Chiropractic Treatment for Adult Scoliosis
Welcome to our blog post on chiropractic treatment for adult scoliosis. We will explore how chiropractic plays a crucial role in managing scoliosis. By understanding the impact of adult scoliosis on the spine and highlighting the importance of specific chiropractic treatment interventions, we aim to provide valuable insights for those seeking effective solutions for this condition.
What Is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral curve in the spine that impacts up to 3% of the population. The abnormal spinal curve can occur anywhere in the spine, including the neck. In a normal spine, the vertebrae are stacked vertically on each other, like a stack of blocks. The vertebrae tilt to the side with scoliosis, making the spine curve laterally, to the left or right.
Several scoliosis subtypes exist, including:
Idiopathic scoliosis: This is the most common type of scoliosis, in which the cause is unknown.
Neuromuscular scoliosis: In these cases, scoliosis is caused by underlying neuromuscular conditions like cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, or polio
Congenital scoliosis: This type of scoliosis occurs at birth when a baby's ribs or spine do not form properly.
Structural scoliosis: Prevalent and often overlooked and diagnosed as idiopathic scoliosis, it happens as a result of an anatomical short leg which causes the sacrum to tip down on one side, precipitating a curve in the lumbar spine and sometimes a compensatory curve in the thoracic spine. This type of scoliosis is treatable and can be managed with chiropractic to address pain associated with the condition.
Anatomical Short Leg and Scoliosis
Leg-Length Discrepancy (LLD) is when one leg is anatomically shorter than the other, frequently causing un-leveling of the sacrum and pelvis. This un-leveling of the spine and pelvis causes stress, strain, and alteration of normal biomechanics. Alterations in biomechanics cause altered workload on muscles, ligaments, joint capsules, joints, and discs. The altered biomechanics result in structural changes such as changes in facet joint surfaces, facet arthrosis, bone spurring, disc bulging and compression, and secondary and degenerative scoliosis. A discrepancy of 10 mm or less can cause arthritic changes in the lumbar spine.
LLD of 9 mm induces a change in the angle of the lumbar facet joints.
LLD of 6 mm causes pelvic tilt and scoliosis.
LLD as small as 3 mm will induce postural changes.
Is Scoliosis Always Symptomatic?
Often, scoliosis has no symptoms. For this reason, a person may not be aware they have scoliosis until a doctor tells them about it. Unfortunately, even if the person does not have symptoms, the spinal curvatures in scoliosis may worsen if left untreated. This can lead to complications like:
Back or shoulder pain
Weakness in the spine
Muscle spasms in the back
Uneven hips or shoulders
Spinal or nerve damage
Does Scoliosis Worsen With Age?
Scoliosis can worsen with age and over time, especially without treatment. About 40% of adult scoliosis patients experience worsening of their condition with time. A person with degenerative scoliosis may experience gradual pain, especially with activity.
Can Scoliosis Be Cured?
Scoliosis is a treatable condition. However, it is not curable. Much like other chronic health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, scoliosis can be managed. Chiropractic care is an alternative to traditional medical scoliosis treatments, which include bulky spinal braces or surgery.
Typically, under 20 degrees of curvature can be managed conservatively with chiropractic or just monitored. 20-40 degrees can combine conservative care (chiropractic), bracing, or other interventional treatments. Advanced scoliosis over 40 degrees, if affecting internal organs, may require surgery, which uses Harrington rods to force the curvature straight.
Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment for Adult Scoliosis
Chiropractic treatment can relieve the pain and discomfort that often accompany adult scoliosis. Spinal misalignments play a significant role in adult scoliosis, contributing to associated symptoms such as pain and reduced mobility. When the spinal column deviates from its normal alignment, it can put pressure on nerves, muscles, and other structures in the back, leading to discomfort and functional limitations. Chiropractic can have a significant impact on scoliosis patients' quality of life. It can alleviate strain in various body regions, such as the neck, shoulders, hips, and knees.
Through specifically applied spinal adjustments, chiropractors can help alleviate pressure on the spine, reducing inflammation and easing tension in the muscles surrounding the affected area, promoting better overall spinal health, improved posture, comfort, and overall well-being. Chiropractic care is an effective treatment for idiopathic scoliosis and structural scoliosis.
Chiropractic Outcomes for Adult Scoliosis Patients
Research-backed evidence from PubMed supports the effectiveness of chiropractic therapy in managing adult scoliosis patients. Many patients with idiopathic and structural scoliosis have reported positive outcomes and improvements in their health status through chiropractic care.
Consistency is key. Regular chiropractic adjustments and ongoing management can help patients maintain spinal alignment, reduce discomfort, and prevent further progression of the condition. Consistent chiropractic treatment offers a proactive approach to managing adult scoliosis.
Realistic Expectations Regarding Reversing Scoliotic Curves
While chiropractic treatments can benefit adult patients with scoliosis, it is important to have realistic expectations. It is unlikely that a complete reversal of scoliotic curves can be achieved through chiropractic care alone, but chiropractic interventions can help reduce pain, improve function, and slow the condition's progression. While it may not completely straighten your spine, consistent visits to a qualified chiropractor can make a difference in how you feel and function.
Cost-effectiveness of chiropractic treatment compared to surgical interventions
Chiropractic treatment for adult scoliosis offers a cost-effective alternative to surgical interventions. Unlike surgery, which can be expensive and require an extended recovery, chiropractic care focuses on non-invasive methods to alleviate pain and improve spinal alignment. By opting for chiropractic treatment, individuals with scoliosis can save money while still receiving effective care.
Highlighting patient experiences and feedback regarding traditional chiropractic treatment methods
Patient experiences with traditional chiropractic treatments vary widely. Some individuals have reported positive outcomes, including reduced pain and improved posture. However, it's important to note that each case is unique, and results may differ depending on factors such as the severity of scoliosis and individual response to treatment.
Conclusion: The Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment for Adult Scoliosis
In conclusion, chiropractic treatment offers numerous benefits for adults with scoliosis. By addressing the root cause of scoliosis rather than just treating the symptoms, chiropractic care provides a holistic approach to managing this condition.
If you're struggling with adult scoliosis, don't hesitate to seek out the expertise of a chiropractor. Their specialized knowledge and hands-on techniques can significantly improve your quality of life. Remember, taking proactive steps to manage scoliosis can lead to long-term relief and improved functionality.