Scoliosis is a condition where the spine twists and curves to the side. It affects patients of all ages. Treatment for scoliosis depends on the severity of the curvature, and is aimed at relieving pain and improving posture. Many scoliosis patients are able to live normal lives, especially if their condition is detected early.

What Is Scoliosis?

There are several types of scoliosis.

 

Idiopathic scoliosis
Has no known cause. In about 80% of cases, no exact reason is discovered for the curved spine.

 

Congenital scoliosis
Develops in the womb before birth as problems in the vertebrae cause the spine to curve. Can be a result of vertebrae failing to divide properly. A rare condition.

 

Neuromuscular scoliosis
Caused by disorders like spina bifida, cerebral palsy, or injury to the spinal cord. Can damage the muscles, decreasing support for the spine and causing back curvature.


Degenerative scoliosis
Develops in the lower back as spine degeneration with age. Affects adults.

What Are The Symptoms of Scoliosis?

Scoliosis may present differently across different sufferers of the condition. Each and every single case of scoliosis depends on a variety of factors, and so must be treated differently. However, these symptoms are general indicators of a scoliotic spine: 

 

  • Uneven shoulders

  • One shoulder blade that is more prominent than the other

  • One hip higher than the other

  • One side of the rib cage jutting forward

  • Uneven waist

  • Prominence on one side of the back when leaning forward

What Causes Scoliosis?

Scoliosis has a tendency to run in families, and is often detected in adolescents aged 10 to 15. It is important for parents to screen their children, ensuring early detection, management, and treatment alike. If the diagnosis is made before the child has had a growth spurt, the practitioner will be able to provide a treatment plan that prevents further curving of the spine. Progressive curves are more likely to affect girls compared to boys.

When Should I Screen My Child For Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is often detected in adolescents aged 10 to 15. It is important for parents to screen their children, ensuring early detection, management, and treatment alike. It is best to start as early as age 8, especially for girls. If the diagnosis is made before the child has had a growth spurt, the practitioner will be able to provide a treatment plan that prevents further curving and deterioration of the spine and condition.

 

Idiopathic scoliosis is commonly discovered during a child’s growth spurt. Girls should be screened twice from ages 8 to 12, while boys should be screened once from ages 11 to 13. The presence of a curved spine may not be obvious until it is too late, so early screening and detection is very important!

What Can I Do If I Have Scoliosis?

One option for scoliosis patients is scoliosis specific exercises, which prevent the illness from worsening. This in turn helps to save costs and avoid the trauma of surgery. Depending on the patient’s age range, degree of curvature, and bone maturity, bracing may be included in the treatment. Other benefits of the treatment include:

 

  • Reduction of Cobb’s angle (pre skeletal maturity)

  • Halting of curve progression

  • Spinal derotation

  • Improved core stability, balance, strength, and symmetry

  • Improved postural appearance

  • Improved vital capacity (lung function and breathing)

  • Reduction and elimination of pain if present

  • Improved overall movement patterns and function

  • Improved self-management and understanding of the spine

  • Improved overall aesthetic of the spine and body

What Is Scoliosis Bracing?

Spines afflicted by scoliosis curve and twist to the side. A 3-dimensional rigid brace exerts pressure where needed to straighten and unwind the curve. It uses pressure zones and expansion areas to positively influence the spine in three dimensions. It also has open areas that allow the body to expand during breathing and exercise.

 

Children who undergo scoliosis bracing often also do special types of scoliosis specific exercises to stop their degree of curvature from worsening. The brace aligns the bones in the spine, while a physiotherapist helps to train and strengthen the muscles. Together, these treatments can improve a child’s posture. Typically, the brace must be worn twenty two hours a day.

 

  • Reduction of Cobb’s angle (pre-skeletal maturity)

  • Halting and prevention of curve progression

  • Spinal derotation

  • Improved postural appearance

  • Improved self-management and understanding of the spine

  • Improved overall aesthetic of the spine and body