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Scoliosis

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine.  A S-shape is generally called scoliosis, a hump is called kyphosis, and a swayback is called hyperlordosis. Scoliosis runs in families, but doctors often don’t know the cause. More females than males have severe scoliosis. Adult scoliosis may be a worsening of a condition that began in childhood, but wasn’t diagnosed or treated. In other cases, scoliosis may result from a degenerative joint condition in the spine, like osteoporosis where the bones soften and allow the vertebrae to bend. Often overlooked, leg-length discrepancy, a condition where one leg is shorter than the other, causes incorrect curvatures of the spine.  If not treated properly, severe back pain, deformity, and difficulty breathing can develop.

Scoliosis Symptoms

Scoliosis symptoms can often be viewed by looking at your child from behind.  One hip or shoulder may look higher, one shoulder blade may stick out more than the other, or the head may not look centered over the body. In many cases, scoliosis does not cause pain until it progresses to a more severe case.  Early detection and scoliosis treatment is key to avoiding painful scoliosis that interferes with a child’s play or sporting activities.

Kyphosis

Poor posture, in combination with bone changes that sometimes come with aging, can result in the appearance of a hump on the back. The medical term for the rounding of the back is kyphosis. In older adults, kyphosis associated with osteoporosis is typically found in the vertebrae of the thoracic spine, the portion that supports the shoulders, arms and trunk. Multiple compression fractures in the vertebrae can reduce a person’s height and also curve the spine. The result is what looks like a hump on the back. Stooped posture due to compression fractures adds to pressure along the spine, which creates the potential for more compression fractures.

Kyphosis Symptoms

  • Round back appearance
  • Mild back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Tenderness and stiffness in the back
  • Difficulty breathing (in severe cases)

Hyperlordosis

Hyperlordosis is the exaggeration of the lordotic curve, which is often called swayback. This curvature with excessive arching tends to make the buttocks appear more prominent. A person with marked lordosis, when laid on his back on a hard surface, will have a space beneath his lower back and the surface.

Hyperlordosis Symptoms

Lordosis often causes no symptoms, but it may be associated with increased strain on the lower back. This may cause low back pain.

Chiropractic Treatment for Scoliosis

In order to correct scoliosis, the normal cervical and lumbar curves must first be re-established.  Which is why bracing and surgery ultimately fail in so many cases, as these approaches do not address the full spine.  Once accomplished, adverse tension on the spinal cord is reduced and allows for correction in the lateral dimension. Spinal fusion surgery for scoliosis is very painful, expensive and alters the lifestyle of the patient forever.  Surgery should be considered the last alternative in treating scoliosis, and reserved for severe cases.  Research and experience have proven chiropractic care is effective in stabilization and reduction of scoliosis for most mild and moderate cases.

Dr. Randy Winchell, Orange County chiropractor in Mission Viejo, has treated hundreds of scoliosis patients with great success in the reduction or elimination of symptoms and the physical correction of spinal curvatures.  Make an appointment today to see if your scoliosis is a good case for painless and affordable chiropractic treatment.