Could a Scoliosis be causing your Back Pain?

Scoliosis is a progressive and lateral curvature of the spine, and it is S or C shaped. In this blog we give you information around the question of ‘how do I know if I have a scoliosis’?

How is a Scoliosis diagnosed?

To diagnosis scoliosis we need to take Xrays to assess the spine. When viewing these X-rays front, the spine should be straight.

Scoliosis is when there are side curves, greater than 10 degrees, are visible on the front to back X-ray of and rotation of the spinal bones (vertebrae) is also present.

What age group can suffer from scoliosis?

  • Most common scoliosis is Idiopathic Adolescent Scoliosis(AIS),which usually begins in children around 11-12 years and progresses during puberty.
  • children from 3-10 years (Juvenile Scoliosis)
  • babies (Infantile scoliosis). There can be a genetic link with scoliosis and it tends to be more common in females(90%) but important to remember it can still affect males.
  • adults of any age

When can scoliosis progress quickly?

Scoliosis progresses during growth so it’s important to treat early when detected in children. Children with AIS are generally otherwise healthy, but can develop pain but with curves that progress quickly.

It is vital to diagnose and treat scoliosis early for the best outcome.

Myth – adult scoliosis do not change or progress

A common misconception is that once a child is finished growing scoliosis will not progress further. Scoliosis progresses in adulthood, especially for females entering the stage of menopause.

Research has shown that in adults over 40 years scoliosis can progress from 1-2 degrees per year.

What causes scoliosis in adults?

Adult scoliosis can either be pre-existing from adolescences or it can be a result of spinal degeneration (Degenerative De Novo scoliosis).

For pre-exisiting scoliosis its important to monitor throughout the different stages of life.

How does scoliosis present in children?

  • There can be a change in shoulder height
  • One hip sits higher
  • Rib hump present when the child bends forward

How does Scoliosis present in adults?

  • Pain/ consistent discomfort
  • Poor posture
  • Noticeable differences in hip and shoulder heights

Treatment for scoliosis is very dependent on the severity of the curve, but treatment has improved greatly over the years that allow children and adults to maintain an active lifestyle while undergoing treatment.

Treatment for scoliosis in children and adolescents :

This is determined by 2 factors: The physical maturity of the patient and the severity of the curve. The skeletal age of the child is actually more important than the calendar age, the more growing left the greater potential for progression.

  • Curves 10-20 degrees conservative rehab exercises and home care with an orthotic called a Scoliroll.
  • Curves >20 a dynamic brace is recommended, specific rehab exercises.
  • > 45 conservative treatment becomes more difficult. Surgery can be an option in very severe cases that won’t longer respond to conservative treatment or bracing.

Treatment for Adult Scoliosis:

– Scoliroll for home care treatment

  • Adult dynamic bracing: the goal of this brace is to use elastic straps to help teach patients body to correct abnormal posture. There are different ways this brace can be incorporated into your lifestyle.
  • Rigid braces for severe cases
  • Surgery can be a last resort option for adults when the traditional and conservative approaches have failed or the spine is too unstable. It is more complicated and risky and is not a guarantee of pain relief.

How we help at Errol Street Chiropractic

As chiropractors, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Britt assess patients in the practice who may suspect they have scoliosis, especially young children and adults. We refer more severe cases to Scolicare and work to support them during this time with spinal alignment care.

If a patient requires conservative scoliosis treatment we use:

  • Spinal joint mobilisation (adjustments) to improve movement
  • Scoliroll an orthotic
  • Denneroll traction to help with flexibility in the curve

With adults are goal is to improve flexibility of the spine and minimise progression. With growing children we hope to improve the spinal alignment.

If  you would more information to answer ‘How do I know if I have a Scoliosis?’ then gives us a call on 9329 1118.

If you haven’t checked in with your low back mobility then CLICK HERE to check out how you can do that.  Find out how well your hips move then  CLICK HERE.

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Lisa, director