Scoliosis is a lateral (toward the side) curvature in the normally straight vertical line of the spine. When viewed from the side, the spine should show a mild roundness in the upper back and shows a degree of swayback (inward curvature) in the lower back.
Scoliosis is tragic. It causes both physical pain and emotional suffering. This sideways bending of the spine shows up as abnormal posture and then finally, deformity. If allowed to advance, it can interfere with the lungs, heart and many other vital organs.
In the beginning, when easiest to correct, there are rarely any symptoms. However, an alert parent may notice that a high shoulder or low hip makes clothing fit poorly. Back and leg pains may develop but are often overlooked as merely “growing pains.” Neglect is the biggest danger.
When scoliosis occurs, the spine can curve in one of three ways:
- The spine curves to the side as a single curve to the left (shaped like the letter C), called levoscoliosis
- The spine curves to the side as a single curve to the right (shaped like a backwards letter C), called dextroscoliosis
- The spine has two curves (shaped like the letter S).
Bracing is the usual treatment choice for adolescents who have a spinal curve between 25 degrees to 40 degrees — particularly if their bones are still maturing and if they have at least 2 years of growth remaining.
The purpose of bracing is to halt progression of the curve. It may provide a temporary correction, but usually the curve will assume its original magnitude when bracing is eliminated.
If allowed to run its course, scoliosis can steadily worsen. Early detection is critical. Severe cases can involve surgery.
This procedure attaches steel rods to force the spine to straighten.
Exercise is the best way to strengthen and straighten the physical posture and will avoid curvature on one side. Even though yoga has been known in the past to cure a lot of physical ailments, it may not create magic in case of Scoliosis; but can definitely make the posture strong and give the muscles some balance.
Stretch Up and Reach Down
Stand with your back against a wall, both arms dangling freely at your side. Standing with your back against the wall to perform this exercise helps you avoid bending forward or backward. If the left side of your back is your tight side, lift up your left arm so that it’s pointing straight toward the ceiling. Reach up toward the ceiling with your left hand. At the same time, reach toward the floor with your right hand. You should feel a subtle shift in your spinal alignment with this stretch. Hold your stretch for five seconds, then relax. Repeat your stretch up and reach down exercise a total of 10 times, and perform your stretch two to three times per day.
Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your back against a wall, both arms dangling freely at your side. This is your starting position. If the left side of your back is your tight side, lift your left arm above your head and bend sideways to your right, away from your tight muscles. Put your right hand on your right hip to brace your movement, and apply gentle pressure into your right hip to augment your stretch. Reach over your head with your left arm as far as you’re capable of reaching. You should feel a gentle stretch in your tight, left-sided back muscles and in the muscles between your ribs. Hold your stretch for five seconds before slowly returning to your starting position. Repeat your side stretch exercise a total of 10 times, two to three times per day.
If you’re not sure which side of your back is tighter or which arm you should raise, schedule an appointment with chiropractor in the treatment of scoliosis to have your spine and back checked.
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Appointment & Care
Chiropractic care has helped many young women avoid the unhappy effects of scoliosis. The procedure is simple. First, a thorough examination helps detect scoliosis in its early stage. Then, corrective action can begin at once. Help them eliminate the need for braces or surgery, and ease the severity of this condition. Recommend a spinal exam to them. Change someone’s life!