Scoliosis is a lateral curve in the spine. When you look at a person head on, their spine should look perfectly straight. When the spine bends to one side, this is called scoliosis. Family members often notice scoliosis first. Signs include a high shoulder or hip or a rib hump. Scoliosis is also frequently identified during a physical using postural analysis or an orthopedic test called Adam’s test. X-rays are then obtained to confirm the diagnosis.
The severity of scoliosis is determined by an x-ray measurement of the angle of the curve. Scoliosis can be a curve to the right called dextroscoliosis or a curve to the left called levoscoliosis. Scoliosis can also involve only one curve and look like a “C” or 2 curves can look like an “S.” Scoliosis usually starts in childhood and progresses through adolescence. Establishing a baseline measurement of the curve and monitoring progression is crucial.
The cause of scoliosis is still largely a mystery. In some cases, congenital defects and traumatic events are contributing factors. A region of hypermobility at the apex of the curve with adjacent regions of stiffness is also common. Scoliosis can cause pain and may lead to arthritic degeneration. Scoliosis treatment involves chiropractic adjustments to rotate and align the vertebrae. Spinal stabilization exercises and manual traction are also utilized. In rare cases, scoliosis does require bracing or surgical intervention.
"My family has a history of scoliosis, which caused pain in my back during all kinds of activities, even just sitting still. The non-invasive treatments Dr. Ward provides have been a life-saver for me!"
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