Can Chiropractic improve scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a condition I see fairly regularly in practice, and it can range from mild to life threatening. Ideally your spine should be straight when viewed from the front and have 3 gentle curves when viewed from the side. Scoliosis is a sideways bending of the spine, so instead of your spine looking straight it ends up C-shaped or S-shaped. Can Chiropractors improve scoliosis?
Causes of Scoliosis
Scoliosis has a number of causes, including trauma, congenital factors and neuro-muscular conditions such as cerebral palsy. By far the most common cause is Idiopathic, which means that we don’t know what causes it.
Idiopathic Scoliosis tends to occur far more commonly in females and often happens during a growth spurt around the age of puberty. You are more likely to have scoliosis if your close relatives also have it.
How do I know if I have Scoliosis?
People with scoliosis will often notice changes in their posture. Uneven hips and shoulders, bending or leaning to the side, or a noticeable rib hump when bending forward are common postural signs of scoliosis.
Your Chiropractor will be able to test you for scoliosis by assessing your posture and palpating your spine. If scoliosis is detected an X ray will be recommended to determine the severity, and degree of curvature.
How Can Scoliosis affect my health?
The most common complaints I hear from people with scoliosis are related to posture and pain. Scoliosis can dramatically alter your posture, which often causes younger people to feel insecure and unhappy.
Your spine functions best when it is aligned properly, scoliosis results in extra strain on the muscles, discs, joints and nerves, which can lead to muscle tightness, pain and a variety of other symptoms due to nerve interference. If left uncorrected the risk of spinal arthritis increases.
Severe scoliosis can place extra strain on your vital organs which can have serious consequences.
Chiropractic treatment to improve Scoliosis?
Treatment of scoliosis often depends on the cause, severity and the length of time you have had it. It also depends on your goals, do you just want to feel better or do you want to correct it?
If mild and caught early on, you may have great success correcting scoliosis with a program of corrective Chiropractic care. Specific Chiropractic adjustments, traction, exercises, stretches and muscle work are all part of a corrective program. The chance of a full correction tends to get less the older you are and the more severe your scoliosis is. Chiropractic is also a great way to relieve the pain and tightness associated with Scoliosis.
Bracing may be of benefit in some young patients with moderate scoliosis to prevent further curvature.
Surgical options are available, but should be a last resort if all other measures have failed. Surgeries can have serious side effects and can often lead to other problems such as arthritis, infection and nerve damage.
If you have Scoliosis or if you think you may have it, don’t leave it any longer. Visit your chiropractor for a full assessment as the earlier you address it the more chance you have of correcting it, in a safe natural way.