Scoliosis is a condition where instead of the spine being straight front on, its curved sideways. It can look like a C or an S, and can also cause other structural changes, such as unlevel shoulders, twisted ribcage, a ‘rib hump’, rotated shoulders and other postural changes.
The most common type of scoliosis is ídiopathic scoliosis’, which affects approximately 3% of the Australian population. Scoliosis is more common in females than males, and is usually first seen after the age of 11 and 12.
The management of scoliosis depends entirely on how bad it is, and the angles measured on X-rays and other scans.
Conservative care such as chiropractic can help to manage in the more mild cases of scoliosis, but if there is too much of a curve, then further must be done, such as bracing, and in the more extreme cases, surgery.
A chiropractors goal is to manage and help to prevent/reduce the scoliosis and to avoid surgery, and even bracing if it’s not necessary.
How is scoliosis detected and diagnosed?
The most common test used to diagnose and to look for scoliosis is the Adam’s test. In the Adam’s test, the person stands straight up, and leans forward, and tries to touch their toes. The person conducting the test stands behind the persons, and looks at their back to see if there is a curve in the spine, or if the ribs appear to be of different heights. This tests works by accentuating the curve in the person’s back, and highlighting any problem areas in the spine
Symptoms that scoliosis can cause:
Reduced range of motion
Techniques chiropractors use to help with scoliosis
What are the long term effects of having scoliosis?
Because scoliosis causes a lateral curve in the spine, this can place more pressure through the discs between the bones, and can lead to them wearing down faster. This can lead to worse pain, tension and dysfunction, but also wear and tear and arthritis. An analogy of this is imagining a car with wonky suspension- This would make some of the car tyres wear down faster than a brand new car! Chiropractors are in a great position to assess for the early onset of scoliosis, because they:
Are highly trained in tests for screening for it
Conduct comprehensive assessments of people’s spines
Can manage and sometimes rrect scoliosis,
Have the option to refer out for imaging such as X-rays
Can also refer out for a second opinion, or for further management such as surgery
To see if one of our chiropractors in Geelong can assist you with scoliosis, you can book online by clicking HERE.
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