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- Scoliosis is a medical condition in which a person’s spine has an indirect (sideways) curve normally the curve is C or S-shaped
- The change in the curve of the spine typically occurs very slowly so it is hard to recognize until it becomes a more severe physical deformation.
- Risk factors are sex, age and family history
- More common in females
- There are 7 types of scoliosis
- Treatment are surgery and braces
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a medical condition in which a person’s spine has an indirect (sideways) curve normally the curve is C or S-shaped. It can affect any portion of the spine. It occurs most often during the growth spurt just before adolescence.
There is a normal spinal curve when observing from the side, but the spine should appear straight when looking from the front. In some, the degree of curve is stable, while in others, it progresses over time. Mild scoliosis does not typically induce problems, but severe cases can interfere with breathing. Typically, no pain is present.
Scoliosis is about two times more common in girls than boys. It can be seen at any age, but it is most prevalent in those above 10 years of age. there is no correlation between the severity of the curves from one generation to the coming up generation.
Facts on scoliosis
Some fast facts are here about scoliosis;
- Causes are known
- Few patients of scoliosis needs surgery
- More common in females than males
- A structural curve is changeless
- A nonstructural curve is temporary and it is likely to disappear with time.
Scoliosis Symptoms and signs
There are many signs and symptoms that indicate the possibilities of scoliosis. it is good take an early oppointment to your Dr after you have see any single symptom. Most of the scoliosis patients are coming with having back pain. Symptoms associated with scoliosis include;
- Back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Neck pain
- Buttock pain
- a person’s clothes do not flap accurately
- one shoulder is more leading than the other
- the person may bend to one side
- uneven leg lengths
- the head is slightly irregular
- the ribcage is not symmetrical
- one hip is more prominent than the other
- Uneven waist
- Respiratory or cardiac problems in severe cases leading to chest pain
- Constipation due to curvature causing “hardening” of stomach, intestines, etc
- Painful menstruation
- Slow nerve action
- Bulging of one side of the chest
The change in the curve of the spine typically occurs very slowly so it is hard to recognize until it becomes a more severe physical deformation. in most circumstances, scoliosis is not painful, but there are certain types of scoliosis that can cause back pain, rib pain, neck pain, muscle spasms, and abdominal pain.
Causes of Scoliosis
scoliosis can be cause many of the reasons. Some possible causes may include;
- Congenital scoliosis; is a spinal deformity in which a sideways bend of the spine is caused by a defect present at birth when the fetus is growing inside the mother. The spine may also be rotated or twisted, pulling the ribs along with it to form a multidimensional curve. It’s a rare condition.
- Neuromuscular conditions; causing problems in nerve and muscles. A several of the more common conditions associated with NMS include muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and spina bifida.
- Osteoporosis; cause secondary scoliosis due to bone degeneration
- Genes; one specific genes involves in scoliosis
- Bad posture
- carrying bags or handbags
- connective tissue disorders, and few injuries.
Some other syndromes that may cause scoliosis.
Different kinds of secondary scoliosis is degenerative scoliosis, also known as de novo scoliosis, which receives later in life secondary to degenerative changes.
This is a sort of deformity that begins and grows because of the collapse of the vertebral column in an asymmetrical way. As bones start to convert weaker and the ligaments and discs placed in the spine convert worn as a result of age-related changes, the spine starts to curve.
- amniotic band syndrome
- Arnold–Chiari malformation
- Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease
- cerebral palsy, congenital diaphragmatic hernia
- connective tissue disorders
- muscular dystrophy
- familial dysautonomia
- CHARGE syndrome
- Ehlers–Danlos syndrome fragile X syndrome
- Friedreich’s ataxia
- Loeys–Dietz syndrome
- Marfan syndrome
- nail-patella syndrome
- osteogenesis imperfecta
- Prader–Willi syndrome
- Proteus syndrome
- pectus carinatum.
above mentioned syndromes may causes scoliosis.
Risk factors include;
- Age. Signs and symptoms typically occur during the growth explosion that happens just earlier to youth.
- Sex. Although both boys and girls grow mild scoliosis at about the same rate, girls have a much higher risk of the curve worsening and requiring treatment.
- Family history. Scoliosis can run in families, but most children with scoliosis don’t have a family history of the disease.
Types of scoliosis;
There are seven main kinds of scoliosis as described by the Scoliosis Association of the United Kingdom are as follows; https://www.sauk.org.uk/types-of-scoliosis/types-of-scoliosis
- Congenital scoliosis; in this condition when the spine is not developed fully and correctly in the womb
- Early-onset scoliosis; Early-onset scoliosis is when a curve appears between birth and age 10, or before puberty.
- Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; twisting and curving of the spine when the child is growing.
- Degenerative scoliosis; occurs in adults when the bones get weak as by increasing your age.
- Neuromuscular scoliosis; curvature of the spine caused by a neurological or muscular condition.
- Scheuerman’s kyphosis; in which the front sections of the vertebrae grow more slowly than the back sections during childhood.
- Syndromic scoliosis; caused by the above-mentioned syndromes that occur together.
Dignosis of scoliosis;
The first step your doctor recommended for the confirmation of scoliosis are;
- Physical examination; A doctor will conduct out a physical examination of the spine, ribs, hips, and shoulders. With the help of a tool called an inclinometer, or scoliometer, the doctor can measure the degree of scoliosis.
It is usually confirmed by the following imaging test;
- Xray; radiations are used to create a picture of the spine
- CT scan; A diagnostic image produced after a computer reads X-rays; can show the shape and size of the spinal canal, its contents, and the structures around it. It is high-grade at visualizing bony structures.
- MRI; a demonstrative test that produces three-dimensional images of body structures using powerful magnets and computer technology; can show the spinal cord, nerve roots, and surrounding areas, as well as enlargement, degeneration, and deformities.
- Your doctor may also perform a neurological exam to check for:
- Muscle weakness
- Abnormal reflexes
How scoliosis can be Treatment?
Scoliosis can be treated by:
Wearing a brace won’t restore scoliosis or provide complete relief but it usually to restricts additional progression of the spine curve.
It is made up of plastic. Bracing involves fitting the person with a device that covers the torso; in some cases, it continues to the neck. According to the AANS, a person with scoliosis may need to use a brace if they’re still growing and the curvature is longer than 25 to 40 degrees. For optimal effectiveness, the brace should be checked regularly to assure a proper fit and may need to be worn 16 to 23 hours every day until growth stops.
There are 2 types of braces;
If the scoliosis still in progression your doctor might recommend surgery to prevent it from getting worse. The most common surgery is spinal fusion.
Spinal fusion; this is attempted through the back while the patient lies on his or her stomach. During this surgery, the spine is aligned with rigid rods, followed by spinal fusion. Spinal fusion involves adding a bone union to the curved area of the spine, which creates a solid connection between two or more vertebrae. The metal rods attached to the spine secure that the backbone rests straight while the spinal fusion takes effect. This procedure usually takes several hours in children, but will generally take longer in older adults.
The two main types of surgery are:
- Anterior fusion: This surgical approach is through an incision at the side of the chest wall.
- Posterior fusion: This surgical approach is through an incision on the back and involves the use of metal instrumentation to correct the curve.
Complications of surgery;
Risk factors include;
- excessive bleeding
- failure to heal
- nerve damage
Are there any home remedies for treating scoliosis?
There are many home remedies for scoliosis like;
- herbal treatments
- diet therapy
- physical therapy
- certain exercises
Although it will not stop scoliosis but benefits and improving your health.
Is there any other treatment option for scoliosis?
Yes, Chiropractic treatment is an option although it is not a cure but provides some relief or resolve the curvature. Improves the quality of life. they maintain that realigning the spine will promote healing and well-being. Receiving chiropractic treatment from a nonspecialist can make symptoms worsen.
Is it possible to prevent scoliosis?
No, there is no cure for scoliosis, Researchers are trying to find the causes of the different types of idiopathic scoliosis. This will hopefully lead to better treatments or a cure but still there is no prevention present for scoliosis.
A student of Surgical Technology from Dow University of Health Sciences. She brings her expertise on surgical procedures, knowledge on Human Anatomy and Modern Day Surgeries to help students understand and learn easier ways and help patients understand hospital procedures before their surgeries.