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Scoliosis is an abnormal side-ways bending of the spine.
Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curve of the spine that causes spinal pain, stiffness, degeneration and dysfunction. Most are idiopathic, meaning that a definite cause is unknown. Scoliosis can vary between a minor curve of a few degrees, to a life-threatening distortion. If scoliosis is detected early, treatment will prevent it from progressing and worsening over time.
A Chiropractor can help to identify a child or fully-grown individual with scoliosis just by viewing the person in a standing position, and observing the following: • One shoulder being higher than the other. • One shoulder blade may be higher or more noticeable than the other. • There may be more space between the arm and the body on one side when the arms hang freely at the side. • One hip may seem to be higher or more noticeable than the other. • The head is not aligned with the pelvis. • One side of the back appears higher than the other when the individual is viewed from the rear and asked to bend forward until the spine is flattened.
Studies show that people with scoliosis, especially girls (up to 9:1) • are taller and slimmer than their non-scoliotic peers • have problems with the gut that influence absorption of nutrients • have hormone imbalances • have distortions in the spinal cord and brain • have differences in the make-up of muscles surrounding the curves • tend to occur along family lines, suggesting a genetic influence • have subtle, complex, yet important problems with balance
The best thing that a parent can do is have a Chiropractor check the child on a regular basis, say two to four times per year, so that any curvature development can be detected. However, in-home examination is also recommended as a way of early detection.
Much severe cases may require bracing or surgery.
Treatment of Scoliosis
Conservative treatment can often be successfully applied, especially in the early stages of the disease. The following interventions have had some success in either preventing or reversing the progress of scoliotic curves. By combining treatments into a program tailored for each patient and adjusted according to response, it is often possible to avoid the more unpleasant, expensive or dangerous treatment options.
• Specific Chiropractic Adjustments, designed to correct dysfunction of skeletal structures and reduce the torsion in the spinal cord • Use of foot Orthotics and Heel Lifts to level the pelvis • Exercises specifically designed to address balance, co-ordination and proprioceptive (body awareness) problems as well as stretch the muscles around the curves and correct changes in muscle fibres • Nutritional support and correction of gut function
Using the Chiropractic approach stabilizes the spine and prevents the scoliosis curves from progressing. Chiropractic care for scoliosis can be very effective, especially when the deformity is in the early stages. The treatment program requires a commitment by the patient, but if undertaken enthusiastically it has the potential to prevent the need for much more drastic treatments later on.