Being diagnosed with a condition like scoliosis can be terrifying. What will my life, or the life of my child who was diagnosed, look like? How will my daily life be affected? Will they be able to play sports or dance? What about the pain? These are all questions that may be running through your mind after learning that you, or someone you love, have scoliosis of the spine. Scoliosis is defined as a sideways curve of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt right before puberty. Don’t let the diagnosis scare you. Many cases are mild and can greatly benefit from the treatments and therapies like those at Advance Health and Wellness.
When viewed from the side, the spine should be slightly round in the upper part of the back and curve inwards slightly at the lower back. When you look at a person with a normal spine from the front or behind, the spine appears to be straight. However, when a person with scoliosis is seen from these angles, the spine appears to be curved. The spine itself is not always clearly visible under layers of muscle and fat tissue, so x Rays may be required to determine the presence or severity of the curve.
Scoliosis can result from conditions such as Muscular Dystrophy, Spina Bifida, or Cerebral Palsy, but many cases are seen in people with no other related conditions. Most causes of Scoliosis are unknown, though there are some factors that play a role in developing the different types of the condition. There are four types of scoliosis:
- Congenital Scoliosis, caused by a bone abnormality at birth.
- Degenerative scoliosis, resulting from traumatic bone collapse, a previous back surgery, or osteoporosis.
- Neuromuscular scoliosis, which is a result of abnormal nerves and muscles. This is the variety found primarily in people with spina bifida or cerebral palsy. It can also be seen in individuals with conditions that also have or cause paralysis.
- Idiopathic scoliosis, which does not have a singular, identifiable has cause. This is the most common type of this disease. It is possible that Idiopathic Scoliosis is genetic and is inherited.
All of the types of Scoliosis primarily begin to affect children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 16, with girls being more likely to develop the condition than boys. It can continue to progress through these early years of growth, but does not typically do so into adulthood.
Other than the abnormal appearance of the spine, Scoliosis can cause dull or sharp back and neck pain, soreness, pain that travels down into your hips, and in severe cases, the inability to walk. If diagnosed and treated early enough, the curvature can be stopped or even corrected by wearing a brace through the growth spurt years. Treating a condition like scoliosis with an embarrassing brace may be the last thing your very self-conscious child wants to do, but it could save them pain and therapies, or even surgery, down the road.
While taking pain medication may relieve your pain symptoms, targeted therapy and treatment like those available through Advance Health and Wellness can offer you or your child more permanent relief.