitation team at Eastside Spine & Injury in Milwaukie, OR, recognize that even milder forms of scoliosis can affect a patient’s comfort, mobility, and lifestyle.
After a comprehensive evaluation and physical and diagnostic examination, Dr. Sims develops a personalized plan of care to meet each patient’s unique needs and maintain optimal health. Pain management and improved range of motion may be achieved through several treatments, such as:
- Gentle spinal manipulation to re-align vertebrae
- Muscle stimulation to relax muscles
- Massage therapy
- Physical therapy exercises
Call us today for more information about scoliosis symptom management and greater quality of life. Our friendly and professional team is available at 503.451.6356!