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Scoliosis: An Overview

Roughly two to three percent of the US population suffers from scoliosis, a condition wherein the spine has an abnormal curvature. Often, the first few signs and symptoms of this spinal issue appear during the earlier years of life. However, unfortunately, some people only get their diagnosis during late adulthood. In most cases, at this point, the degree of curvature has reached its peak, making it challenging to manage the condition.

Thousands of people who suffer from this spinal disorder often raise questions about their condition and available relief options. Some examples of such problems include: what are the symptoms of scoliosis, can a chiropractor help with scoliosis, and does the condition occur with other illnesses?

Scoliosis: Getting A Proper Diagnosis

If you suspect having scoliosis and you wish to consult with a doctor or a scoliosis chiropractor, it’s crucial to provide substantial information. For example, you’ll need to note the symptoms you observe.

These signs and symptoms of scoliosis include the following:

- Visible spine curvature

- Uneven shoulder level

- A problem in fitting clothes

- The ribs seem to stick out on one side of the body

- Back pain, especially among aging individuals

If you have most of the items above, you should report to your chiropractor. You will most likely undergo x-ray tests to assess the severity of your spinal curvature.

Other Conditions That Occur With Scoliosis

One of the many reasons why many people ask, “can a chiropractor help with scoliosis?” is the condition’s long-term effects on the body. Often, misaligned vertebral bone impacts the spinal cord. A curved spine could also affect the upper cervical bones, which hold the head in place and house the brainstem. This string of problems could cause or worsen various health conditions, including:

- Vertigo

- Migraines

- Fibromyalgia

- Pinched nerve

- Carpal tunnel syndrome

- Sciatica

- Back pain

- Neck pain

Seeking Help For Scoliosis

The atlas is the top bone in the spine. It balances the head, which weighs approximately 12 pounds depending on the person. If the atlas is even slightly misaligned, it throws the balance of the head off. The body works quickly to compensate for this. As a result, changes in the spine take place in a domino effect.

The rest of the neck can become misaligned. If it stays in a stressed position, the discs between the vertebrae may begin to wear prematurely leading to arthritis in the neck. However, not all atlas misalignments necessarily present with neck pain, and the effects are certainly not limited to the neck.

One shoulder will usually drop to compensate for the misalignment in the neck. You may even notice when standing up straight and looking into a mirror that one shoulder is lower than the other. Continuing on down the spine, the vertebrae continue to move and shift leading to similar disc problems as the neck may already be experiencing. 

As problems reach the lumbar spine, the hips can become misaligned. This is why most people with a misaligned atlas will also present with one leg that is shorter than the other. Lower spine problems can lead to sciatica if the misalignment puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. Thus, the entire spine is affected. With shoulders at different heights as well as hips and legs at different lengths, the perfect conditions for scoliosis exist. It makes sense then that fixing the problem at the location where the issues began can help provide restoration, perhaps even avoiding the need for invasive surgery.


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