Scoliosis: chances are you have heard of it, but what is it? Scoliosis is the abnormal curvature of the spine, and comes from the Greek word skoliosis, meaning “crookedness.” Normally, an individual’s spine runs straight down the middle of the back, but for about 2% of the population their spines curve in either a “C” or “S” shape. The angle of the curve may be small or very pronounced, categorized as mild (the curve is less than 15 degrees), moderate (the curve is between 15 and 30 degrees), or severe (the curve is greater than 30 degrees). People with scoliosis may find themselves leaning to one side while standing, or that their hips or shoulders look uneven. Additionally, they may feel mild to severe pain in the back, neck, or hips and they may even experience headaches. The exact reason for presenting cases of scoliosis are unknown, and this is referred to as “idiopathic” scoliosis. If scoliosis has a known cause, it is categorized as either structural or non-structural. In non-structural scoliosis, the spine functions normally, but appears curved. This could be because of leg length discrepancy, muscle spasms, or inflammation. When the underlying problem is treated, the scoliosis often goes away. In structural scoliosis, the abnormal curve in the spine is permanent and cannot be reversed. This can be caused by cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, birth defects, infections, tumors, or genetic conditions (such as Marfan or Down syndrome).
For those with scoliosis, mild to severe, or even those who are experiencing unexplained back, neck, or hip pain, it is beneficial to have your posture evaluated by a chiropractor. Chiropractors aim to treat patients with scoliosis by improving the mobility and flexibility of a curved spine, ultimately helping to reduce pain, improve posture, and increase range of motion. In the case of non-structural scoliosis, it is often the case that muscle spasms or tight muscles are the cause of an abnormal spine curvature. Registered Massage Therapy is an effective treatment for loosening the tight muscles of the back, ultimately allowing the spine to become realigned. If you have scoliosis, or suspect that you may have scoliosis, and you do not want to undergo invasive surgery or be bothered with heavy back braces, call us today to make an appointment, or book online!