Scoliosis is a sideways or lateral curvature of the spine that causes stiffness and pain. It is called an idiopathic disease because the cause of it is unknown.

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Did you Know?

  • – Scoliosis mostly begins in childhood and is more common in females.
  • – Nearly two percent of the population is afflicted.
  • – If it is detected early, treatment may prevent worsening over time.
  • – Scoliosis is derived from a Greek term that means curvature.


scol 2Causes

People with scoliosis have a sideways curve in their spine that makes an “S” or “C” shape. The vertebrae can rotate at the thoracic level of the spine, causing this curve that results in a hump near the rib cage. Usually this curve makes the waist or shoulders uneven. And unlike the normal curvature of the spine, adjusting your posture will not correct the problem.

Osteoporosis & Scoliosis

In some instances, degenerative diseases of the spine can cause scoliosis. Osteoporosis occurs when bones soften and usually occurs in older people. This softening can cause the vertebrae to bend and shape the curve causing scoliosis or kyphosis (round back). If not treated properly, symptoms that include severe back pain, deformity, and difficulty breathing can be arise.

Testing and Treatment for Scoliosis

In addition to a complete history and examination, x-rays may be necessary if there is suspicion of a scoliosis. X-rays are help to determine the severity of the curvature.  The degree of a curvature and age of the patient are key aspects in determining future medical interventions for the patient.

Adam’s Forward Bending Test: Most exams for scoliosis include the Adam’s Forward Bending Test, which has been adopted by many schools, and is usually test for in physical education classes. This test requires the person to bend at the waist as someone views the spinal alignment. We will measure the length of the legs to determine unevenness. We also perform a range of motion test that measures the degree to which the patient has mobility at the waist. If needed, we will refer you to a specialist for further scoliosis treatment.

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Brace & Surgery: An orthopedic brace that does not limit physical activity can be used to prevent the curve from worsening. Moist heat will help alleviate some pain. In extreme cases, surgery may be required but only after continuous observation has shown that a brace is not helping. Spinal fusion and instrumentation is a specialized surgery for people with scoliosis; rods and hooks are inserted to help align the spine and prevent further curving.

Chiropractic Appointments: Regular visits to observe the progression of scoliosis are an integral part of living a full and happy life.

Scoliosis can be treated in various ways to help alleviate pain and restore normal functionality. Regardless of the treatment used, chiropractic care with exercise may be added to scoliosis treatment to increase muscle strength and mobility. If you have any questions about your physical limitations, please contact us.

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