Scoliosis is a medical condition in which a person’s spine is curved from side to side. When viewed from the rear, an x-ray of an individual with scoliosis may look more like an “S” or a “C” rather than a straight line. Like snowflakes, no two scoliosis cases are alike. Each individual may have varying degrees of curvature and symptoms.
Scoliosis is a very complex disorder of the nervous system and at this time there is no known single cause. Scoliosis could be the result of many factors, some genetic and some environmental. It ranges from birth trauma, childhood injuries, genetic predisposition, and outside, environmental factors.
How Do You Diagnose Scoliosis?
Depending on the degree of the curve in the spine, scoliosis can be diagnosed in a couple of different ways. First a visual inspection can pick up red flags, but to be more accurate, our New Haven Spinal Healthcare and Physical Medicine team performs a simple x-ray. We would look for things such as a high shoulder, a high hip, head rotation or tilt, or a rib bump.
Once scoliosis is diagnosed, an exciting breakthrough in genetic testing of scoliosis is a test called ScoliScore™. We are excited to be able to offer this to you! It is a saliva test that is 99% accurate in identifying the risk factors to determine the rate of progression of scoliosis.
What Is CLEAR Corrective Care and Why Is It an Alternative Treatment for Scoliosis?
While traditional chiropractic care has always been a great benefit to our overall health, CLEAR Corrective Care goes one step further for scoliosis treatment: it actually helps to restore the spine closer to its original state. The spine is designed for strength and flexibility. It has 3 curves: a forward curve in the neck and lower back and a backward curve in the thoracic spine (rib cage area). When we evolved into a population of sitters, we started to lose our center of gravity. Our heads come forward, our necks get tight, and our low backs get sore from being bent forward. Then, if we have had any trauma, we may have structural damage to those curves which no longer allow us to support our spines appropriately. Corrective care allows us to analyze the spine and do our best to restore it to its natural state.
What Are Scoliosis Treatment Options?
Our goal is to evaluate and treat the patient and help first to alleviate pain (if any), stabilize the spine (by finding the driving force), and then reduce the scoliosis if possible. To achieve spinal restoration, we apply a 3-step process we call “Mix, Fix, Set” which allows us to loosen, align, and maintain the correct curvature of the spine. Although no two scoliosis cases are alike, we are finding patterns of correction that allow us to treat this condition effectively. Contact us for a consultation so that we can give you a personalized scoliosis treatment plan.
What Happens If I Decide to Wait It Out?
Early intervention is the key. The previous thinking was “watch and wait” as the treatment was quite limited. Bracing, physical therapy and exercise were generally the recommended scoliosis treatments, and when the curve reached a high enough level, surgery was recommended.
One thing that all scoliotic spines have in common is ALL BIG CURVES BEGAN AS SMALL CURVES. If we can educate the population to address the small curves and not watch and wait, we have an increased chance of keeping the curves out of the surgical range.
What Is Levoscoliosis?
Classic scoliosis is an s shaped curve which means there are two curves, one in the thoracic (rib cage) spine and one in the lumbar (low back) spine. Traditional presentation is a levoscoliosis in the lumbar spine, and dextroscoliosis in the thoracic spine. The levo simply means left, and dextro means right. The thoracic spine will shift to the right out of protection for the heart.
Want to learn more? Please visit our Must Read Articles page for additional information about scoliosis.