What Causes Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine develops an unnatural lateral (sideways) curvature. The curve may be a C-shaped curve, or an S-shaped curve, with a more pronounced curvature in one direction than the other. Either way, it’s not normal. But what causes scoliosis? And is there anything that can be done about it – besides bracing or surgery? Learn more about this potentially serious condition.
The cause of scoliosis is often unknown and is referred to as “idiopathic scoliosis.” Typically seen in children and young teens, idiopathic scoliosis may have some genetic factors, since it does tend to run in families. Depending on the age of the patient when idiopathic scoliosis is first diagnosed, it will be called different things, including:
- Under age 3: infantile idiopathic scoliosis
- Ages 3 – 9: juvenile idiopathic scoliosis
- Ages 10 – 18: adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
- After skeletal maturity: adult idiopathic scoliosis
Most cases of scoliosis fall into the category of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Many more girls get scoliosis than boys, and the girls who get scoliosis tend to have cases that worsen more dramatically than their male counterparts. Since the cause of scoliosis is unknown, it is impossible to predict who will get it and which cases will progress significantly.
Other Causes of Scoliosis
Congenital scoliosis is caused by improper spinal formation in the unborn fetus. The development of the vertebrae is incomplete or, in some cases, not segmented properly, causing the spine to grow unevenly.
Neuromuscular scoliosis occurs with some types of neurological disorders, including spina bifida, cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. In these instances, the children’s trunks are not strong enough to support themselves fully, and the spine curves into a long C-shape.
Degenerative or adult scoliosis occurs in adults, usually in conjunction with degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis, compression fractures of the spine or degeneration of discs on one side of the spine more than the other.
What Probably Doesn’t Cause Scoliosis – But Certainly Doesn’t Help
Although the weight of the backpacks kids have to carry is a serious concern, there is no evidence to suggest it causes scoliosis. However, heavy backpacks may contribute to postural problems, back pain and shoulder injuries. Likewise, slouching, leaning to one side and general poor posture, while not directly linked to scoliosis, can lead to serious back and neck problems if not corrected.
Typical medical treatment of scoliosis includes wearing a scoliosis brace or undergoing scoliosis surgery. Bracing is usually suggested in an attempt to slow the progression of the curvature so that surgery won’t be required. Some braces are only worn at night, but most must be worn for 23 hours a day. Surgical scoliosis treatment involves a 6-hour long, complicated surgery in which steel rods are screwed to the spine to force it into a straight posture. There are risks of serious complications, and the patient cannot fully resume his or her activities for a full year.
Fortunately, another alternative is available. Chiropractic has had excellent results with many types of scoliosis. And there’s no uncomfortable contraption to wear and no invasive procedures to undergo!
A Natural Approach Instead
If you’ve never thought of chiropractic for scoliosis, you may be surprised to learn that chiropractic is the world’s most popular and respected non-traditional health care approach. Chiropractic is safe, working with the body’s natural healing abilities to bring about proper structure and function. Call one of our highly educated, licensed and compassionate ChooseNatural.com chiropractors today to schedule a consultation – there’s an excellent chance it’s covered by your insurance!
These Jacksonville chiropractors stand ready to help.
Before doing anything else, your chiropractor will ask you and your child some questions to get better acquainted with what’s happening with the scoliosis. If chiropractic can help, the doctor will let you know and will then proceed to examining your child, explaining all of the findings to you and answering any questions that arise. Then your ChooseNatural.com chiropractor will lay out a plan of action designed specifically to address your child’s misalignments. Precise chiropractic adjustments to these areas will be made, helping to restore proper alignment, which allows the pertinent muscle groups to strengthen and the posture to improve.
No one can guarantee a particular outcome, but millions of delighted patients worldwide can attest to the fact that chiropractic is safe, gentle and effective. Don’t let your child suffer the embarrassment and potential health risks of scoliosis for another day – call a ChooseNatural.com chiropractor in your area and try a safe approach to healing scoliosis.
Scoliosis surgery is typically suggested by medical doctors when the scoliosis curvature is over 40 – 50 degrees. Before you agree to this aggressive approach, learn what’s involved:
|Procedure Scoliosis surgery is a very complex surgical procedure. Expect your child to be in surgery for six or more hours, and in the hospital for just about a week. Incisions in the back (and possibly others in the front or the sides) will be made, and two steel rods will be attached to either side of the spine using steel screws or hooks. These are then covered with bone fragments that fuse with the spine. This arrangement mechanically forces the spine into a straight position.|
|Recovery Your child must learn breathing and coughing exercises to maintain pulmonary health while recuperating. He or she should be taught how to move about while in bed as well as how to climb into and out of bed safely. The child will be out of school for a couple of months and should not resume any physical activities like bending, twisting or playing for three months. After three months, some activities may be resumed but gym class, horseback riding, contact sports and amusement-park rides must still be avoided. After 6 months, all but contact sports may be resumed. After a year, if the doctor okays it, all activities may be resumed.|
|Risks Besides the inherent risks associated with any surgical procedure, scoliosis surgery can cause nerve damage, pain, arthritis, degeneration of discs, bowel problems, collapsed lung and even broken rods. In young children, scoliosis surgery can affect growth and may result in breathing problems.|