Tag Archives: SCOLIOSIS

Scoliosis: Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. The normal shape of a person’s spine includes a curve at the top of the shoulder and a curve at the lower back. If your spine is curved from side to side or in an “S” or “C” shape, you might have scoliosis.

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), about 80 percent of scoliosis cases have no identifiable cause. The condition is often diagnosed during the first seven years of a child’s life. Common causes, when they can be pinpointed, are:

  • birth defects
  • neurological abnormalities
  • genetic conditions

What are the common types of scoliosis?

The largest category of scoliosis is idiopathic scoliosis, a term used to refer to cases that have no definite cause. Idiopathic scoliosis is broken down by age group:

  • infant: 0 to 3 years
  • juvenile: 4 to 10 years
  • adolescent: 11 to 18 years
  • adult: 18+ years

Of these, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is the most common, according to the AANS.

Doctors identify a cause for an estimated 20 percent of scoliosis cases. These consist of different types of scoliosis, including:

  • congenital, in which spinal deformities are apparent at birth
  • neurological, when nerve abnormalities affect muscles in the spine

Scoliosis can also be categorized as either structural or nonstructural. In structural scoliosis, the spine’s curve is caused by a disease, injury, or birth defect, and is permanent. Nonstructural scoliosis describes temporary curves that can be fixed.

What are the symptoms of scoliosis?

Symptoms vary depending on the degree of scoliosis. Common symptoms associated with scoliosis include:

  • one shoulder blade that is higher than the other
  • one shoulder blade that sticks out more than the other
  • uneven hips
  • a rotating spine
  • problems breathing because of reduced area in the chest for lungs to expand
  • back pain

What causes scoliosis?

The cause of scoliosis often can’t be determined. Common causes that doctors may identify include:

  • cerebral palsy, a group of nervous system disorders that affect movement, learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking
  • muscular dystrophy, a group of genetic disorders that result in muscle weakness
  • birth defects that affect an infant’s spinal bones, such as spina bifida
  • spinal injuries or infections

People with a family history of scoliosis are more likely to develop the condition. Girls are more likely to have a more severe form of scoliosis than boys.

How is scoliosis diagnosed?

A physical exam of your spine is the first step your doctor takes to see if you have scoliosis. Your doctor may also order some imaging tests to get a closer look at your spine.

Physical exam

Your doctor will observe your back while you stand with your arms at your sides. They’ll check for spine curvature and whether your shoulders and waist area are symmetrical. Next, your doctor will ask you to bend forward, looking for any curvature in your upper and lower back.

Imaging

Imaging tests your doctor may order to look for scoliosis include:

  • X-ray: uses small amounts of radiation to create a picture of your spine
  • MRI scan: uses radio and magnetic waves to get a detailed picture of bones and the tissue surrounding them
  • CT scan: takes X-rays at a variety of angles to get a 3-D picture of the body
  • bone scan: detects a radioactive solution injected into your blood that concentrates in areas of increased circulation, highlighting spinal abnormalities

What are the treatment options for scoliosis?

Treatment depends on numerous factors, the degree of spine curvature being a major one. Your doctor will also take into consideration:

  • your age
  • whether you are likely to continue growing
  • the amount and type of curvature
  • the type of the scoliosis

The primary treatment options are bracing and surgery.

Bracing

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, a person with scoliosis may need to use a brace if:

  • They’re still growing and the curvature is more than 25 to 30 degrees.
  • They’re still growing and the curvature is between 20 and 29 degrees, but the curvature is getting worse.
  • The curvature is between 20 and 29 degrees and the person has at least two more years to grow (also applies to girls who haven’t begun menstruation).

Braces won’t straighten the spine, but they can prevent the curvature from increasing. This method of treatment is more effective for cases that are detected early.

Those requiring a brace need to wear it 24 hours a day for maximum effectiveness. As an exception, children may remove their braces to participate in exercise and sports activities.

Doctors usually recommend that children wear their braces until they reach adolescence and are no longer growing.

There are two main types of braces:

  • Underarm: Made of plastic and fitting close to the body, this brace is virtually invisible. It’s used to treat lower spine curves and fits around the lower part of the body.
  • Milwaukee: This brace starts at the neck and covers the entire torso, with the exception of the legs and arms. It’s used for curves that the underarm brace can’t address.

Surgery

Surgery is usually reserved for people with curves greater than 45 or 50 degrees. However, talk to your doctor about this option if you’ve been diagnosed with scoliosis and feel the curvature is interrupting your daily life or causing you discomfort.

Spinal fusion is the standard scoliosis surgery. In this procedure, the doctor fuses your vertebrae together using a bone graft, rods, and screws. The bone graft consists of bone or a material like it. The rods keep your spine in a straight position, and the screws hold them in place. Eventually, the bone graft and vertebrae fuse into a single bone. Rods can be adjusted in children as they grow.

Some of the risks of spinal fusion surgery include:

  • excessive bleeding
  • failure to heal
  • infection
  • pain
  • nerve damage

What is the long-term outlook for scoliosis?

The long-term outlook for scoliosis depends on how severe the curvature is. For mild to moderate cases, the condition won’t interfere with everyday activities and functions. Individuals with severe forms of scoliosis may have physical limitations.

Living with scoliosis can be difficult. If you’re looking for help managing your scoliosis, you may want to seek out a support group. Support groups allow you to meet others who are experiencing the same things, and you can find encouragement and advice about dealing with the condition on a daily basis.

The National Scoliosis Foundation is a good starting point for finding resources.

Medically reviewed by University of Illinois-Chicago, College of Medicine on November 14, 2016 — Written by Shannon Johnson

Scoliosis Exercises You Can Do at Home

Overview

Scoliosis is characterized by an S- or C-shaped curve in the spine. It’s generally seen in childhood, but it can also come about in adulthood. Scoliosis in adults can occur due to a variety of reasons, including genetics, uneven pelvic position, past spinal or joint surgeries, knee or foot distortions, or even head injuries. Some curves are deeper than others. In moderate to severe cases, scoliosis is corrected through surgery. If you suspect scoliosis, you should consult your doctor about an appropriate treatment plan.

We spoke to Rocky Snyder, a personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist based in Santa Cruz, California, who suggested a few exercises for people with scoliosis, as well as stretches that may help improve dexterity.

The difference between a typical spine and that of a person with scoliosis, he explains, is that the former can move from side to side. For instance, when you walk, your spine bends and rotates left and right, ultimately reverting back to the center. People with scoliosis have a difficult time moving in one direction due to the curvature of their spine.

Two re-educational stretches

Finding new ways to move can help restore some of the imbalances of scoliosis, Snyder says. He suggests two ways to do this. One is to drive your body in the direction it is already bending to stretch even further. This can cause the muscle you are stretching to pull back and slightly shorten. Scoliosis affects the ability of the central nervous system to help muscles contract and shorten. “You need to stretch them further to bring them to a shortened state,” says Snyder.

The second approach involves doing the opposite: If your spine leans to your left, simply lean to the right. This method, Snyder notes, doesn’t seem to work as well. The stretches are meant to help muscles that have gone lax. “Imagine taking a rubber band and keeping it stretched for a long time and then letting it go,” he says. “It wouldn’t know how to shorten back up again.”

Three exercises for scoliosis

The following exercises are targeted toward people with scoliosis. Exercise is important for overall good health, although for people with moderate or severe scoliosis, Snyder recommends a doctor’s assessment first.

Step down and one-arm reach

  1. With whichever leg appears longer when you lay on your back, step onto a small box or step.
    Lower the opposite leg down to the floor as you bend into the knee.
    As you descend, raise the arm on the same side as the lowered leg up as high as possible. For example, if the left foot is lowering to the floor, raise the left arm.
    Perform 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps on this side only. Do not perform the exercise on the other side.

Upward and downward dog

  1. In a prone plank position with your arms stretched out straight, push your hips back and up as far as possible.
  2. Hold this for 2 seconds, and then lower your hips back down toward the floor.
  3. Try to get as low as possible without giving yourself back discomfort or pain.
  4. Perform 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps.

Split stance with arm reach

  1. Step forward with the longer leg in front in a slightly exaggerated stride length.
  2. Keep your torso as upright as possible at all times.
  3. Begin shifting your weight back and forth, allowing the forward knee to bend as you feel the weight shift onto it.
  4. As you shift your weight forward, raise the arm that is opposite of your forward leg as high as possible to the sky.
  5. While that arm is reaching upward, reach the other arm back with the palm up as much as possible. This causes the torso and spine to turn toward the side of the forward leg.
  6. Perform this exercise only on that side. Perform 2 to 3 sets of 5 to 10 reps.

Types of scoliosis

Certain exercises may be prescribed by a physician or physical therapist to help you with your specific structural difference, but they are not a means for treatment. Treatment for moderate to severe scoliosis will most likely involve surgery.

Mild scoliosis, however, will usually not require significant medical attention and is not as visible to the eye as other posture disorders. Mild scoliosis is generally the term used to describe scoliosis where the Cobb angle, or curvature of the spine, is less than 20 degrees. Mild scoliosis is the most responsive to exercise treatment.

Moderate scoliosis may be treated with exercise too, but wearing a medically prescribed brace is sometimes recommended as well. Moderate scoliosis may develop into severe scoliosis, defined as a spine curvature between 40 and 45 degrees. Severe scoliosis usually needs to be corrected with spinal surgery.

Managing your scoliosis

Mild scoliosis is often managed simply with exercise, medical observation, and scoliosis-specific physical therapy. For some people with scoliosis, yoga is also recommended to decrease their pain level and increase flexibility.

Moderate scoliosis often involves bracing to stop the spine from curving further. Depending on the curvature of the spine, your doctor might recommend increased medical observation or other treatment methods.

Once the spine reaches a certain curvature, and once the person with scoliosis reaches a certain age, surgery becomes the most recommended treatment option. Surgery to correct scoliosis can take several forms and depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • the way that your spine is shaped
  • how tall you are
  • whether or not other parts of your body have been severely impaired by the growth of your spine

Takeaway

Exercise is being recommended more and more as a treatment for mild to moderate scoliosis. By being proactive and performing these exercises, you may be able to slow the curvature of your spine and decrease the pain you feel as a result of your scoliosis. Pilates and yoga routines geared specifically toward those who have impaired spinal flexibility can also serve as a treatment to lessen pain. It’s important to always get the opinion of your orthopedist before beginning a scoliosis treatment regimen, even one that involves simple exercises. This ensures that you won’t be harming your skeletal system by performing these exercises.

Spinal curvatures

Deformities of the spine: Lordosis, Kyphosis, and Scoliosis

ICD-9: 737.20 LORDOSIS

ICD-9: 737.10 KYPHOSIS

ICD-9: 737.30 SCOLIOSIS

Video: How to Correct a Scoliosis With Exercise and Stretching

Description

⚡ Lordosis ⚡ is an abnormal inward curvature of the lumbar or lower spine. This condition is commonly called “swayback.” Kyphosis is an abnormal outward curvature of the upper thoracic vertebrae. Commonly, this curvature is known as “humpback” or “round back.” Scoliosis is an abnormal sideward curvature of the spine to either the left or right. Some rotation of a portion of the vertebral column also may occur. Scoliosis often occurs in combination with kyphosis and lordosis. These three spinal deformities may affect children as well as adults.

Spinal curvatures

FIGURE. Spinal curvatures

Etiology

Lordosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis may be caused by a variety of problems, including congenital spinal defects, poor posture, a discrepancy in leg lengths (especially in scoliosis), and growth retardation or a vascular disturbance in the epiphysis of the thoracic vertebrae during periods of rapid growth. Kyphosis may be the result of collapsed vertebrae from degenerative arthritis, or it may occur following a history of excessive sport activity. Obesity and osteoporosis can be contributing factors for lordosis. These three spinal deformities also may result from tumors, trauma, infection, osteoarthritis, tuberculosis, endocrine disorders such as Cushing disease, prolonged steroid therapy, and degeneration of the spine associated with aging. Lordosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis also may be idiopathic.

Signs and Symptoms

The onset of lordosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis frequently is insidious. Signs and symptoms may eventually include chronic fatigue and backache. Scoliosis is often detected by individuals when they notice that their clothing seems longer on one side than on the other. Or they may notice when looking in a mirror that the height of their hips and shoulders appears uneven.

Diagnostic Procedures

Physical examination and anterior, posterior, and lateral x-rays of the spine are the most commonly used procedures to detect these spinal deformities.

Treatment

Treatment varies according to the nature and severity of the spinal curvature, the age of onset, and the underlying cause of the disorder. The goal is to slow the progression of the disease. Physical therapy, exercise, and back braces may all play a role in the treatment of these conditions. Spinal bracing, if closely watched and properly constructed and fitted, may be able to halt the progression of the curve in scoliosis. Surgery may be necessary, however, in cases of adolescent scoliosis if the curvature seriously interferes with mobility or breathing. Spinal fusion, using bone grafts and metal rods, is sometimes performed to straighten the spine in this situation. Surgery is rarely necessary for correction of kyphosis. Analgesics may be prescribed to alleviate the pain that frequently accompanies these disorders.

Complementary Therapy

Kyphosis may respond well to massage. Physical therapy and exercises to strengthen abdominal muscles can decrease lumbar lordosis. Hamstring stretch can reduce muscle contractures, or a permanent shortening of muscle. Stress proper posture. In scoliosis, it is helpful for individuals to turn their whole body, rather than just their head, when looking to the side; yoga is helpful to some.

CLIENT COMMUNICATION

Emotional support is essential. Instruct clients on the use of any brace and to avoid vigorous sports. Meticulous skin care is important to prevent irritation and skin breakdown due to the brace rubbing against the skin.

Prognosis

The prognosis of an individual with lordosis, kyphosis, or scoliosis depends on the underlying cause of the particular disease, how early it is detected, and whether it responds to treatment. In some cases, a spinal deformity may be arrested but not corrected. Pulmonary insufficiency, degenerative arthritis of the spine, and sciatica may arise as complications of spinal deformities.

Prevention

Prevention of lordosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis includes correction of any underlying cause and maintaining good posture. Weight loss can reduce the risk of lordosis. Scoliosis screening in public schools is mandated by law in some states.

Lordosis

 

Kyphoscoliosis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

What is kyphoscoliosis?

Kyphoscoliosis is an abnormal curve of the spine on two planes: the coronal plane, or side to side, and the saggital plane, or back to front. It’s a combined spinal abnormality of two other conditions: kyphosis and scoliosis.

Scoliosis causes the spine to curve abnormally on the coronal plane, meaning it twists sideways. Kyphosis causes the spine to curve abnormally on the saggital plane, meaning it twists forward or backward, similar to a hunchback. People with kyphoscoliosis have a spine that curves both to the side and forward or backward at the same time.

This condition can occur at any age, including at birth. According to a case report about the condition, 80 percent of cases are idiopathic. This means there’s no known cause of the condition.

Symptoms of kyphoscoliosis vary. Sometimes people with the condition may only have an abnormal hunch or slouch. In more severe cases, there can be negative effects on the lungs and heart. The muscles may not be able to function properly for day-to-day activities.

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What causes kyphoscoliosis?

Many cases of this condition have no known cause. In other cases, this spinal condition is the result of:

  • Prolonged bad posture. Poor posture over time may result in postural kyphoscoliosis. It can be treated with extensive physical therapy.
  • Tuberculosis (TB). TB can weaken the spine.
  • Osteochondrodysplasia. This is a type of skeletal dysplasia, a condition that impairs the growth of spinal bones, cartilage, and connective tissue.
  • Degenerative diseases. Examples include osteoporosis and osteoarthritis (OA).

People 50 years of age and older are likely to develop this spinal abnormality if degenerative diseases like OA are already present.

What are the symptoms?

The most obvious physical symptom of kyphoscoliosis is a hunched or uneven back. This spinal condition comes with a number of other mild symptoms, including:

  • hunched back
  • uneven shoulder blades
  • arms or legs longer on one side
  • body image issues

In more severe cases, kyphoscoliosis can affect the lungs, nerves, and other organs. More severe symptoms include:

  • disfigurement
  • back pain
  • trouble breathing
  • weakness or paralysis
  • stiffness
  • fatigue
  • decreased appetite
  • neurological issues
  • heart issues

5 kyphoscoliosis treatment methods

Treatment for spine abnormalities can vary depending on:

  • severity of the spine curvature
  • ability to maintain a healthy posture
  • age
  • other medical conditions
  • impact on day-to-day routines

There are many noninvasive treatment methods for kyphoscoliosis. If these don’t work, however, your doctor may recommend surgery.

1. Checkups

Early detection of spine problems is key to preventing your condition from getting worse. It’s common for children to develop minor spine curvatures, which may never need treatment or will go away with age.

Still, it’s important to have regular medical checkups to monitor the spine for changes. Treatment will vary from one person to the next based on the severity of their condition.

2. Scoliosis bracing

As an alternative to surgery, doctors may recommend using a back brace. Bracing isn’t an effective treatment method for adults whose bones have stopped growing.

It’s important to note that bracing won’t cure scoliosis or kyphoscoliosis. It can help prevent any future damage, though. Braces are typically worn throughout the day. They become more effective as they’re worn more frequently.

3. Pain management

Spinal abnormalities and any other back injury can cause extensive discomfort, stiffness, and can impact day-to-day activities. Doctors may recommend cortisone injections and other pain medication to help provide temporary relief.

However, these medications can have major side effects if used too frequently. For that reason, injections are only provided once or twice a year.

4. Physical therapy

Active physical therapy involves exercises that increase spine strength and flexibility. The most effective treatment involves exercises meant to improve the spine’s range of motion and balance.

5. Surgery

If you have severe kyphoscoliosis, doctors may recommend surgical correction. While it may not be able to cure spinal abnormalities, spinal surgery can help prevent the condition from progressing and causing any additional harm.

A common surgical option is a spinal fusion. It’s a procedure that connects bones in the spine together with metal rods or screws to prevent independent movement. This allows old and new spinal material to form together.

Doctors can also install an adjustable rod. This is an option recommended for younger people who haven’t finished growing. This rod can be adjusted every six months to match the length of the spine.

As with any surgery, there are complications. They can include:

  • infection
  • nerve damage
  • inability to heal
  • excessive bleeding
  • paralysis

What’s the outlook?

It’s important to see your doctor if you notice symptoms of kyphoscoliosis. Early detection and treatment are key to recovery.

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Experimental Scoliosis Treatment

The frequencies and energies encoded along with the subliminal and subliminal programming in this video will cause your spine to gradually shift and straighten out until you no longer have your condition, It is experimental so effects may not be as drastic but it should cause good changes and relief. Use as much as you need to. Safe for use by non scoliosis users as well.