What are the 3 types of scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a condition of the spine. A normal spine has a curve like an S-shape when viewed from the side, curving inward at the neck area, outward at the upper back, and inward at the lower back. When viewed from the back, a normal spine is straight vertically. In someone with scoliosis, the spine curves sideways in a C-shape. There can also be an abnormal rotation or twist in the spine. This can be noticed if a person has a slight lean when standing. You may also notice one shoulder or hip is higher than the other, one shoulder blade appears larger, ribs stand out more on one side than the other, or back pain. Scoliosis can be structural (permanent and involves both a curve and rotation) or nonstructural (temporary and involves only a curve). There are different types of scoliosis.
- Congenital Scoliosis – children are born with spinal deformities.
- Neuromuscular Scoliosis – children develop a curve or rotation in the spine that is caused by medical conditions that affect the muscles that support the spine. The associated conditions may be muscular, neurological, or both.
- Idiopathic Adolescent Scoliosis – diagnosed in adolescents aged 10 to 15, and is more common in girls. Most cases of scoliosis are idiopathic, which means it has no single cause but is thought to be related to growth spurts during puberty.
Adults can also develop scoliosis due to degeneration to the spine that can occur with aging, from trauma, or if there are tumors pressing on the spine.
What does scoliosis pain feel like?
Someone with scoliosis may experience the following symptoms:
- Low back pain
- Pain or numbness felt in the legs or feet
- Stiffness or tightness
- Muscle strain
- Muscle weakness
- Emotional or social difficulties
Why do people get scoliosis?
The cause of scoliosis depends on the type. Some appear to be hereditary or are caused by conditions that are passed through genetics. Others may be caused by birth defects, injuries or infections, or previous surgeries. Some happen due to rapid growth in children and teens, and still, others are caused by deterioration of the spine due to aging.
Scoliosis is not caused by slouching or heavy backpacks and is not corrected by simply sitting up straight.
Structural scoliosis is not reversible and has different causes, both congenital and neuromuscular. Causes include structural birth defects and genetic conditions like Down syndrome or Marfan syndrome and conditions such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, or muscular dystrophy. Structural scoliosis is known to run in families.
Non-structural scoliosis is reversible and is caused by another issue, like having two legs of different lengths, posture problems, or muscle imbalances or spasms.
What happens if you don’t treat scoliosis?
Whatever the cause of scoliosis, if it isn’t treated, it will get worse as the patient grows. As we age, the ligaments in the spine weaken, the spine can become less stable, and the curvature becomes more pronounced. If the curvature and rotation become severe enough, it can affect lung capacity, cause heart problems, and can cause the patient to develop further spinal conditions like spondylosis (an arthritic condition) or bone spurs. People can also suffer long-lasting emotional and social effects.
Specialized chiropractic treatment and exercises for scoliosis can help with the reduction of pain and discomfort, slowing the progression, and improved mobility. Hudson Sport & Spine in Hoboken, NJ will complete a thorough assessment of patients with scoliosis, including a physical examination, diagnostic imaging like x-rays, MRIs, or CT scans, and taking a full medical history. We will create a specialized treatment plan centered around non-invasive chiropractic care.
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