Scoliosis, screen your spine at Waterloo Chiro

Scoliosis is a subtle corkscrewing effect of the spine when viewing it from behind. It is quite normal to have an “S” bend from the side-on position, but if you have an “S” shaped from behind, its time to consult your Waterloo Chiro.

The most common scoliosis is called “Idiopathic Scoliosis”. This occurs in the pre-teen age bracket and is most likely produced due to genetic factors.

But can an adult develop this? Advancing age, injuries, muscle imbalance or the degenerative processes that occur in weight bearing joints can also bring about the unleveling characteristic of this spinal deformity.

Every spine is different and does require an assessment. Your Waterloo Chiropractors are degree qualified to assess your spine and can assist you to:

  • Understand your condition
  • Treat your condition
  • Strengthen your spine
  • Scan (if appropriate)
  • Refer for medical or orthopedic interventions

So….. what is it ?

“Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curve of the spine. The cause is usually unknown. Surgery is recommended in severe cases. In side on profile, the healthy spine has three natural curves that form a loose ‘S’ shape: at the neck, upper back and lower back. From the rear, the healthy spine should look straight. When a person has a spinal distortion, they have an abnormal sideways curve that makes the spine look tilted when viewed from the rear. Scoliosis tends to develop in late childhood. About one in every two people is thought to have mild scoliosis, which is painless, does not worsen and does not need treatment. However, severe spinal deformity is a painful and debilitating condition that tends to worsen with age. About three children out of every 1000 have scoliosis that needs medical

Diagnostic methods:

  • Any abnormal curve in a child’s spine should be investigated, regardless of whether or not the child feels any pain.
  • It is often painless and it is a parent that may notice unleveling of the shoulders, a curve or a rotational component to the chest.
  • If there is a family history, your child (pre teen) should be checked periodically especially approaching a growth spurt.
  • Diagnosed with x-ray or other more sophisticated imaging.

Common scoliosis:

“Idiopathic Scoliosis”. Idiopathic means that the underlying cause is unknown, however with advancements in understanding of genetics and pathogenesis, there is increasing evidence that there is a genetic link.  It occurs in pre adolescents or adolescents and is called “Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis”

“Adult Degenerative”. If you have been diagnosed with Idiopathic Scoliosis, with advancing age, commonly you can suffer from chronic spinal pain. As a result your scoliosis can slowly worsen and the curvature can exaggerate at a rate of 1 – 3 degrees per year.

De Novo”. It is possible for a person that has never had a scoliosis before to develop one due to spinal degeneration and advancing age. De Novo  is often associated with chronic lower back pain.

“Non-idiopathic”. These conditions are often syndromes that effect the soft tissues of the body such as Marfans syndrome or neurological diseases.

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