According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), scoliosis affects approximately 5-7 million people in the US. This common condition is characterized by lateral curvatures of the spine that is 10 degrees or more. If it is less than 10 degrees, the condition is simply referred to as a postural change. If you or someone you know is suffering from scoliosis, you should schedule an appointment with your local chiropractor to help get the spine back into its healthy state.
Unfortunately, scoliosis is oftentimes difficult to detect since minor curvatures (10-20 degrees) look the same as a healthy spine. Most people suffering from scoliosis don’t exhibit any noticeable physical characteristics. Unless you take a closer look through professional physical examination and X-rays, you won’t be able to identify the problem. As a result, thousands of scoliosis cases go undiagnosed each year, allowing the problem to become progressively worse over time.
Most people begin to develop scoliosis between the ages of 12-16. This is a critical time when the human body experiences fast, short bursts of growths, or growth spurts. Most public schools have a mandatory scoliosis check on their students to catch the condition at an early age. However, it’s important to note that scoliosis may develop at any time age. Whether you are 14 or 40, you should have an annual spine examination to determine if you at risk for developing this condition.
A professional chiropractor will first thoroughly examine the curvature of your spine to determine what, if any, problems are present. As previously stated, a lateral (side to side) curvature of 10 degrees or more is considered scoliosis, while minor curvatures less than this amount is a postural change. Your chiropractor will likely perform a physical examination of your spine to determine its curvature. If necessary, they may also use an X-ray for a more accurate reading.
Everyone’s scoliosis condition is different, so treatment will vary from person to person. There are several different factors that will play into treatment, including the person’s age, spine curvature, medical history and weight. Children and young adults suffering from scoliosis may be advised to wear a brace to help guide their spine back into the proper growing direction. Your chiropractor will show you exactly how and when to wear the brace to gain the maximum benefit from it.
Having a misaligned spine may also contribute to the worsening of your scoliosis. If you believe your spine is misaligned, talk to your chiropractor about having some adjustments and manipulations performed. These noninvasive procedures are completely painless and could help guide your spine back into its proper growing position.
With nearly 2% of the entire population suffering from it, scoliosis is an all-too-common condition that can dramatically affect one’s life. Those suffering from it may experience pain, swelling and a lower self-esteem. Thankfully, however, there are now several different treatment options available for scoliosis. Schedule an appointment with your chiropractor today to talk with them about your spinal curvature and the possible treatment options available for it.