Scoliosis develops when a person’s spine has a crooked, side-to-side curve. Scoliosis is a three-dimensional problem and must be diagnosed from all angles to determine its severity.
Because scoliosis therapy can vary greatly depending on a variety of conditions, it is critical for patients to seek care from an academic practice, where faculty practitioners can keep up with the latest research and therapies.
What causes spinal curvature?
Scoliosis affects three persons out of every hundred. It can affect persons of all ages, from infants to the elderly, and it can manifest itself at any age, depending on the type of scoliosis.
Idiopathic scoliosis is the most prevalent kind, which implies there is no known etiology. However, 30% of people with idiopathic scoliosis have it in their family history, and a major study is being conducted to determine the genetic origin of the disorder. The majority of cases are diagnosed around puberty, and the most serious cases are frequently discovered in adolescent girls.
Other types of scoliosis that are less prevalent include:
Neuromuscular scoliosis: This type of scoliosis is caused by a medical disease such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or another condition that restricts the ability to control the muscles that support the spine. Children with this illness are often treated by a multidisciplinary team of doctors.
Congenital scoliosis: This type of scoliosis occurs in one out of every 1,000 newborn newborns due to a birth defect. It is normally detected by a pediatrician at birth, but it can take until puberty to become visible.
What are the Symptoms and Indicators of Scoliosis?
There are frequently no symptoms—no discomfort and no restrictions on daily activities. A minor bend in the spine, for example, can be easily overlooked at first, but other indications may emerge:
- Ribs on one side may grow more noticeable.
- Hips, shoulders, and waistlines may begin to appear unequal.
- It’s possible that one shoulder blade is higher than the other.
How is Scoliosis Diagnosed?
Scoliosis is frequently diagnosed during a normal visit with the primary care doctor, who may refer the patient to a scoliosis-specialized orthopaedic surgeon. Among other things, the specialist will look for spine curvature and any asymmetry of the shoulder blades, waistline, or trunk.
X-rays of the spine from the neck to the pelvis may be requested by the doctor. A typical X-ray should show a straight line for the spine. The spine of a person with scoliosis is shaped more like the letter “S” or the letter “C.” While most cases of idiopathic scoliosis occur in the upper back, it can also develop in the lower back or across the spine.
If your doctor discovers a curve in your spine, he will measure the “Cobb angle,” named after the doctor who first discovered it, and compare it to the measurement of a spine with no excess curvature. Scoliosis is diagnosed when the curve is more than 10 degrees higher than normal. Any curve with a radius larger than 25 degrees will almost certainly necessitate treatment.
What is the treatment for Scoliosis?
If you have a minor form of scoliosis—a Cobb angle of less than 25 degrees—there is no need for treatment; however, for children and adolescents who are still growing, the doctor may decide on six-month follow-up visits to check if any changes arise. One source of concern for young people is that their bodies are still growing, and the curve may worsen during growth spurts.
Severe curves can place strain on the organs, especially the heart and lungs, and cause pain in adults. A back brace is one of the most effective therapies for someone with a Cobb angle of 20 to 40 in order to keep the curve from worsening. Each patient is unique, and the type of brace and the amount of time it must be worn will be determined by the patient’s lifestyle and the severity of scoliosis.
Now that you understand a bit more about what scoliosis is and how it can be treated, we hope you’ll share this information with your friends and family. It’s important to know the facts so that if someone you love is struggling with this condition, they can get help before it becomes too difficult.