Patients with scoliosis have a sideways curvature of the spine. The condition is typically diagnosed in adolescents, though it can also develop in patients with cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. The cause of most childhood cases of scoliosis is unknown.
Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but some curves may worsen as children grow, and lead to disability. A severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest and lead to difficulty breathing.
Children with mild scoliosis will be closely monitored to see if the curve worsens. Most patients with scoliosis don’t require treatment, but some children may need to wear a brace to stop the curve from worsening. Others may need treatment to correct the spinal cord’s growth.
Symptoms of Scoliosis
One side of the rib cage jutting forward
A hump on one side of the back when bending forward
One hip appearing to be higher than the other
One shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other
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Scoliosis causes the spine to curve side to side and rotate or twist, making one side of the body seem to protrude more than the other.
Causes of Scoliosis
The exact cause of scoliosis is unknown, but is likely hereditary. Other, less common types of scoliosis may be caused by:
Previous neonatal surgery on the chest wall
Injuries to or infections of the spine
Neuromuscular conditions, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy
Birth defects affecting the development of the vertebrae
Abnormalities in the spinal cord
Risk Factors For Scoliosis
The risk of developing scoliosis may be higher for individuals who:
Have a family history of the condition
The right treatment for scoliosis will depend on the patient’s age and overall condition. At Central Nevada Regional Care, patients may be treated with joint and soft tissue injections, pain management therapy, and occupational medicine.
Joint and soft tissue injections may help alleviate pain from scoliosis. Injections offered at Central Nevada Regional Care include epidural injections, sacroiliac joint injections, piriformis injections, and trigger point injections.
Pain management therapy for scoliosis may encompass a range of treatments, such as hot and cold therapy, massage, acupuncture, meditation, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, cognitive behavior therapy, yoga, tai chi, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, opioids, antidepressants, and beta-blockers.
Some cases of scoliosis interfere with daily life and impairs an individual’s ability to perform job responsibilities. In these cases, occupational medicine could help adult patients with scoliosis adjust to the demands of the workplace.
Staff at Central Nevada Regional Care are also trained to help employers adapt the workplace to the limitations of employees diagnosed with scoliosis. Occupational medicine specialists can help both employers and employees create a plan that will meet their needs.
Some patients with scoliosis may need advanced treatment, such as chiropractic adjustment, physical therapy, and even surgery. Many scoliosis patients require the use of a brace. Patients are encouraged to speak to their physician at Central Nevada Regional Care to learn more about obtaining advanced treatment for scoliosis.
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