While scoliosis is probably an unfamiliar term to many, the condition is more common than you might think. Approximately 6 to 9 million Americans have been diagnosed with scoliosis— that’s about 1 in 40 people! In order to educate the public and encourage early detection and treatment, the month of June has been designated Scoliosis Awareness Month.
What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis simply means a sideways curve in the spine. This most often develops during the growth spurt right before puberty, and its severity can range from mild to disabling.
In addition to a visible curve in the back, scoliosis may cause the shoulders, hips, or waist to look uneven. It can also lead to back pain and stiffness, pain and numbness in the legs, and muscle fatigue.
Types of Scoliosis
About 80% of scoliosis cases are idiopathic, which means that they have no known cause. Idiopathic scoliosis typically presents in children between 10 and 12 years old. However, there are other less common types of scoliosis as well.
Congenital scoliosis, for example, may be diagnosed as early as the time of birth. Scoliosis can also be neuromuscular in origin, arising from damaged muscles (as a result of conditions like spina bifida or cerebral palsy) that are unable to correctly support the spine. Lastly, degenerative scoliosis is a form of scoliosis that can sometimes develop in adulthood as a result of wear and tear on the spine.
Treatments & Pain Management
In mild cases of scoliosis, oftentimes no treatment is necessary. Many children with mild scoliosis can even grow out of it. In more serious cases, though, your doctor may suggest wearing a brace around your torso or getting surgery. Your doctor may also encourage exercise, chiropractic treatment, or other pain management techniques to help manage the symptoms of scoliosis.
If you have any questions about scoliosis, the Wellness & Stress Clinic is here to help. To schedule an appointment, please call the clinic at (901) 306-5433. And as always, stay healthy and stay safe!
–The Wellness & Stress Clinic Team