scoliosis and pain management with chiropractic care

Scoliosis And Chiropractic Care: Improving a Patient’s Life



Before discussing the connection between scoliosis, its associated health problems, and chiropractic care, we must mention that this is one of the most common spinal issues bringing people to our practice.


Chiropractic is one of the pillars of treatment for scoliosis and can do wonders in managing it. With six to nine million people in the United States suffering from scoliosis, the most common symptoms patients typically present are chronic back pain, posture abnormalities, and even difficulty breathing. Unfortunately, scoliosis is incurable and progressive and can only be corrected with surgery.


To understand the importance of chiropractic treatment for scoliosis, the benefits it can bring to patients, and also its limitations, let's dive deeper into what scoliosis actually is.


What Is Scoliosis?


Scoliosis is a malformation of the spine that may lead to numerous posture abnormalities such as having one shoulder and/or hip higher than the other. 


Most patients suffering from scoliosis will also experience back pain — ranging in intensity based on its severity — and difficulty breathing when the rib cage presses the lungs.


While the condition may be congenital, a real cause for scoliosis has yet to be found. And although congenital scoliosis is present at birth, it may not be obvious that a child has it right away, and in most cases, will be discovered in patients between the ages of 10 and 16. 


Severe cases of scoliosis can also be seen in adults when the spine's curvature is caused by the degeneration of the backbone.


In adolescents suffering from scoliosis, the curvature is located in the thoracic section of the spine. In adult scoliosis, the curve is located in the lumbar spine, which is more susceptible to degeneration.


What Is The Treatment For Scoliosis?


The treatment plan for scoliosis depends on the severity of the spine’s curvature. If discovered early on, and if the curvature is still minimal, it can be managed with chiropractic treatments. Yoga, stretching, and exercise are other great ways to manage the condition in its initial stage. Constant monitoring is also recommended to ensure it doesn’t get worse.


In complex cases, when the curve is more pronounced, chiropractic adjustments could be supported with a back brace meant to keep the spine straight. In severe cases, scoliosis patients may need surgery to help straighten the spine and prevent the pain from getting unbearable.


Can a Chiropractor Help With Scoliosis?


woman seeing a chiropractor for scoliosis


Yes, a chiropractor can definitely help with scoliosis.


First of all, a chiropractic specialist can diagnose scoliosis in children, adolescents, or adults and provide a long-term plan for managing it with chiropractic adjustments. The patient will be also advised to visit an orthopedic specialist, who can determine a full treatment plan. It’s up to the orthopedic specialist to decide whether the patient needs to wear a back brace or if surgery is the last resort.  


Chiropractic has two main roles in the treatment of scoliosis:


Pain Management


Chiropractic adjustments can help tremendously with chronic back pain. Moreover, chiropractic treatment is suitable for babies, children, and adolescents, as opposed to pain medication which comes with many side effects when used for extended periods.


Keeps Scoliosis From Getting Worse


While scoliosis may not be entirely reversed without surgery, it is a manageable condition, and chiropractic treatment is one of the best ways to keep the spine curvature from advancing and worsening.


What Should I Avoid If I Have Scoliosis?


Scoliosis patients need to pay special attention to their posture. They need to avoid keeping their neck bent forward, which usually happens when using laptops, tablets, or smartphones. 


They should also avoid playing high-contact sports such as football or kickboxing. Other sports that put pressure on the spine, such as ballet, gymnastics, or even advanced yoga, are off-limits for scoliosis patients. 


Long-distance running, horseback riding, or jumping on trampolines can also lead to the worsening of scoliosis. These disciplines expose the spine to repeated pain-inducing impact, which in time can worsen the curvature.


Can Chiropractors Straighten Your Spine?


When it comes to chiropractic and scoliosis treatments, know that chiropractors cannot straighten the spines of scoliosis patients.


Whether the cause is a birth defect or spinal degeneration, scoliosis is not curable per se. What chiropractic treatment can achieve is a reduction in local inflammation. This, in turn, reduces the pressure on the spine and helps relieve back pain. Most importantly, it prevents the curvature from getting worse.


What Is The Best Therapy For Scoliosis?


The best treatment for scoliosis should be determined by an orthopedic specialist. This will depend on the patient's age, cause of the problem, severity, and any other conditions they might present.


While chiropractic is recommended in all cases to help prevent scoliosis from progressing, the doctor will determine what the chiropractic treatment should be accompanied by — medication, wearing a back brace, and, in severe cases, getting surgery. 


Hoping that you enjoyed our article on the connection between scoliosis treatment and chiropractic, we are waiting for you in our office to discover some of the many benefits advanced chiropractic care may bring into your life.


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