Chiropractic Adjustments and Treatments for Scoliosis
April 4, 2021
By Chiro One Wellness Centers
June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month, whereby the medical community openly shares its goals of educating the public, providing early detection, and generating more awareness about scoliosis and its prevalence within our communities.
With 2-3% of the population affected by scoliosis, it is important that sufferers are
- diagnosed correctly
- well informed about their condition
- knowledgeable about which treatment options are viable solutions to help them manage the long-term effects.
Doctors of chiropractic pay a great deal of attention to the biomechanics of the spine, and how its structure and function affect the neurological and musculoskeletal systems. Although they can not cure scoliosis they can provide non-drug, non-invasive chiropractic adjustments and treatments that can help reduce pressure, improve posture, and relieve pain associated with the condition. Find a chiropractor near you for a thorough examination and comprehensive guide to treating scoliosis.
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a spinal disorder characterized by an abnormal sideways S-shaped or C-shaped curvature of the spine. It affects people of all ages and the level of severity is primarily dependent on the degree of deformity. Some sufferers are born with congenital scoliosis as a result from embryological malformation or one or more vertebrae, others are a result of neuromuscular scoliosis which may be associated with a neurological or muscular disease, and most cases are deemed as a result of idiopathic scoliosis. Idiopathic means “without known cause” and unfortunately this type of scoliosis comprises about 80% of all cases. The onset of scoliosis is usually diagnosed between the ages of 10-15, and more recent studies have discovered that it occurs equally among both genders.
Common signs that may indicate the possibility of scoliosis are as follows:
- Uneven shoulders or a shoulder blade that protrudes further than the other when standing;
- A rib hump (rib prominence) or a lower back hump (lumbar prominence) when bending forward; or
- One hip may appear higher than the other so that the waist is uneven.
Chiropractors may not be able to “fix” scoliosis, however routine adjustments can help restore spinal alignment in a way that improves posture, decreases pain associated with muscle strain, and allows blood to flow more freely throughout the body. As a continual form of treatment, chiropractic care is a safe and affordable method to manage the negative effects of the disorder, especially when used in conjunction with regular use of a brace.
If you suffer some scoliosis then you are more than likely familiar with the neck, shoulder, and hip pain, the headaches, and the tingling sensations you get in your limbs from the curvature putting pressure on other areas of your body. By manipulating the spine’s misalignments with manual adjustments and/or traction therapy patients with scoliosis can experience a combination of short and long-term relief. It’s a non-drug, non-invasive option that has been noted to make the effects of scoliosis more manageable over time.
Osteopath or Chiropractor for Scoliosis?
Chiropractors treat pain and help the body restore proper mobility and function through safe, controlled, and specific forces applied to the joints or muscles. Most modern-day chiropractors have additional training in supportive musculoskeletal therapies, however, traditionally their primary focus is on spinal alignment.
Similar to chiropractors, osteopaths believe that spinal health influences our overall health and that by addressing alignment issues we can optimize our nervous system, improve blood flow to the body, and relieve pain. One difference is that osteopaths focus more on how all body systems are interrelated and dependent upon one another, vs focusing primarily on treatments as they relate to the spine. As a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) practitioners are able to prescribe medications and aim to treat a broader range of problems over a longer period of time.
So which do you see for scoliosis? Since chiropractors and osteopaths share similar philosophies and approaches to treatment both will be able to help. With that being said, the expertise and specialized focus on the spine that a chiropractor provides may resonate more with you and your ideas about treatment. We suggest making an appointment with a chiropractor near you to learn more ways they can alleviate pain associated with scoliosis so that you experience long-term results.