It is common to get used to and complacent about certain chronic aches and pains. However, for some people, symptoms like uneven hips, a high shoulder, the head being off center, head tilt, and back and leg pain may be a sign of undiagnosed scoliosis. Scoliosis is often discovered in children around their puberty growth spurt, but the majority of adults with scoliosis don’t even know they have it. Rather than “toughing it out” and allowing the problem to worsen, seeking a Eugene Chiropractor and “staying ahead of the curve” will help you stay on your feet and ensure you are able to do what you love.
What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is commonly defined as a sideways curvature of the spine with vertebral rotation. A normal, healthy spine has an S-shaped curve to it. This “S” shape would be apparent when looking at a spine from the side, but would appear fairly straight up and down if looking from behind. A spine with scoliosis would look curved when viewed from directly behind – as if someone rotated the spine from its normal position.
Scoliosis can be quite debilitating if serious enough and left untreated. A particularly severe scoliosis spinal curve can make it hard for the lungs and heart to their job properly, since the spine is reducing the amount of space available in the chest. Scoliosis can also cause deformity and chronic pain until the spine is restored to its proper alignment.
What causes it?
Although an exact cause is never identified in approximately 80% of scoliosis cases, researchers believe it is most commonly caused by a combination of both environmental (your habits) and genetic factors. Conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy can create a structural scoliosis; the most common form of scoliosis, in which the spine’s abnormal structure is considered permanent until treatment. Additionally, birth defects, spinal injury and degenerative changes can be causative factors for a scoliotic curve
Some people with generally normal spine structure can still suffer from a more sudden, often temporary form of scoliosis known as nonstructural scoliosis. Nonstructural scoliosis can be caused by muscle spasms, spinal inflammation, or a significant difference in leg heights. The majority of people with scoliosis do not have a spinal curvature that is severe enough to require surgery, but it can still be very painful because of how it adversely affects the body’s anatomy.
How does chiropractic help?
Chiropractic is an excellent, non-surgical way to improve and manage most cases of scoliosis, and our Eugene chiropractors here at Back2Strength are some of the best in assisting those with this condition. One of the first goals in improving curvature issues in the spine is by re-centering the head. There is no turning or twisting of the neck when receiving scoliosis-specific adjustments. Instead, our chiropractors will apply precise and gentle forces into the neck’s bones – sometimes with an adjusting instrument. Additionally, attention is given to optimizing motion patterns throughout the spine to help ease stress on the areas within the spine that a simply not moving through their proper motion pattern. Stretching and strengthening exercises are also given to help improve mobility and stability of the spine.
After your adjustment, your doctor will encourage you to be consistent with your home strengthening program to support the joints of your spine. You will likely also go over ways to both move and rest that can reduce scoliosis-related pain and discomfort. Between regular chiropractic adjustments and at-home lifestyle changes, scoliosis patients can expect to gradually feel less pain, have improved mobility, and an increased ability to do the activities they love to do.
Our office offers free chiropractic consultations to discuss your pain and recovery options. Contact Back2Strength at (541) 484-0360 – and start feeling better today!
Yours in Health,