Scoliosis in itself is not a disease or diagnosis, but the term is used to describe an abnormal curvature of the spine which is from side to side and can form either a “C” or “S” shape. Oftentimes people are born with Scoliosis and they may never have noticeable symptoms until the curvature of the spine has progressed to a point of significance.
The most common symptom of Scoliosis is the abnormal curvature of the spine. If you were to look at a normal spine from the back, it would appear to be a perfectly straight line. However, the spine of someone suffering from Scoliosis is not straight and in fact you would see a side to side curve in the back. Other common physical symptoms of Scoliosis include:
- One of the two shoulder blades stick out farther than the other
- One shoulder may be higher than the other one
- An unevenness in the waist area
- The body is tilted to one side
- A leg can appear to be shorter than the other one
If you are concerned that you have Scoliosis and have never been properly diagnosed, take a trip to your primary healthcare provider and have him complete a thorough exam.
Scoliosis can be caused by four primary reasons. The first type of Scoliosis is congenital Scoliosis. You can be born with Scoliosis as a result of a bone abnormality. Neuromuscular Scoliosis is caused by abnormal nerves and muscles. Degenerative Scoliosis can occur from an illness or injury or Osteoporosis, and Idiopathic Scoliosis which does not have a known cause.
Around 2-3 percent of American teenagers have Scoliosis. Also, we don’t know why but girls are typically more prone to Scoliosis than boys.
While most people who have Scoliosis live normal, pain free lives, some do suffer from Scoliosis pain. Traditional treatments include over the counter pain medications and prescription pain medications. Back braces can be used to stop the progression of the curvature in the spine.
As a last resort surgery is recommended for people who have Scoliosis pain. It is important to mention that surgery is typically recommended for individuals whose curvature is greater than 40 to 45 degrees. Surgery is designed to fuse the spine together in order to reduce the curvature and prevent the progression of the curve.
Written By: Updated: October 4,2011