Can Chiropractic Care Help People Who Suffer From Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is more common than many people realize, affecting around 3% of the population at any one time. It can range from mild to severe, with milder cases often not needing any treatment. But people who live with scoliosis into adulthood often experience pain as a result, and it can limit their ability to perform the everyday activities that they want to. Chiropractic care can help to alleviate these symptoms and give people living with scoliosis a higher quality of life and a reduction in their pain.
What is scoliosis?
Everyone's back has a curve to it, from front to back. You can see the curve in the hollow at the small of the back and the slight rounding of the shoulders. With scoliosis, however, there is a curve from left to right. This is sometimes a single curve (known as C-shaped) and sometimes a double curve (known as S-shaped).
On average, 8 out of 10 cases of scoliosis are idiopathic, which means that there is no known cause. In the other two cases, it can be caused by congenital deformities such as spina bifida, a nerve condition such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, or age-related wear and tear.
Most cases of scoliosis, however, appear at the growth spurt between the ages of 10 and 15. Children are often given a back brace to prevent the curve from worsening as they continue to grow, but surgery is often needed later if the curve is going to be reduced.
With that being said, many people with scoliosis are able to live full and functional lives, with the condition having little impact on their activities. For these people, a surgical option can seem invasive and unnecessary. If they do start to experience pain as a result of scoliosis and want to avoid surgery or pain medication, chiropractic care is a good option.
Can chiropractic care help people who suffer from scoliosis?
The goal of chiropractic care in the treatment of scoliosis is to improve function and mobility and to reduce pain. Pain can occur because of pressure being put on the nerves of the spine or on weight-bearing joints that are having to unevenly support the body. This pressure can also lead to stiffness in the joints and muscles which can reduce mobility.
A chiropractic approach to treating scoliosis will encompass a variety of treatments, including:
* scoliosis-specific spinal adjustments to reduce pressure on spinal nerves and to improve the spine's function
* exercises to strengthen the core and the weight-bearing joints
* breathing exercises to improve lung function
* advice about activities and types of exercises that can be done at home
Chiropractors are experts in the spine and how it functions, so they are also able to monitor the curve of the spine over time to catch it early if the curve does start to worsen.
Scoliosis is a life-long condition that usually starts in childhood. Many adults with scoliosis are able to live functional and independent lives, but it can start to cause pain and stiffness over time. Chiropractic care is a good option for reducing these symptoms without the need for surgery or pain medications.