One of the conditions we see every day at Sunnyside Wellness & Chiropractic Center for Fresno and Clovis is scoliosis. Patients young and old come to us for back pain and scoliosis pain management and to enjoy all the benefits of chiropractor care. Most people who are newly diagnosed with scoliosis only have a vague idea what the condition is all about, so we here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that places it out of alignment from side to side. Normally our reflexes keep our spine straight when we walk. In scoliosis, however, the spine is more than 10 degrees out of alignment from the vertical center of the back. Scoliosis is often accompanied by kyphosis (abnormal curvature backward) or lordosis (abnormal curvature forward).
What causes scoliosis?
Scoliosis may be hereditary. Or it may result from injury. "Functional" scoliosis is caused by differing lengths of the two legs, muscle spasms, or a problem with posture. In very rare cases, scoliosis is caused by tumors or brain injury. The majority of cases of scoliosis, however, are "idiopathic," meaning we don't know what causes them.
What are the symptoms of scoliosis?
Scoliosis is not usually detectable by the naked eye unless the curvature is greater than 20 degrees. In about four out of five cases of scoliosis, the curvature of the spine is less than 20 degrees. However, in teenagers, the curvature of the spine in scoliosis can worsen suddenly, over just a few months, to cause pain and limiting activity. In severe cases, the curvature of the spine can interfere with heart and lung function.
What can chiropractic care do for scoliosis?
Your chiropractor in Fresno and Clovis can help you keep tabs on scoliosis. There are many young people for whom the curvature of the spine never becomes severe and eventually corrects itself. X-rays of the spine and evaluation of the humping of the rib cage with an instrument called a Scoliometer every three or four months will give advanced warning of serious changes. The chiropractor will often also take x-rays of the wrist to measure the rate at which the skeleton is maturing, and whether the young person is reaching the point that changes in the curvature of the spine may become permanent.
If the curvature of the spine is 25 degrees or more, then the chiropractor will help with scoliosis pain management. This can be spinal manipulation, but it can also be spinal immobilization with a brace. Your chiropractor in Fresno and Clovis can also help you with electrical muscle stimulation and exercises to correct the curve.
Call Sunnyside Wellness & Chiropractic Center for back pain and scoliosis pain management today!
The only way to know for sure that scoliosis won't cause serious complications and pain is to monitor it to make sure any needed treatment is done early. Call Sunnyside Wellness & Chiropractic Center in Fresno today at (559) 454-1000!