Have you ever visited the school nurse who asks you to bend forward and then checks your spine? That’s a simple test for scoliosis. The spine has natural curves, but they’re more pronounced and different-shaped for people with scoliosis. Because of this, this test can catch some cases of scoliosis early.
In other words, people with scoliosis have an abnormal curve in their spine. Instead of a straight line, the spine may be S-shaped or C-shaped. In more severe cases, the spine can twist or rotate. For some patients, scoliosis is evident by looking at their spine. For others, it may require an x-ray to identify scoliosis.
What Causes Scoliosis?
Some people are born with scoliosis while for others it develops over time. Poor posture and carrying heavy items like a backpack can’t cause scoliosis, but lifestyle changes can help alleviate symptoms. Injuries rarely cause scoliosis, but it can be possible.
Those who develop scoliosis as an adult may have a healthy spine that eventually experiences age-related deterioration. This causes degenerative scoliosis, which tends to occur in the lower back. Sometimes it comes with spinal stenosis.
What Is the Impact of Scoliosis?
The National Scoliosis Foundation says scoliosis affects 2 to 3 percent of the population or 7 million people in the U.S. While it can affect females and males, females are eight times more likely to develop scoliosis to the point that it needs treatment. Fortunately, most people do not require treatment.
While there’s no cure, there are treatments to ease its side effects. The most common one is lower back pain. Scoliosis can also limit activity, cause numbness or tingling, reduce respiratory function, lean to one side, have uneven shoulders, waist, or hips, affect self-esteem, and trigger muscle weakness. The curvature of the spine also affects a person’s balance. When this happens, patients may adjust how they walk and stand.
The good news is that some of the treatment options for scoliosis don’t require surgery or invasive procedures. Only a small percentage may require reconstructive surgery. Another option for treating scoliosis is spinal fusion. The treatment plan depends on the individual’s case. Many factors come into play including age, severity and location of the curve, and the general health of the patient.
Have a question? Please contact us or call 214-823-2052. We have two conveniently located offices in Addison and Dallas serving patients in Dallas, Addison, Plano, Frisco, Garland, and other cities in the DFW metroplex.