Scoliosis is a condition where the spine is bent. Keep in mind that this is not a medical condition. It is simply a term used by medical practitioners to describe curvature in the spine. When a normal spine is viewed from the back it should appear straight. However, scoliosis can cause the spine to curve or bend causing the affected individual to seek scoliosis treatment.
While it's normal for people to have a bit of curvature in the spine, there are a few who have a defined and large curve from one side to the next.
The different types of spinal curves
There are several ways in which the spine can curve. These include:
- Single curve to the left shaped like the letter C. This is known as levoscoliosis
- Single curve to the right. This looks like a backward letter C known as dextroscoliosis
- Two curves on the spine shaped like the letter S
The different categories of scoliosis
There are two main categories of scoliosis. These are:
- Structural scoliosis caused by an injury or birth defect. It results in a fixed curvature in the spine
- Nonstructural scoliosis this causes a temporary curve on the spine
That said, keep in mind that the majority of scoliosis has no known causes. This number can be as high as 80%. A term used to describe such type of scoliosis with no understood cause is idiopathic scoliosis.
Let's take a closer look at the different types if scoliosis
Adolescence idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type of scoliosis. There are no known causes. While experts have come with several theories to explain this type of scoliosis, there is one that many doctors seem to agree on. This is that some people are genetically predisposed to have idiopathic scoliosis.
This is a less common type of scoliosis. Unlike idiopathic scoliosis, the cause of neuromuscular scoliosis is known to be abnormal muscles and nerves. Often, it is common with people who suffer from cerebral palsy, Duchene muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and spinal muscular atrophy.
Moreover, it is also associated with many conditions that result in paralysis.
This is spinal curvature present after a child is born. The child has one or several vertebrae that have formed incorrectly.
There are several causes of degenerative scoliosis. This could result from previous spinal surgery, osteoporosis, or a previous incidence.
How scoliosis is diagnosed
It is important for young kids who are still developing to go for scoliosis screening. This is because any abnormalities in the spine can get worse the more the child develops and grows. When a child reaches their pubertal years, this is where they experience the most rapid growth which means that any curvature in the spine will be exaggerated.
Therefore, it is crucial for doctors to find the problem early. The great thing is that if doctors discover a curve is early in the child's life, they can correct it before it gets worse.
The doctor will perform a full clinical evaluation while focusing their attention on the spine. They will perform an X-ray. This will allow the doctor to measure the curvature using degrees. The doctor may also conduct successive x rays to spot any developments in the curvature of the spine. The doctors will then decide on scoliosis treatment.
Some symptoms of scoliosis
- Adults may have trouble breathing
- Adults may experience Back pain
- In children, one shoulder may appear higher than the other
- A shoulder blade that sticks more than the other
- The head appears off-center from the body
Scoliosis treatment in Singapore
During scoliosis treatment Singapore, the doctor will evaluate your child's spine after every 4 to 6 months. For kids who still have a significant amount of growing to do, and have a significant curvature in their spine, the doctor will place a back brace. This will remain in place until the child has finished growing.
Sometimes, however, the curvature may continue to develop even after the child wears the braces. In this case, the doctor will suggest surgery. If the curvature is between 40 and 50 degrees, the doctor will recommend undergoing spinal fusion. This is where the vertebrae are fused using a bone graft. The surgeon will use metal rods, screws as well as hooks to hold the bone in place until the bones fuse.
Keep in mind that scoliosis treatment involving wearing a brace might feel uncomfortable for your child. As a result, it is important to provide constant support as the parent.
Scoliosis can greatly affect the quality of life of both adults and children. It is better when the doctor discovers any abnormality in the spine early to be able to correct it and prevent it from further development. After surgery, make sure to choose a physical therapy clinic such as Physioactive and an expert physiotherapist with many years of experience to help with managing the condition and help achieve a better recovery.
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