What Is Scoliosis And Does Chiropractic Care Help?

Scoliosis inflicts five to seven million people in the United States, with more than a half million visits being made to doctors’ offices annually for evaluation and scoliosis treatment. While scoliosis can begin at any age, it typically develops in adolescents between the ages of 10 and 15. Girls are affected with the crippling disease more often than boys. Furthermore, because scoliosis can be inherited, children who have parents or siblings that have it should be examined by a certified health professional. Chiropractic care has also been shown to help alleviate symptoms of scoliosis.

What is scoliosis?

Since we walk on both feet, our nervous system is always working its way through reflexes and postural control to ensure that our spine is straight from side to side. Every once in awhile, a lateral curvature develops in your spine; if its curvature is larger than 10 degrees, it is considered scoliosis. When a curve is less than 10 degrees, it’s considered a postural change. Scoliosis can also come with lordosis-- which is an abnormal curvature toward the front-- or kyphosis-- an abnormal curvature toward the back. Typically, the vertebrae are rotated.

Most of the time, scoliotic curvatures don’t have a known cause; when this is the case, the condition is called idiopathic scoliosis. Sometimes, though, trauma, neurological disease, and tumors are responsible. Functional scoliosis is frequently caused by postural issues, intense muscle spasms, or leg-length inequality. Unfortunately, structural scoliosis doesn’t lessen with postural maneuvers. Both kinds can be idiopathic or have another hidden cause.

What are the symptoms of scoliosis?

Scoliosis can affect your quality of life by reducing activity, creating pain, lowering lung function, or afflicting heart function. Because scoliosis happens most frequently during adolescence, teens with severe spinal deviations are often made fun of by their peers.

Luckily, four out of five people with scoliosis have curves that are less than 20 degrees, and are not easily detectable to the untrained eye. These small curves are generally no cause for concern, especially if there are no indicators of further progression. Mild curvatures in young children can worsen very quickly, though, in just a few months. Because of this, frequent checkups are a good idea for this age group.

Come check out your local chiropractor in San Diego, The Joint, at 8155 Mira Mesa Boulevard, Suite 5 to find out more about how chiropractic care can alleviate symptoms of scoliosis and other physical maladies.


Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

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