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Chiropractic and Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves sideways which is not normal.  The spine is normally s-shaped when looked at from the side, but when looking from behind the spine should be straight.  When a patient has scoliosis, the curvature from behind is often shaped like the letter “S” or “C” and the spine can also be twisted.  If you are curious, our doctor can illustrate this curvature in the office for you.

Scoliosis frequently starts in early childhood, and can go unnoticed as it rarely causes problems in these early years.  Many parents will take their kids to the dentist once every 6 months for a checkup, without realizing it is just as important to take their kids to a chiropractor once per year for a spinal screening.  Early detection is the key to preventing further damage an pain as a result of scoliosis. 

Scoliosis can be caused by some of the following underlying factors, however a large percentage of cases are idiopathic (which means there is no known underlying cause)

Some causes include:

  • Back pain
  • Muscle spasm
  • Differing leg lengths
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Appendicitis

Chiropractic treatment can help give relief for the pain caused by scoliosis, helping a child (or adult) to stay active, which is important for general health and well-being.  Regular chiropractic care following a diagnosis of scoliosis will prevent the curvature from worsening and in some cases can correct the curvature as well --as long as the curve is below 50 degrees and chiropractic care is continuously sought. This care can prevent the need for spinal surgery.

Adults who had scoliosis as children are more likely to have chronic back pain than people in the general population.  Therefore, the most important thing is to detect scoliosis quickly, and then treat it appropriately.  Additionally, scoliosis is hereditary - adult patients with chronic back pain as a result of childhood scoliosis often have children with scoliosis as well.  We recommend to all of our patients with chronic back pain that they bring their children in for a complimentary scoliosis screening. 

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