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What is Scoliosis?

Thursday, Oct 25, 2018

A normal spine runs straight down the back, in the medical condition of scoliosis the spine curves in an “S” and “C” shape. The angle of the curve may be small, medium or large. However, anything more than a 10 degree is diagnosed as scoliosis. A person with scoliosis will lean a little when standing or have shoulders or hips that are skewed to the side.

While, some types of scoliosis do not have clear causes, the doctors at NeuSpine Institute divide the other types of scoliosis into two types: structural and nonstructural. Our medical staff can treat nonstructural scoliosis, where the spine works normally but looks curved. This condition happens for a number of reasons including: muscle spasms, inflammations like appendicitis, and one leg being longer than the others. Treatment at NeuSpine Institute ensures that when these problems are treated, this type of scoliosis goes away. However, in the case of structural scoliosis, there is not much that can be done in reversing the curvature of the spine.

Scoliosis occurs most often in children age 10 and 14, it tends to affect female 7 times more frequently than males. The condition of scoliosis is progressive if not treated. There are a few symptoms a doctor should look for to diagnose scoliosis for example: are the patient’s eyes level or is the eye line tinted, is one of the patient’s shoulder higher than the other, and whether the patient’s hips are even? Once the condition is properly diagnosed, the doctor will measure a Cobb angle to recommend treatment. For a curve measuring less than 24 degrees, the recommendation is observation, however for a curve measuring 25 to 39 degrees the recommendation is a rigid spinal brace. Finally, fusion surgery may be recommended for curves measuring more than 50 on the Cobb angle.

Untreated scoliosis can cause complications down the road including: lung and heart damage, back problems, and appearance. In severe scoliosis, the rib cage may press against the lungs and heart causing breathing problems. It has been found that adults that have had scoliosis as children have more chronic back pain than the normal population. Finally, as scoliosis worsens it causes more noticeable changes in appearance including uneven waist and a shift of the trunk to the side.

Scoliosis is a progressive condition that affects mostly children and some adults. While the causes of all types of scoliosis are not known, there are two types of scoliosis that are diagnosable in children and adults. Treatments for the nonstructural scoliosis can reverse the condition and improve the symptoms from which the patients suffer. Professional and cutting-edge treatment for scoliosis improves the look of the patient, their self-esteem, and the curvature of the spine. If you suspect you are suffering from symptoms of scoliosis, come in today for a consultation at NeuSpine and get your back better soon.