"It is the path of least resistance that makes rivers and men crooked." B.J. Palmer
Scoliosis describes an abnormal lateral curvature in the spine. These are typically found at the thoracic (mid back) levels but are also affiliated with the lumbar (low back region). They are classified as C curves or S curves depending on the nature of the curve itself. Scoliosis tends to affect children ages 10-15, typically females will experience this worse as most scoliotic curves in males resolves itself on its own.
What causes scoliosis? For the most part, doctors don't know why some people tend to get scoliosis and others don't. During puberty the growing body tends to come in "spurts" and may cause for abnormal growth patterns in long weight bearing bones like the femur. This may cause for the body to compensate leading the growing body to a pattern of shifting weight causing for the spine to compensate. Over time the abnormal function of the weight discrepancy can cause for the spine to laterally curve and stay there.
So can a chiropractor help fix this? The correct answer is maybe. It all depends on the type of scoliosis. The one described previously is considered a "Functional" Scoliosis and these can be treated with chiropractic care. There is another type though, the "Anatomical" Scoliosis. This describes the lateral curve that occurs because of an abnormal anatomical discrepancy such as a missing pedicle in a vertebral bone, or perhaps it is a stunted vertebral body in a bone in the spine. These types of scoliosis are typically untreatable by conservative or chiropractic care. Luckily this is rarely the case and if this is found our Four Peaks Chiropractor will refer you for concurrent care which may include a surgical consult.
A Functional Scoliosis can usually be treated by conservative care, but it all depends on the severity of the curve, the density and strength of the bone, and other genetic or health factors. These will all be discussed by your chiropractic physician who will treat each patient on an individual case by case basis.
Typical treatments include, manual or machine adjustments, functional orthotics, stretching and strengthening exercises, e-stim and other physical therapy modalities that may help the individual. If you or a loved one have a scoliosis feel free to contact Four Peaks today.