What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a condition where the spine bends sideways and twists abnormally.

What is Scoliosis?

Most people with a mild case of scoliosis may never realise they have the condition and it can often go undetected. It is after the curving worsens and symptoms start to appear that people consider visiting the doctor or therapist.

Scoliosis can be categorised by cause into two:

  • Structural Scoliosis Where The Curve Of The Spine Is Rigid And Cannot Be Reversed. This Type Is Caused By Things Such As Birth Defects, Cerebral Palsy, Tumours, And Genetic Conditions Such As Marfan’s Syndrome.
  • Non-Structural Scoliosis Where The Spine Functions Normally But Looks Curved. This Can Be Due To Any Number Of Reasons, Including Muscles Spasms, One Leg Being Longer Than The Other Or Inflammations In The Body Such As Appendicitis. Managing These Reasons Should Reverse Scoliosis.

Symptoms

Majority of symptoms are experienced mostly by those with moderate or severe scoliosis. These include:

  • Curving of the spine
  • Pain
  • Unusual walking
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Reduced movement of the spine
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Low self-esteem

Diagnosing Scoliosis

Scoliosis is usually first detected by a GP or pediatrician during a routine checkup, or perhaps a parent or teacher notices and raises concerns. Initially, a doctor will screen and rule-out other conditions before requesting an x-ray to confirm abnormal curvature and spinal rotation.

Treatment

Scoliosis is usually first detected by a GP or pediatrician during a routine checkup, or perhaps a parent or teacher notices and raises concerns. Initially, a doctor will screen and rule-out other conditions before requesting an x-ray to confirm abnormal curvature and spinal rotation.

A back brace is usually worn, during childhood or adolescence, throughout the day and night to provide support for the spine until the body matures.

Other treatments include surgery.

Prevention

Since in many cases the cause is unknown, it is difficult to determine how to prevent scoliosis. However, steps can be taken to slow or even stop the condition from worsening. Early detection and treatment mean other symptoms can be avoided.

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