Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most frequently in adolescents during growth spurts. The cause of scoliosis is torque in the covering of the spinal cord called the meninges. This happens often as a result of birth trauma where the baby’s head gets compressed and with different types of head injuries.
Scoliosis can also be hereditary as well as acquired as a result of a chronic leg injury which prevents someone from standing evenly on both legs. If left untreated, mild scoliosis can become more severe as someone ages and can become a severe postural deformity later in life. Severe spinal curvatures may cause more serious health problems, including abnormal lung function, heart damage, and chronic back pain.
The appearance of the spine can be the first clue that you or your child may have scoliosis. A healthy spine should run right down the middle of your back. When you or your child has scoliosis, you can sometimes see a slight to more pronounced “C” or “S” curve in the spine.
Often, if you have scoliosis, you may stand to one side, or your shoulders or hips appear uneven when you are standing up straight. Your clothes may hang unevenly as a result. As untreated scoliosis worsens, your spine may rotate or twist, causing one side of your rib cage to stick out farther than the other.
If you suspect you or your child has scoliosis, Dr. Hartman performs a physical exam that includes palpation of the paraspinal musculature on both sides of the spine for detecting abnormal muscle tension. He may also take some X-rays to determine the severity of the spinal curve.
Mild to moderate, and even severe, scoliosis doesn’t usually require surgery, but can be treated with a brace or specific chiropractic care and massage therapy — much safer alternatives to painful surgeries. Dr. Hartman uses a variety of spinal and cranial adjustment techniques to correct scoliosis. He also performs myofascial release therapy on the paraspinal musculature to restore balance to the muscles around the spine and to allow for a more long-lasting effect of the adjustments. This helps to change the muscle memory of the paraspinal musculature which eventually can cause permanent correction of scoliosis. He may also recommend scoliosis-specific exercises to help keep your spine aligned.
If you or your child have signs of scoliosis, or you’re aware of a family history of the condition, request an evaluation with Dr. Hartman as soon as possible. Early detection is a crucial factor in the correction of scoliosis and preventing more severe curvature, especially as your child continues to grow. Call Hartman Family Chiropractic or schedule a consultation online today.
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