Scoliosis is a relatively common musculoskeletal condition affecting the lower back, that is usually diagnosed in childhood. More than three million people are diagnosed with scoliosis in the United States each year, and the large majority of these are children. However, people of all ages may have or develop scoliosis.
Scoliosis treatment is usually something that is prescribed or determined by a physician, a chiropractor, a physical therapist, or another health professional, or oftentimes all of these in combination. Having a supportive health care team is the single most important aspect of treating scoliosis in any individual.
What Is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis, by its technical and medical definition, is a lateral curvature of the spine. While a typical spine, when looked at from the back, is generally straight, in a person with scoliosis there will be a curve to the left or the right which is oftentimes noticeable even to the naked eye.
Usually, scoliosis will be diagnosed by physical exam, where it is noticeable to the naked eye. However, you may also need to have an X-ray, CT scan, or other diagnostic imaging to help determine its full extent and further treatment options.
It is an unfortunate reality that scoliosis can be an extremely painful condition for some people. While most people who live with scoliosis are generally pain-free, the pain in some cases can be severe and debilitating, preventing an individual from playing sports or other activities that they would otherwise like to enjoy.
Any scoliosis management or treatment plan, then, must have pain management as a central consideration of intervention. For children and young people with scoliosis, keeping their pain under control or eliminating it entirely is the most important thing that can be done to ensure that they enjoy a happy, play-filled childhood.
Scoliosis treatment has historically consisted of putting children affected by it into a back brace, often for an extended period of time. Though this is still a common treatment modality, there are other methods that are equally efficacious that are also somewhat less cumbersome for the poor boy or girl affected by it.
Surgery is another treatment option, though this comes with significant risks to the individual and may not be desired depending on factors relevant to the individual case. These risks include infection, a poor reaction to the medications used to induce anesthesia, or damage to the spine or spinal cord as a result of manipulation during surgery.
Perhaps the treatment with the best efficacy and safety profile is chiropractic treatment. A qualified chiropractor can relieve the pain associated with scoliosis by providing manual manipulation of the bones of the spine. This reduces subluxations of the spinal bones and improves innervation of the entire body, enhancing well-being.