Every back has its natural curves. When you look at the body from the side there is a natural curve at the neck, mid back and low back. When looking from behind the spine should be straight, if there is a curve to either side, a scoliosis present. Scoliosis presents as an ‘S’ or ‘C’ shaped curve instead of a straight spine.

Scoliosis can affect children and adults but is more serious in kids as the curve can increase as they grow. Scoliosis in adults is usually due to spinal curve development as a child or from more recent spinal degeneration and advanced aging. A mild scoliosis is said to occur in 50% of the population and in most cases pain free, while in more severe cases the spine and ribs can rotate causing symptoms and discomfort. Severe scoliosis cases can cause back pain, difficulty breathing and possible heart problems and may require bracing or surgery.

Signs & Symptoms

Usually a curve of the spine develops without being noticed. However, as the scoliosis progresses some signs do appear. Symptoms may include:

  • Uneven shoulders
  • Lower back pain
  • Prominent shoulder blade or shoulder blades
  • Uneven waist
  • One hip elevated compared to the opposite side
  • Leaning to one side
  • In rare serious cases, heart and lung problems

Early detection of scoliosis is important to prevent the curve from progressing. If you do show signs of scoliosis, your chiropractor can provide a variety of techniques to help your condition, including spinal adjustments to increase movement and function, and advice on posture and exercise to help prevent further increase in the problem.

Types of scoliosis:

  • Infantile – a rare curve that develops before the age of 2 – 9 out of 10 times will spontaneously resolve.
  • Juvenile – another rare type that usually presents between ages 2 to 10.
  • Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS)
    • “idiopathic” means of unknown origin.
    • This is the most common type that presents in early adolescent years.
    • Girls are affected more then boys.
    • When detected and treated early can avoid further progression.
  • Congenital – develops form birth and is linked with abnormalities of the heart/kidney.
  • Neuromuscular – linked with disorders of the nervous system

As scoliosis most commonly presents between the ages of 8 and 15, Neurohealth is conducting a community program to undergo Spinal Screenings at local primary schools. The purpose of this is to educate students, parents and teachers about the warning signs of scoliosis and talk about the benefits of early detection.

During the 1st term of 2013, we will be visiting schools to assess year 6 students who are willing to participate. This will involve assessing the spine and posture at the school, and if any signs of scoliosis are present the parents of the child will be notified with examination findings and recommendations of what to do.

If you would like more information or would like to book an appointment at Neurohealth Chiropractic – please call the clinic on 9905 9099 or email us admin@neurohealthchiro.com.au or fill in the contact form from our website www.neurohealthchiro.com.au

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This article is written by Dr. Steven Cannon, Chiropractor – Neurohealth Chiropractic