Can Scoliosis be Fixed? – Dr. Levi

Can Scoliosis be Fixed?

Managing Scoliosis

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis , in the simplest of terms, is a curvature of the spine. Instead of the spine appearing straight as in the first illustration above, it has an S or C shape.

Symptoms of Scoliosis

Scoliosis can present in varied ways depending on the severity and progression of the spine’s curvature. Mild cases may not cause any noticeable symptoms, while more severe cases can lead to visible changes in the body’s alignment such as uneven shoulders, waist asymmetry or a tilted rib cage. Due to this misalignment, many people with scoliosis experience back pain, muscle strain and restricted mobility. In extreme cases scoliosis can cause diminishing lung capacity, pressure on the heart and limits on physical activities.

Types of Scoliosis

Scoliosis is categorized by the underlying causes or factors contributing to the development of this spinal disorder. In classifying scoliosis this way, healthcare professionals can better understand the nature and symptoms, predict its progress and determine the correct treatment plan. The most common types are:

1. Idiopathic scoliosis

This is the most common type of scoliosis. The word idiopathic means that the cause is unknown. 80% of all scoliosis cases are adolescent idiopathic scoliosis which appears right around the growth spurts of puberty.

2. Congenital scoliosis

This condition is present at birth and is the result of spinal abnormalities that form during fetal development.

3. Neuromuscular scoliosis

This type of scoliosis is the result of a neuromuscular condition such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy or a spinal cord injury that affects muscle control or nerve function.

4. Syndromic scoliosis

Syndromic scoliosis is brought about by a genetic or chromosomal disorder such as Marfan syndrome, Ehler-Danlos syndrome or Down syndrome.

5. Degenerative scoliosis

This type primarily affects older adults and is caused by degenerative changes in the spine like disc degeneration, osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis.

Postural scoliosis

Also known as functional scoliosis, postural scoliosis is a usually-reversible, non-structural variant of scoliosis. It is usually caused by poor posture or muscle imbalance. When one side of the muscles surrounding the spine is stronger than the other, the spine can curve to one side leading to the appearance of scoliosis.

Can Scoliosis be Fixed?

Whether this spinal disorder can be corrected goes back to the different types of scoliosis. In the case of structural scoliosis (numbers 1-5 above), treatment is normally focused on preventing the progression of the curvature, managing symptoms and improving quality of life. Postural scoliosis on the other hand can be corrected and usually reversed by improving musculoskeletal imbalances and posture.

Scoliosis Non-Surgical Treatment Options

There are a variety of treatment options available to someone with scoliosis before thinking about surgery.

1. Chiropractic, physiotherapy and exercise

The goal of chiropractic treatment is to mobilize involved joints that have been restricted. Physiotherapy, stretches and strengthening exercises are done to reduce pain and improve muscle, tendons, ligament and nerve function. All together they improve posture, balance and increase spinal-body stability.

2. Orthotic and bracing

Braces are usually recommended for younger patients who are still growing and are only done when necessary. The brace supports the spine to prevent further progression of the curvature while they grow.

3. Electrical stimulation

These techniques, such as neuromuscular electrical stimulation, aim to strengthen the muscles around the spine and improve muscle balance.

4. Pain management

If scoliosis causes pain, treatment options such as medication, hot or cold therapy and other techniques like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy.

5. Chiropractic care

Scoliosis patients in the care of a chiropractor see significant results in preventing progression and managing symptoms in the case of structural scoliosis and a complete reversal of postural scoliosis. A chiropractor will implement spinal adjustments, mobilizations, soft tissue therapies and exercises to improve posture and muscle imbalances. They may also recommend lifestyle modifications and ergonomic adjustments to support optimal spine health.

Scoliosis Treatment in Maryland

Levi Chiropractic has been managing or correcting scoliosis for patients for over 25 years. Whether chiropractic is a piece of your treatment plan or the solution you’ve been looking for, we’d be honored to care for you.