What Is Scoliosis and How Can It Be Treated?

scoliosis, Dr. Whetstone, Allied Integrative Health & Wellness

Scoliosis describes an abnormal, sideways curve of the spine, usually an S- or C-shape. In many people, scoliosis doesn’t cause serious dysfunction, but in severe cases, spine deformities appear in childhood and continue to progress with age.

Scoliosis usually becomes evident just before puberty, during the pre-adolescent growth spurt. The condition is diagnosed when the curve of your spine exceeds 10 degrees. In most cases, the reason a person develops scoliosis is not known. It is not, however, caused by carrying a heavy backpack or having poor posture.

How to tell if someone has scoliosis

Symptoms of scoliosis include uneven shoulders and an uneven waist. If one hip is higher than the other or one shoulder blade appears more prominent, it may also be a sign of scoliosis. If your curve exaggerates to 20 degrees or beyond, you may develop an uneven walk or stance.

Oftentimes, scoliosis causes no pain. As your body compensates for your tilt, however, you may experience muscle spasms and referred pain in your back. The younger you’re diagnosed with the condition and the more severe your curve at the time of diagnosis, the more likely you’ll experience continued worsening of the curve and side effects associated with it.

Adults may experience the effects of scoliosis into adulthood. If scoliosis was never diagnosed in childhood or adolescence and has gone untreated for years, an adult with the condition may experience unexplained low back pain, increased nerve pressure, and weakness and numbness in the lower body.

At Allied Integrative Health & Wellness, your posture, symptoms, and an X-ray are evaluated to diagnose scoliosis.  

Treatment options

Severe scoliosis that interferes with breathing due to a curvature reducing the amount of space in the chest or that is disfiguring often requires treatment. Some children and teens may wear a brace that prevents the curve from getting worse, while others may require surgery to straighten severe curves.

For most people with scoliosis, management of symptoms eases discomfort and prevents distortions in posture. Chiropractic adjustments can help ensure your body stays in optimal alignment and your nervous system stays free, so your posture and comfort level are ensured. Symptom management is key because scoliosis has no cure.

Physical therapy offered at Allied Integrative Health and Wellness offers gentle exercises to help ease pain and improve your daily function. Massage is also a good adjunct therapy to chiropractic as it helps increase circulation and decrease inflammation. Dr. Whetstone can also teach you how to manage your diet and lifestyle to live the healthiest you can with scoliosis. Adults and teens with scoliosis benefit from chiropractic management.

Your customized treatment plan depends on your age, the maturation of your bones, the degree of your scoliosis curve, location of the curve, and associated symptoms.

If you have a curve or off-kilter stance that suggests scoliosis, trust the care team at Allied Integrative Health & Wellness for evaluation, diagnosis, and long-term treatment support. Men, women, and teens in the Cleveland area who have scoliosis and associated pain and dysfunction benefit tremendously from having Dr. Whetstone and his associates on their scoliosis care team.

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