You’re definitely starting to feel your age with more aches and pains, but your back has been particularly troublesome over the last several years. When you meet with a chiropractor, you assume they’ll adjust your back and send you on your way, but then they tell you some surprising news—you have scoliosis.
In middle school many years ago, your gym teacher looked at your spine to check for this condition. Isn’t scoliosis just a problem for children? Not at all! In fact, it is estimated that 60 percent of patients over the age of 60 have mild degenerative scoliosis. Below you’ll learn more about this condition, the four types of scoliosis in Richardson, and how your chiropractor can address this problem and enhance your quality of life, no matter your age.
Why Is Scoliosis Bad?
At first glance, a little curvature in the spine may not seem like a big deal, especially in mild cases. After all, most of the time, the person with scoliosis is still able to walk and has only a slightly different appearance. However, scoliosis can cause more problems than just aesthetic. Severe scoliosis causes the ribs to compress the lungs and heart, potentially leading to breathing problems or damage to vital organs. In most cases, scoliosis progresses over time, so it’s important to diagnose and treat it as early as possible.
Scoliosis in infants is the result of malformations of the vertebrae in utero. Occurring in 1 out of 10,000 newborns, congenital scoliosis can only be resolved with surgery and is fairly rare.
By far the most common type, idiopathic scoliosis has no known causes, although genetics may play a role. This type often manifests during early adolescence, which is why many middle and junior high schools check spinal alignment. When addressed while the patient is young, less invasive treatments (such as a brace and physiotherapy) may be able to correct the curvature of the spine.
In patients who are unable to walk because of neuromuscular conditions like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, scoliosis can become an issue. In fact, about 25 percent of patients with cerebral palsy develop scoliosis.
Also called adult scoliosis, this type develops over time as the joints in the spine start to degenerate, hence the name. If one side of the vertebrae deteriorates more quickly than the other, it can result in a curve. The pain can range from a dull ache in the lower back region to numbness or sharp pains in the buttocks or legs. In fact, many adults with degenerative scoliosis often have problems with sciatica.
Although children and adolescents are the most vulnerable population for scoliosis, it is important to keep a close eye on your spinal alignment, particularly as you age. By working with a chiropractor in Richardson on a regular basis, you can maintain healthy alignment to avoid discomfort and continue doing what you love for many years to come.
About the Author
At AlignRight Chiropractic, Dr. Z has been practicing for more than 20 years. He also has been trained in all four parts of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and NBCE Physical Rehabilitation certification. Every day, he is dedicated to helping patients find relief from their back pain and improve their quality of life. Do you think you or your child may have scoliosis? Contact our team today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Z.