Facing a diagnosis of Scoliosis as an adolescent or young adult can have a significant impact on your life. This condition has the potential for life-long spinal deformity and discomfort in some rather unusual ways. The degree of misshape and pain can vary widely depending on several factors, some of which are not fully understood.
The most common cause of Scoliosis is of unknown origin or idiopathic and can result from several factors. The condition appears to impact girls more often than boys, and while no genetic link has been found, it does seem to run in families.
What Happens if Scoliosis is Left Untreated?
Untreated Scoliosis can also cause physical disruption on the inside of the body as well. With the spinal column creating an unnatural alignment in the torso, heart and breathing issues are possible. If the curve of the spine happens to be located in the middle back area, it may become impossible for the individual to inflate both lungs.
Another potential complication of the poor alignment of the vertebrae is back pain as the person grows older. The bones and disk of the back can have unusual wear and tear due to their misalignment, and the discomfort can be disabling. Following an appropriate treatment plan can make a significant difference in the outcome of the patient. For this reason, it is best to seek services from a chiropractor.
Scoliosis: How Does It Affect Your Life?
Cases of Scoliosis can range from mild to severe, with the potential for life-threatening symptoms. Mild cases can result in a slight difference in hip height or uneven shoulders. The majority of cases fall into this category and are usually diagnosed in childhood. Monitoring the child is the usual course of action to see if the situation will worsen as they grow.
If the condition progresses, parents may notice the child leaning to one side or their clothes fitting differently. The patient may experience one shoulder blade jutting out from the back or an uneven rib cage as the situation worsens. As the condition becomes more pronounced, this can lead to self-consciousness and embarrassment.
What Treatments are Available for Scoliosis?
Treatment for Scoliosis is not always necessary. Sometimes back braces are prescribed to stabilize the back and prevent the curvature from getting worse. Many back brace options are available on the market, ranging from braces designed for eight to ten hours per day or overnight wear to those intended for 24-hour wear.
Physical therapy may also be useful for a mild to moderate case of Scoliosis. The physical therapist will usually concentrate on strengthening the muscles of the back and legs to avoid injury and pain reduction. Spinal correction surgery is occasionally prescribed in extreme situations; fortunately, those cases are quite rare. These surgeries are invasive and can have a long recovery period followed by many months of physical therapy.
Hearing that you have Scoliosis can be confusing and troubling. While this condition has the potential to be quite serious, it can be managed with the assistance of a trained medical professional. There are resources available to help with the physical limitations that are unique to this issue. For adolescents diagnosed with Scoliosis, there are websites and Facebook groups to provide peer support. These groups can be a great way for people to connect with others going through these same issues.