Scoliosis is the unnatural bending of the spine horizontally and rotationally, observable when looking directly at the person’s back. Any misalignment in the spine can eventually lead to other problems in the body as the spine is an integral supportive structure and communication channel for the body. It affects 3-4% of the population in adolescents and up to 15% of adults who seek help for back pain and sciatica complaints.
There are various forms of scoliosis and it can occur at any time of life. A normal spine should have curvature forwards and back which will not be noticeable when viewing the spine straight on. Sometimes there is no obvious cause for scoliosis, especially in idiopathic adolescent scoliosis.
Forms of scoliosis
Some of the forms of scoliosis include:
- Idiopathic adolescent scoliosis develops in adolescents typically between 10 to 18 years old. This is the most common form of scoliosis and affects roughly 4 out of every 100 adolescents.
- Degenerative scoliosis is often the result of a degenerative disease of the spine and is more commonly seen in people who are over 50 years of age. Diseases that contribute to degenerative scoliosis include osteoporosis, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease.
- Neuromuscular scoliosis tends to progress more rapidly than other forms of scoliosis and can be contributed to conditions such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy.
What are the symptoms associated with scoliosis?
Symptoms for the various forms of scoliosis tend to be the same and in the early stages include:
- Lateral curvature of the spine
- Back aches or pain
- Unevenness in the hips or shoulders
More advanced or severe scoliosis can exhibit symptoms such as:
- Humpback or humped spine
- Poor posture
- Impaired balance
- Difficulty in moving between standing and sitting positions
- Back pain, muscular cramping, or discomfort
- The development of a limp
- Numbness and/or weakness in the legs
- Reduced ability to for the lungs to fully inflate which could lead to shortness of breath
Living with scoliosis
When scoliosis is past a certain point, especially in degenerative cases, special care needs to be taken when treating and managing the condition. People have the option of utilizing a brace to reduce pain and discomfort in their daily routines but maintaining core strength and postural control is the key in providing the spine support. Chiropractic therapy can also be used to increase mobility and function of the spine and help to maintain better alignment. Physical therapy and massage therapy may also be recommended to aid in pain management and to maintain strength in your back. Maintaining the exercise routine that is customized to you, weight control, paying attention to your posture and using correct mechanics with bending, twisting and lifting are critical in living with scoliosis or kypho-scoliosis.
Scoliosis treatments in Los Angeles
Dr. Khosla and Dr. Nagasawa are dedicated and compassionate members of the medical team at Achieve Brain & Spine. They will help to diagnose and treat your scoliosis and offer pain management solutions to bring greater comfort to your day to day life. Treating scoliosis early is always best, even before there is any pain or disability associated with the condition. Prevention of osteoporosis and osteopenia (loss of bone density as we age) is an important goal to discuss with your primary care physician.
In some cases, surgery is the best option for scoliosis treatment in Santa Monica, but this is determined on a case by case basis. We can offer the most cutting-edge therapies and treatments to ensure that your spinal health is maintained and enjoyed. Alongside of your primary care physician, Achieve Brain & Spine will help be part of your team in this lifelong journey and strive to provide the quality of life you are seeking.