Scoliosis is a spinal condition that occurs in both children and adults. It is denoted by irregular curvature in the spine that causes developmental issues and even chronic pain. A chiropractor can help you straighten your spine and mitigate the effects of scoliosis through regular treatments. These treatments can help the chiropractor pinpoint the source of the problem and address it more effectively.
What Is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis refers to a musculoskeletal disorder resulting from abnormal curvature of the backbone. The onset of scoliosis can be unnoticeable, but patients can start experiencing pain or posture problems that impact their quality of life. Scoliosis can cause pain in the lower back area, affecting flexibility and reducing the range of motion since each vertebra tilts to form the curvature.
Not all scoliosis cases are the same; the spine can curve in the following ways:
- Dextroscoliosis: This is the most common curve type in scoliosis patients. Dextroscoliosis forms a spinal curve that leans more to the right side. The curve mainly affects the upper to middle areas of your back or thoracic spine.
- Levoscoliosis: In this case, the spinal discs tilt to form a single curve, like a C, to the left. The curve often starts at the lower back area and strongly leans to the left.
- Dual Curve: The spine forms two curves going in either direction to form an S.
Common Causes of Scoliosis
Causes of scoliosis differ depending on the individual and their specific scoliosis type. Here are some common scoliosis types and their respective causes:
- Congenital scoliosis – Often occurs as a result of a congenital disability. The defect occurs when the child’s vertebrae do not develop normally during pregnancy.
- Degenerative scoliosis – This condition is also called adult-onset scoliosis and often occurs with age. You can also develop degenerative scoliosis from traumatic injuries, including major back surgery, accidents or falls, and bone thinning, which causes collapse. The spinal asymmetry and bone degeneration occur slowly in the patient’s lifetime, eventually resulting in the problem.
- Idiopathic scoliosis – This is the most common occurring scoliosis type among patients, but it has no definitive cause. The spinal curvature issue may develop from hereditary issues, hormonal problems, or abnormal muscle and bone growth.
- Neuromuscular scoliosis – Patients with this scoliosis type experience it from muscular or nervous system disorders. Some disorders that cause neuromuscular scoliosis include spinal Bifida, spinal cord injury, and cerebral palsy.
If left untreated, scoliosis can affect normal body functionality; the deformity can affect the performance of organs like the lungs and digestive system. Patients can also experience muscle spasms, trigger points, and chronic back pain. Chiropractic treatments can help offset the pain caused by scoliosis and offer your body better support. Here are some methods that a chiropractor uses to treat scoliosis:
A chiropractor can assess your condition first to know the best treatment approach to use. They first check for apparent signs, including:
- Uneven waistline
- One shoulder is higher than the other
- One shoulder blade sticks out more than the other
Practitioners cannot rely on their eyes to administer treatment, so they will likely order an X-ray. The X-ray results will help them determine the type of scoliosis and an appropriate treatment approach.
Recentering the Head
Unlike traditional chiropractic treatments, your expert must treat scoliosis with targeted methods. Practitioners focus on eliminating the spinal disc tilt to restore the spine to a straight line.
Scoliosis-specific chiropractic adjustments avoid neck twisting since it can ruin the results. Experts use instrument adjustment for precision when adjusting the neck in relation to other joints.
The practitioner will start by recentering the head. They do this while the patient sits, and the instrument helps adjust the neck joints and bones using gentle force with precision. These forces work together to move the neck back into an ideal position; the instrument holds it there to help stretch the facets.
After recentering the head, the practitioner can try a combination of flexion-distraction and spinal adjustments. Such adjustments stretch out the spinal facets to improve flexibility and range of motion. Your practitioner can also issue massages to deal with the pain and release tension in muscles that have been tightened or stretched by scoliosis.
Chiropractic exercises can help extend the range of motion and gradually correct the spinal curvature. Your chiropractic expert may recommend strength training or balance training. Such exercises condition the patient’s balance and coordination to ensure they can comfortably walk. The practitioner may extend the patient’s exercise range to fit their progress in recovery.
A chiropractor may also recommend using a scoliosis traction chair, which uses vibrations to help uncoil nerves within your spinal column. The chair is also useful for elongating the spine to fit the discs properly and correct the tilt.
Visit a Chiropractor to Treat Scoliosis
Scoliosis can significantly affect your quality of life, so you should seek treatment for the condition. Chiropractic care experts have a range of treatments to help correct your spinal alignment and increase your range of motion. Your chiropractor will offer non-invasive, drug-free treatment to help alleviate the symptoms of scoliosis.