The spine, is made up of small bones (vertebrae) stacked – along with discs – one on top of another. A healthy spine when viewed from the side has gentle curves to it. The curves help the spine absorb stress from body movement and gravity.
When viewed from the back, the spine should run straight down the middle of the back. When abnormalities of the spine occur, the natural curvatures of the spine are misaligned or exaggerated in certain areas, as occurs with scoliosis.
While scoliosis can be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of most scoliosis is unknown.
Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but some children develop spine deformities that continue to get more severe as they grow. Severe scoliosis can be disabling. An especially severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly.
Children who have mild scoliosis are monitored closely, usually with X-rays, to see if the curve is getting worse. In many cases, no treatment is necessary. Some children will need to wear a brace to stop the curve from worsening. Others may need surgery to keep the scoliosis from worsening and to straighten severe cases of scoliosis.
Symptoms and Treatments
Symptoms of scoliosis may include having:
- Uneven shoulder blades with one being higher than the other
- One shoulder blade being more prominent than the other
- An uneven waist or hip
- Leaning toward one side
Diagnosis and treatment for scoliosis may include:
- If there is a slight curve your doctor may choose to check your back every four to six months to see if the curve gets worse.
- Depending on the degree of the curve, a back brace is sometimes prescribed for kids and adolescents who are still growing. Bracing can help prevent the curve from getting worse.
- If the curve is severe and is getting worse, surgery is sometimes needed.
- Body casting. A cast is placed from the shoulders to the lower trunk while the child is under anaesthesia. It is replaced every few months for up to 3 years. This is usually reserved for young children when a scoliosis curve looks like it will get worse as they grow.
Exercise programs, chiropractic treatment, electrical stimulation, and nutritional supplements have not been proven to prevent the worsening of scoliosis.
It is still ideal to keep as much as strength and flexibility to maintain normal function. This may require more effort and attention in someone with scoliosis.
At Epic Fit, our experienced and knowledgeable trainers know exactly what exercises you are able to perform to keep you mentally and physically well