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Scoliosis

Typical History:

Gradual onset of chronic mid back or low back pain. Occasionally neck pain occurs.

What is Scoliosis?

Spine with Scoliosis

Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curve of the spine.

Factors That Contribute to Scoliosis:

There are many causes of scoliosis. The causes range from rather benign conditions such as leg length inequality and muscle imbalances to more complicated conditions including diseases of the nervous system. By far the largest category of scoliosis is termed idiopathic which means the cause is unknown.

Grades and Severity of Scoliosis:

Scoliosis is graded based on the degree of sideways spinal curvature which is measured by a radiologist. It is important to note that unless the x-rays are taken standing upright the degree of scoliosis will be underestimated.

  • <30 degrees = monitor for progression and treat with chiropractic and exercise (PT etc). Consider a heel lift/orthotics to reduce the sideways curve. If the condition progresses more than 5 degrees in one year and the patient is not done growing, a referral for bracing options is appropriate.
  • 30-50 degrees = manage as above and seek options for braces to slow progression.
  • >50 degrees = manage as above, including brace. A referral for surgical consultation is needed. Scoliosis can progress to the point of causing major physical deformities. As the spine continues to bend sideways the pain and disability can be severe. In addition to the physical pain the negative emotional impact is significant for many children.

Who is at Risk for Progressively Worsening Scoliosis?

  • Females
  • Children who are born after the mother is 30 years old.
  • Children who develop scoliosis at an early age such as before they hit a major growth spurt in puberty. Especially at risk are girls who develop scoliosis before menstruation begins.
  • People who have other members in their immediate family diagnosed with scoliosis. If anyone in your family has been diagnosed with scoliosis of any degree make an appointment to consult one of our doctors regarding your risk.

Physical Exam:

As chiropractors we are experts in spinal conditions and fully qualified to appropriately handle scoliosis. If you have been diagnosed with scoliosis it is very important that your children/grandchildren be examined for scoliosis once every six months until they are done growing. It is during this time that the most can be done to minimize the progression of the condition.

Treatment:

Chiropractic care combined with specific exercise prescription can significantly reduce the discomfort and progression of mild cases of scoliosis. In more advanced cases the treatment may include bracing or surgery.

Prognosis:

Prognosis depends upon many factors. Please speak to our doctors regarding your particular situation.


Cummings Chiropractic Family Wellness | (403) 243-8118

Offering wellness care to the residents of Calgary, Okotoks, and Cochrane