Scoliosis: What you need to know

Scoliosis: What you need to know!

When we look at someone from the back, ideally the spine should be nice and straight. In some cases there is a lateral or side bend in the spine in the shape of an ‘S’; this is commonly referred to as scoliosis. Scoliosis is a condition that we regularly screen for at Dee Why Chiropractic Care.

What are the signs of a scoliosis that can be seen with the naked eye?

  • One shoulder is higher than the other
  • There is a more pronounced winging of a shoulder blade that the other
  • Rib cage higher on one side
  • One hip appears higher than the other
  • Tilt of the body to one side
  • The hips appear uneven

What are the causes of scoliosis?

There are multiple types of scoliosis and the cause of them is largely unknown. There are some genetic risk factors and conditions such as cerebral palsy that can cause scoliosis but most of the time the scoliosis is idiopathic, which means that the cause is unknown. Idiopathic scoliosis is mainly seen in children and adolescents.

Scoliosis in adults

Degenerative scoliosis is seen in adults and is mainly due to age, as the spinal joints start to deteriorate over time and a lateral curve in the spine develops. A history of spinal trauma or osteoporosis in the elderly may lead to the development of a degenerative scoliosis. People with degenerative scoliosis typically suffer from back pain and stiffness, as there is increased pressure on the nerves, muscles and spinal joints. We regularly see these patients at Dee Why Chiropractic Care complaining of these symptoms due to the development of this curve. We use a combination of muscle release techniques, chiropractic adjustments and the prescription of home exercises to take pressure off the structures under increased load to decrease the pain and stiffness.

It is important for children to be screened for scoliosis

If you are a parent or have young family members it is important to observe if they are showing any signs of a scoliosis. Scoliosis often develops rapidly in preadolescence and adolescence due to the growth spurt. This condition is usually painless so it is important to keep an eye out for these symptoms before the curve progresses. There is no way to prevent a scoliosis from developing but the best way to prevent a scoliosis from worsening is early detection and treatment. It is very important to detect scoliosis early as they can cause serious health issues and may require surgical intervention.

Scoliosis is more common in girls than it is in boys and it is advised they are first checked around 10-12 years old. Boys should be first checked around the age of 11-13. Due to the serious consequences of scoliosis, at Dee Why Chiropractic Care we offer complimentary screening for scoliosis for individuals under the age of 18.

Scoliosis bracing

We screen for scoliosis using specific tests, scoliometers and analysing posture. If there are signs of scoliosis we will refer for X-ray imaging for further analysis.If we find that the scoliosis is advanced to a point where bracing will be needed we will refer out to an excellent facility based in Sydney. They make custom braces that can be hidden under clothes unlike the bulky ones of the past. They have proven in recent studies to be very effective in treating the scoliosis in conjunction with physical therapy. For any further information on the bracing of scoliosis please visit the Scolicare website

For mild cases of scoliosis and the degenerative type scoliosis found in adults, chiropractic care has been shown to provide pain relief, improve movement and help with posture and strength.

Feel free to contact Dee Why Chiropractic Care if you have any further questions regarding scoliosis or if you would like to book in a child/adolescent for a complementary scoliosis screen.