Does your child seem to lean to one side? Are there often complaints of growing pains? These may be scoliosis symptoms.
We all have natural curves in our spines. Scoliosis - a medical term, taken from the Greek word meaning “curvature”, causes the spine to curve in the wrong direction. It may lead to sideways curves, which are very different than the normal curves of the spine. Additional scoliosis symptoms can include:
An uneven rib cage.
Rib protrusion on one side of the spine.
One hip sticks up higher than the other hip.
When standing, there is a difference in shoulder height.
Fatigue, back pain and/or leg pain may be experienced.
One arm may hang lower than the other, due to a tilt in the upper body.
Most people think of scoliosis as a children's condition, however, adults have it too. In the United States, scoliosis affects as many as 5 - 7 million people. The risk factor increases by twenty percent if a family member has scoliosis. Additionally, girls are affected more than boys (3.6:1 ratio).
There are several types of scoliosis. According to recent statistics, eighty percent of all scoliosis are idiopathic, meaning occurring without a known cause. Other types of scoliosis include:
Congenital Scoliosis, which is present at birth and the result of malformation.
Neuromuscular Scoliosis, in which the spine usually takes on a long, C-shaped curve due to a very weak trunk that is unable to support the body (cerebral palsy, spina bifida or muscular dystrophy).
Adult or Degenerative Scoliosis often occurs because the disease went unnoticed or was not treated during childhood. Osteoporosis, disc degeneration and/or a spinal compression fracture can contribute to the development of adult scoliosis.
Functional Scoliosis is generally caused by leg length inequality (one leg is shorter than the other), pelvic unleveling, poor posture, muscle spasms or disc herniation.
Early detection and scoliosis treatment are vital to minimize the affects of scoliosis and provide children with healthcare options that are less invasive, less expensive and less painful - both physically and emotionally. It may also be the best way to prevent curve progression.
If your child has not had a scoliosis screening or evaluation… call and schedule one today! At Kessel Wellness Center, a thorough history and physical examination, including a postural analysis is conducted. If a scoliotic curvature is detected, then further evaluation may be recommended. Additionally, the child's age, onset of puberty or menarche (girls) will help to establish the number of years remaining until adulthood is reached - at which time, the curve progression may end.
If scoliosis is left untreated, it may progress - leaving the spine abnormally curved, stiff and rigid at times. Therefore, if scoliosis treatment is necessitated, it becomes more difficult and the risk of some complications may increase, as time goes by.
Once testing and evaluations are completed, and all factors are considered - child's age, remaining growth potential, curve pattern and magnitude, anticipated rate of progression and appearance, a customized scoliosis treatment program can be created. Treatment options offered include:
Spinal adjustments to help improve the function and structure of the spine.
Specific exercises for scoliosis are utilized to help create a stronger more stable spine.
Custom-made stabilizing orthotics to reduce pronation and help correct the “short” leg.
Therapeutic massage can help to increase circulation to the muscles, reduce the curve of the spine and alleviate discomfort.
Nutritional support - fuel for the body.
At Kessel Wellness Center, parents often consult with a member of our Healthcare Team shortly after the birth of their child and follow-up with regular spinal checkups.