Scoliosis Treatment: How You Can Get Ahead of the Curve

Everyone has been reminded to keep a good posture because it has a great impact on a person’s health. When you constantly slouch, skip on healthy food, put on too much weight, and avoid exercising, you are more prone to suffer from scoliosis. This condition doesn’t just affect the posture but can also be the cause of several health complications in the long run. When you see a chiropractor in Guelph, you can find help correcting your posture. surprising benefits of chiropractic care

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine most often diagnosed in adolescents. It can occur in people who have conditions like cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy which usually appear in childhood.

Scoliosis usually starts as a mild case but the curve can worsen over time and as the child grows. When left uncorrected, this condition can be disabling. A severe spinal curve can reduce the space within the chest so the lungs will not be able to function properly.

Some of the symptoms of scoliosis are:

  • One of the shoulder blades appears to be more prominent than the other
  • Uneven shoulders
  • One hip is higher than the other
  • Uneven waist
  • One of the rib cages is jutting forward
  • There is a prominence on one side of the back when you bend forward
  • There is a C or S-shaped curve in the spine

A doctor will classify the spinal curve as structural or non-structural. A structural curve is permanent and is caused either by a medical condition or an injury. On the other hand, a nonstructural curve is temporary so the spine can still be corrected.

Treatments for Scoliosis

Most cases of scoliosis appear in childhood and adolescence which makes them mild. In this case, the spine curves 10 to 25 degrees which means a doctor’s visit is necessary at 3, 6, and 12 months intervals.

In some instances, the spine is curved a 25 to 40-degree curve. The doctor can recommend bracing which is a good time because the skeleton is still immature. If things are worse, the doctor can recommend surgery.

These are the considerations that the doctor would look into for choosing the treatment option:

  • Sex – Scoliosis happens more likely to females than to males and it also gradually gets worse for them.
  • Severity of the curve – The type and severity of the curve are factors that can affect the condition’s progress. Patients with an S-shaped curve are common with idiopathic scoliosis. People with C-shaped curves are also likely to have neuromuscular scoliosis.
  • Curve position – Having a curve in the centre part of the spine has a higher chance of getting worse than a curve in the lower or upper section.
  • Bone maturity – Younger patients whose bones are still growing can still use braces. Individuals who are older and whose bones already stopped growing.

Once all of these factors are considered, these are the possible treatments that your doctor can recommend:

Casting

This is perfect for infantile scoliosis. It involves using a plaster cast to be used for infants whose spines are still growing into a typical position. The cast is attached to the infant’s body and shall be worn at all times. Most infants grow rapidly so the doctors will need to change it regularly.

Bracing

Patients with moderate scoliosis and whose bones are still growing will be recommended to wear a brace. The brace will prevent the curve to worsen over time. The caveat is, it will not cure or reverse scoliosis.

People wearing spinal braces will need to wear these all the time—even as they sleep. Its effectiveness correlates with the number of hours of wearing it per day. While it does not generally restrict a person’s movement, people wearing it will have to limit their physical activities because they can’t take it off.

The types of braces that can be worn are:

  • Thoracolumbosacral orthosis (TLSO)

The TLSO is plastic and is meant to fit neatly around the body’s curves. It is not usually visible under clothing.

  • Milwaukee brace

This is another full torso brace that comes with a neck ring with rests for the back of the head and the chin. Doctors use this for patients with slow responses to the TLSO.

Chiropractic treatment

Chiropractic treatment

If you have scoliosis, you may meet with a chiropractor in Whitby more often. Some people come to these professionals for help with pain and discomfort.

A chiropractor manipulates the spine and is considered as an alternative treatment. They help in realigning the spine to promote healing and well-being. This is not a cure that can resolve the curvature of the spine but it can help with its management. Make sure to talk to your doctor for recommended treatments and professionals.

For mild cases and pain, you may also go to a massage therapy specialist in Waterloo. Find a professional who can handle scoliosis patients to help in pain management.

Exercises

Another thing that you can do is to do various exercises especially with the help of an expert. They will aim to realign the spine, shoulders, rib cage, and pelvis to achieve the desired posture. There is a growing literature that suggests the importance of daily exercises to help in the treatment of scoliosis.

Surgery 

If you have a severe case of scoliosis, your doctor may recommend undergoing surgery. Mostly, it will be recommended that you do spinal fusion which reduces the curvature of the spine and prevents it from getting worse.

You can expect that your surgeon will use metal rods, screws, wires, hooks., and other tools to straighten the spine while the bone heals. They will also be using bone grafts to aid in bone healing.

Spinal fusion is known for healing well and is typically beneficial to patients. Children can go back to school just a month or two after the surgery. They can also get back to any sports half a year or so after.

Scoliosis can be uncomfortable and painful. If it gets worse, it can also have serious effects on the organs of the body. Seeing a health professional can help you identify the right treatment option for your situation so your health problem will be managed properly.

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