So, What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis may sound strange. Maybe it is. It is a medical condition that alters the physical appearance of the spine. Scoliosis is the unusual curve of the spine, which physically disfigures the human body in some cases, and could even hinder breathing. Now that’s an issue. Scoliosis may be mild, moderate or severe, depending on how early it is detected and treated. It can be managed and prevented from becoming severe if detected early. People who have scoliosis sometimes suffer severe pain. This pain is caused by the damage done to the nearby nerves affected by the curved spine. But don’t fret, as having scoliosis is not the end of the world; it can be managed if detected in the early stages.
What Are its Symptoms?
Scoliosis in children is not always obvious. When it becomes obvious, it changes one’s physical appearance. Here are some of its symptoms:
- The shoulder blades may be different in height.
- A hip may stick out more than the other.
- The ribs stick out.
- The spine is visually curved.
- There are unequal gaps between the arms and the trunk of the body.
- Difficulty walking or a slight limp.
Scoliosis in adults is usually severe because the curve to the spine must have occurred when they were younger, and it probably went unchecked. Here are some symptoms of scoliosis specifically in adults:
- Pain or weakness in the legs
- Trouble breathing
- Frequent fatigue
- Stunted growth
- Protruding bump in the lower back
Knowing the causes of scoliosis is important, as this could help you prepare for the possibility of it happening, which would help curb it early enough.
Causes of Scoliosis
Scoliosis is not always caused by a particular factor; it could, however, be as a result of a complication from other diseases. We will discuss some of the likely causes of scoliosis:
Leg Length Discrepancy
This is a physical disorder where the legs are not of equal lengths. This condition is quite painful because it alters the movement of the patient. It can also put a strain on the spine until it curves, thereby, resulting in scoliosis.
Connective Tissue Disorders
These are conditions that are associated with the connective tissues in the human body and tissue such as skin, joints, muscles, joints, organs, blood vessels, and spinal cord. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a connective tissue disorder that affects the bone structure and results in a loose joint. Scoliosis may arise from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
It is an unusual curve in the spine, which is caused by an abnormal development of a fetus in the womb. In this case, sadly, the child is born with scoliosis.
This is a disease that attacks the neuromuscular system. It hinders communication between the nerves and muscles. It negatively affects the nerves that control the muscles, thereby leading to scoliosis.
As simple as this sounds, it does cause scoliosis; this type of scoliosis is called postural scoliosis. It is caused by poor sitting posture.
It’s benign, though painful tumor located in the spine. People with spine tumors usually lean towards the opposite side of the tumor, so as to reduce the pressure on the tumor. The spinal tumor could lead to spinal deformity.
Genetics can be a factor in having scoliosis. It is hereditary, so a child who has a family history of it may also suffer it.
Mild scoliosis can be managed by close monitoring and the use of braces. Bracing prevents further curving as the spine grows. Some curves, however, are too small to use a brace to correct. And yeah, there are different types of braces, depending on the kind of curve involved. It could be a ‘C’ curve or an ‘S’ curve. Braces are specially made to suit the patient’s body type and curve.
When scoliosis is severe, it can be treated with surgery to reduce its severity and prevent further progression of the spinal curve. It is dangerous to take severe scoliosis lightly because of it could worse, and this could be really terrible. Surgery is done to put the progression of the curve to a stock as it may start to affect the patient’s heart and lungs.
Some people actually practice yoga, as it is therapeutic for the body and mind. Studies also show that yoga can help to partially, if not totally realign the spine. Yoga has proven helpful for quite a number of health conditions, not just scoliosis.
Painkillers, to a large extent, relief the troubles that people living with Scoliosis encounter. The constant pain, really, is a terrible condition.
In treating scoliosis, it’s crucial not to self-medicate, as painkillers should only be prescribed by a qualified doctor. What else? It’s quite easy to get addicted to painkillers while treating scoliosis. This should be avoided.
Physical therapy is another way to deal with scoliosis. It involves a lot of exercises which strengthen the bones of those who suffer scoliosis. If done correctly, physical therapy could correct mild scoliosis, as it helps return the spine to a more natural shape.
Practicing Good Postures
Practicing good sleeping and sitting postures are helpful too. Sitting upright and sleeping on your side with your legs bent at the knees is super helpful. If you lie down on your back, you may also raise your knees, as it gives support to lower back.
The life expectancy of people living with scoliosis varies, depending on the severity of the condition. People living with mild scoliosis will most likely live a normal life if they treat it early enough and properly too. Sadly, people with severe scoliosis will most likely have their lifespan threatened by it. If properly managed, they can live a normal and long life.
A support system is highly essential when treating scoliosis. Now, this cannot be overemphasized. Such people need family, friends and their community to support them and help them love themselves for who they are. They need love from the community too. If scoliosis patients do not have some kind of support system, they could become depressed, commit suicide or even lose the will to live. People with scoliosis have a lot to live for, they most certainly can lead a normal life.
Facts about Scoliosis
- Scoliosis is the unusual curve of the spine.
- Scoliosis has no cure, it can only be managed and treated.
- Scoliosis can be a complication from neuromuscular disease.
- There is no main cause of scoliosis.
- A child could be born with scoliosis.
- Detecting and treating scoliosis in its early stages, to a large extent, increases the quality of life.
- There is no guarantee that bracing will stop the progression of scoliosis in a child.
- Scoliosis in children is usually treated with braces.
- Scoliosis in adults is usually treated with surgery.
Scoliosis is a condition people live with, it has no cure, it can only be managed. A number of people are born with scoliosis, yet they lead a healthy life. Pay close attention to your body and watch out for the symptoms. Do not be quick to dismiss such symptoms, as early detection could save you a lifetime of pain and increase your quality of life.