Scoliosis is a lateral (sideways) curvature of the spine. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, about an estimated 6-9 million people in the United States have scoliosis. For many, the curvature remains mild and asymptomatic. For some people, however, the curvature worsens over time, causing chronic back pain that limits mobility.
Here at Serenity Chiropractic & Family Wellness Center, Pamela V. Ford, DC, offers outstanding chiropractic care and physical therapy services to residents in and around Carrollton, Texas.
Dr. Ford has extensive experience monitoring and treating scoliosis with nonsurgical interventions that relieve pain and restore mobility. She recommends early screening for scoliosis and treatments that can help prevent its disabling effects.
Who gets scoliosis?
Scoliosis can develop in adults, children, and infants, but it’s usually spotted for the first time in early adolescence. The condition might be hereditary, often prevalent in families, or related to spinal injury, infection, or a congenital disorder. For about 80% of people with scoliosis, however, the cause is never discovered. This type is called idiopathic scoliosis.
Adults may have problems with scoliosis that were not diagnosed or treated adequately in adolescence. As an adult, you can also develop degenerative scoliosis. This type is related to osteoarthritis, disc disease, or other conditions that affect the spine’s structural stability and alignment.
How do I know if I have scoliosis?
Infants and children with scoliosis are often diagnosed early since the spinal curvature is very noticeable. Older children and younger teens are frequently diagnosed during a school physical.
Sometimes, however, the changes are subtle enough initially that the curvature is noticed almost accidentally by a teacher, coach, or parent. Many teens who visit the doctor for back pain are diagnosed with scoliosis as the likely cause of their discomfort.
Other than a visible sideways curvature of the spine, scoliosis may create an uneven appearance at the shoulders or hips, with one side resting higher than the other. You may also notice chronic lower pain or muscle spasms depending on the location and type of curvature.
However, Dr. Ford notes the only way to confirm a scoliosis diagnosis is through imaging studies that reveal the severity of the spinal curvature.
Monitoring and treating scoliosis
Even mild scoliosis requires periodic monitoring to ensure the curvature is not progressing. This is especially true during adolescence when growth spurts can cause a quick and often dramatic worsening of scoliosis.
After you’re diagnosed, Dr. Ford creates a scoliosis treatment strategy that includes periodic screenings to track the level of curvature. She also designs therapies that help restore flexibility, strength, and mobility to improve your overall health and well-being.
Schedule a screening exam at Serenity Chiropractic & Family Wellness Center today for more information about scoliosis or our other services. Call the office or request an appointment online.