How Chiropractic Care Can Help Scoliosis
Scoliosis affects many people in the world. Just in the United States alone, more than 3% of the population will deal with an abnormal curvature of the spine. People can be diagnosed with this medical condition at a very early age. However, in most cases, the diagnosis occurs in late childhood or during the first years of adolescence. Scoliosis can significantly alter quality of life as it can cause serious health issues such as chronic back pain, fatigue, and poor self-esteem.
The best treatment option for each person with scoliosis will vary depending on many factors. For example, the age of the patient and the severity of scoliosis can affect which treatment options are available. If you would like to know more about how chiropractic care can help scoliosis, and how it can prevent the progression of this medical condition, keep reading.
The Different Categories of Scoliosis
- Scoliosis can be divided into different categories depending on the following factors:
- the causes
- the degrees of severity
- and the innate flexibility of the spine (whether it’s rigid or not)
Based on the cause of the spine deformity, there are three main categories:
- Idiopathic – meaning that the cause of the scoliosis is unknown. Most people fall under this category. It can be classified further by age: 0-3 years (infant), 4-10 years (juvenile), 11-18 years (adolescent), and 18+ years (adult).
- Congenital – the abnormality is present from birth.
- Neurological – scoliosis is formed because of a nerve dysfunction that affects muscle tension. The most common neurological disorders that can result in scoliosis are spina bifida, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and spinal cord injury.
Based on the degrees of severity, we can talk about the following categories:
- Mild curvature (10-24 degrees)
- Significant curvature (25-49 degrees)
- Severe curvature (from 50 degrees)
Usually, the degree of curvature is measured via a physical examination and medical imaging conducted by an orthopedic doctor or a chiropractor.
- Based on the flexibility of the spine, there are two main categories:
- Structural – due to a birth defect, injury, or chronic disease the curve is inflexible and permanently fixed.
Non-structural – a flexible, temporary deformity caused by common health issues like bad ergonomics, injury, inflammation, muscle spasms, or a LLD (leg length discrepancies).
What Issues Can Scoliosis Cause?
Scoliosis can lead to many health issues, or even aggravate existing conditions. The most common health issues are the following:
- Chronic pain of the low back, mid back, neck, or shoulders
- Chronic fatigue
- Headaches or migraines
- Respiratory problems because of the limited rib mechanics
- Organ dysfunction (for example digestion problems) secondary to the pressure in that area
- Herniated discs or other spine degeneration
All things considered, the abnormal curvature of the spine can lead to multiple symptoms simultaneously that can affect the quality of your life to a great extent. If you are considering easing your symptoms with surgery, you should be aware of the risks. Scoliosis surgery can come with a lot of suffering and complications in the long term, which is why holistic options should always be considered first.
How a Chiropractor Can Help Scoliosis
If you are looking for a more gentle solution to managing your scoliosis, you should consider chiropractic care as a treatment option. It can help you to increase the flexibility of the spine and relieve the pain caused by spine misalignment. Chiropractors can offer you various treatment options to manage and support the spine’s curvature, and they can also effectively prevent the progression of scoliosis in some cases.
Amongst the most common chiropractic treatment methods you may find include the following options:
- Examination (formally diagnosing scoliosis and measuring the degree of the curvature)
- Custom scoliosis bracing
- Scoliosis specific exercises,such as strengthening of core muscles
- Scoliosis pain relief techniques, for example, cold and heat, massage, e-stim (electrical stimulation), etc.
- Scoliosis education (what is scoliosis, how to manage it)
Your chiropractor will help you to find out which treatment options are the most suitable for you. It will depend mostly on the following factors:
- Your age
- The severity of the scoliosis
- Your goals
- Your preferences.
- Scoliosis Surgery vs. Holistic Treatment Options
Sometimes, scoliosis surgery may be necessary when either the curve or the symptoms are severe. However, this treatment option can lead to serious side effects that can affect your quality of life even more than scoliosis did. On the other hand, holistic treatment options are non-invasive and chiropractors can help you manage scoliosis successfully and prevent unnecessary progression without leaving you with other side effects.
Treat Your Spine Issues With a CBP practitioner
Consulting a Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) certified chiropractor may be the best solution for you if you would like to treat your spine issues. A CBP practitioner is an expert in spine alignment that can offer you various science based treatment options to support your health. The team at Symmetry Health Center in Alameda and Oakland, CA is dedicated to helping you feel your best with scoliosis. Give their office a call to see what your options are today.
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