What Is Scoliosis
Many people think of scoliosis as a disease or condition, rather, it’s medical terminology. Scoliosis is not a disease, it is a term that we use to describe any abnormal, sideways curvature of the spine. Now, if you view the back from the rear, a typical spine is straight. When scoliosis occurs, the spine can curve in one of three ways. With scoliosis, you can have the back curve to the right, left or both ways. Each one of these has a specific name that we’ll discuss now. When the spine curves to the left, it forms a pattern close to the letter “C.” This is known as levoscoliosis. If the spine curves to the right, you get a pattern that resembles a backward “C.” This is known as dextroscoliosis. If you have scoliosis in both directions, your spine has a pattern like a “S.”
Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type of scoliosis. This form of scoliosis affects around 2 percent of the population. Now, the term “idiopathic” refers to a condition that has no known cause. Idiopathic scoliosis is the main type of scoliosis found in children. For adults, degenerative scoliosis is the most common. Idiopathic scoliosis is often called adolescent scoliosis, occurring in the 10-18 age group.
The majority of idiopathic scoliosis patients will experience no pain. However, as I’ve said time and time before, we all react to pain differently. Some may experience mild pain. We don’t see severe cases of pain much but it’s possible. It’s extremely important to note that if your child does have scoliosis, it has to be monitored regularly. Bones in children grow quickly, same for young adults. It is possible that the curves in the spine will grow, so pay close attention to that. I’m sure your doctor will tell you the same.
Degenerative scoliosis, also known as adult scoliosis or adult onset scoliosis, describes a side-to-side curvature of the spine cause by degeneration of the facet joints. The condition occurs most frequently occurs in people over 65 years of age. The scoliosis curve, which typically forms a “C” shape, is located in the lumbar spine. The pain in degenerative scoliosis can be mild to non-existent. Many medical professionals relate the pain to osteoarthritis since both affect the facet joints.
Unlike adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, degenerative scoliosis has a known cause: the deterioration of the facet joints in the back due to aging. The inflammation of the degenerating facet joints is the actual cause of pain, not the curve in the spine. The spinal curve typically progresses slowly at about 1 to 2 degrees per year. Therefore, treatment is not centered on slowing the curvature, but instead is focused on relieving pain.
Other Types Of Scoliosis
Children and young adult are classified in 3 groups when it comes to scoliosis. As mentioned earlier, adolescent scoliosis or idiopathic scoliosis includes children and young adults aged 10-18. Infantile scoliosis is the term used to describe children from birth to 3 years old. Juvenile scoliosis is the classification for children 3 to 9 years old.
More rare forms of scoliosis include Congenital scoliosis and Neuromuscular scoliosis. Congenital scoliosis refers to a type of scoliosis present in infancy. It affects 1 in 10,000. This type of scoliosis usually requires surgery to be corrected. There is no known cause for congenital scoliosis. Neuromuscular scoliosis is a type of scoliosis that can form in people who cannot walk due to a neuromuscular condition such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy. This may also be called myopathic scoliosis.
There’s a number of different symptoms when it comes to scoliosis. Since there are various forms of scoliosis, these symptoms can differ from one type of scoliosis to the other. One of the more common symptoms of scoliosis is pain when you wake up. The pain often gets better as you begin moving around after a long period of rest. Another common symptom of scoliosis is pain when walking and standing. Although this symptom can relate to many other things, if your pain relieves when sitting, this is a classic sign of scoliosis. Leg pain is another symptom. Scoliosis can cause pain in both legs. Combined with pain while standing and walking, the pain in your legs can get quite severe.
Scoliosis also causes physical symptoms that we can see with the naked eye, although we want a X-ray to confirm. For example, scoliosis can cause one shoulder to be higher then the other. You can also refer to your shoulder blades. Scoliosis can cause one shoulder blade to stick out further then the other. The rib cage and hips may also stick out or look uneven. Remember, you still want to confirm with your doctor but if you or a child has such symptoms, it’s possible that you have scoliosis.
Scoliosis can usually be determined with a physical exam and X-ray. Do you remember the Adam’s Forward Bend Test in grade school? This is a common test that is used to see if you have scoliosis in grade school. Early detection of scoliosis is crucial. Taking your child to a pediatrician is extremely important. In some cases, an MRI may be ordered but only in rare cases. A physical exam and X-ray is usually enough to determine if you have scoliosis or not.
There’s a variety of different scoliosis treatments that are available. The course of treatment depends on the type of scoliosis, the curve of the scoliosis and the age of the patient. There are three main scoliosis treatment options for adolescents, which include observation, back braces and surgery. Observation is extremely important with adolescent scoliosis because the spine is continuing to grow. Since the spine is continuing to see growth, tracking and measuring growth is needed.
Adult scoliosis is treated differently because your bones are no longer growing and curving. Surgery is an option for adults, it usually requires a 50 degree curve in the spine. Pain medication can be described to help with the pain.
You also have natural scoliosis treatments available. This option is for adult patients suffering from degenerative scoliosis. One of those treatments is the Doctor’s Back Pain Systems. Developed by Dr. Jason Hurst, this natural back pain treatment can help you relieve pain caused by scoliosis. If you’re looking for a natural cure for your back pain, take the time to watch our free webinar and learn exactly how this pain system can help. It only takes a few seconds to sign up and the webinar is free.
Scoliosis can be painful and if you feel that you or your child has scoliosis, get to a doctor immediately. Don’t hesitate to take your child to a doctor. Again, early detection is crucial.