by: Dr. Frankie Rodriguez
Scoliosis is known as a sideways curvature of the spine. It occurs most often just before puberty. Certain conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy can lead to scoliosis, even though most of the causes are not yet known.
There are several risk factors for this condition and they are;
1. Age – Signs and symptoms appear at the beginning of puberty.
2. Sex – Girls have a higher risk of the curve worsening.
3. Family history – Scoliosis can run in families.
Scoliosis is mild most of the time, but sometimes, it the deformities becomes more severe as children grow. Severe scoliosis can be serious as disabling a person. Especially a severe spinal curve can reduce the thoracic (chest) cavity volume, making it difficult for the lungs to move while breathing and will disturb its functions.
Mostly, scoliosis and the body shape changes are noted by the parents or child itself. The main signs and symptoms of scoliosis include uneven shoulders, the appearance of one shoulder blade more prominent than the other, uneven waist or one hip higher than the other. In the case of severe scoliosis, the spine will also rotate or twist, additionally to curving sideways. This leads to increased intercostal spaces (space between the ribs) on one side than the other.
Your Chiropractor will take a detailed medical history first and during the physical examination, the Chiropractor will check the child while standing and then while bending forward from the waist, to see if one side of the rib cage is more prominent than the other. In certain cases, the doctor may also do a neurological exam to check for muscular weakness, numbness, and abnormal reflexes.
A chest and a lumbar X-rays of the spine can confirm the diagnosis of scoliosis and reveal the severity of the condition by imaging the abnormal curves and some complications. In the case of a doubt, whether a tumor is causing scoliosis, additional imaging tests, such as an MRI would be needed further.
Most of the children with scoliosis who have mild curves do not need a treatment with a brace or a surgery. But, they will need checkups with their Chiropractor once every four to six months to see if the abnormal curvature increases. In moderate or severe cases, treatment will be needed and studies show that chiropractic treatments, electrical stimulation treatments, and dietary supplements are very effective.
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