Treating scoliosis – why chiropractors need to observe patients
The reason for scoliosis is often considered a mystery but anyone who suffers from this condition will have a noticeable curving of the spine in a sideways arc as it develops into a C-shape or it may progress into a double curve – resembling the shape of an S. The mid spine is the area most likely to be affected, but the lower part of the spine may also be impacted. Most sufferers of scoliosis are children aged between 10 and 15 years, and girls are more likely to develop this condition than boys.
For some individuals, the curvature of the spine will be connected to structural abnormalities; as an example, perhaps one leg is longer than the other, or there may be a disorder of the nervous system or musculature of the spine. When visiting a Chiropractor, the Adam’s test is utilized during the initial observation; the Chiropractor will ask the individual to bend forward as if to touch their toes and then the ribs will be observed at both sides of the body. If a lateral curve is present in the mid spinal region, there will be a shift in the position of the ribs so those ribs at the convex of the curve will protrude noticeably more than the ribs on the other side of the body. Using the same test, it is possible for the Chiropractor to ascertain potential causes.
Most cases of scoliosis are mild but those affected may experience back pain and certainly, this condition can lead towards compressing both heart and lung tissue. It may even relate to a variety of nerve disorders. In some cases, this condition may lead towards serious health risks and so the condition should not be ignored. Although the classification may be mild, moderate or severe, this condition irrespective of the severity can lead towards low self-esteem or even a negative image of self. Counseling may also be required if this is the case as low self-esteem can impact so many aspects of life.
If the condition is mild, a Chiropractor is likely to monitor the individual only. This is usually because those mild cases tend to have little to no pain experienced, but if there is a rapid progression of the curve, or if the Chiropractor notes that the curve has increased beyond 30 degrees, treatment will be required. Spinal subluxation is usually present and these are misalignments in one or even more of the vertebrae and a Chiropractor will be able to find and correct them. If left, these subluxations may cause nerve irritation. Treatment will reduce any symptoms which have been created as a result of changed spinal mechanics and the Chiropractor will endeavor to reduce the curve. There is evidence that these manipulations can decrease the angle of the curve significantly, but it is important to understand that sometimes, surgical corrections are necessary – this is often the final option available to prevent the condition from impacting the lungs and heart.