Scoliosis is defined by a progressive, abnormal lateral curve of the spine. The spine is designed to have 3 curves when looking from the side but should be straight when looking front-to-back. Scoliosis is when the spine deviated from being straight when looking from front-to-back.
Scoliosis varies greatly in its degree of severity. A mild scoliosis may require monitoring to assess if there are any structural changes and ensure the spine is within normal limits. More advanced and severe scoliotic curves may require more attention to ensure that no serious health problems arise.
The most common onset of scoliosis is ‘adolescent idiopathic scoliosis’. Idiopathic means that it is of ‘unknown origin’ – suggesting that there is no known cause for a person to develop scoliosis.
Scoliosis can affect people of any age however is twice as common in females. The development of scoliosis in childhood can be more serious as the condition can progress quickly as the child grows.
An important factor that our chiropractors consider when assessing a scoliosis, is whether the lateral curvature of the spine is either a structural or functional scoliosis.
A functional scoliosis is a temporary condition. This form of scoliosis often occurs as the result of another problem or change to the body; such as one leg being shorter than the other, musculature spasms or prolonged abnormal postures.
A structural scoliosis, unlike a functional scoliosis, is a result of abnormal structural changes to bones, of both the spine and body, and/or the supporting musculature.
Our chiropractors are able to identify which form of scoliosis an individual may have, and also provide advice on the best form of management and care.
What are the symptoms of Scoliosis?:
- uneven posture; such as unlevelled shoulder height.
- uneven hip height with tilting.
- one shoulder blade being more visible and rotated than the other.
- a rib hump.
Chiropractic and Scoliosis:
Scoliotic curvatures less than 30 degrees can benefit from chiropractic care through management to address any neuro-structural faults such as discrepancies in leg length and other structural shifts, creating secondary symptoms and postural distortions.
A scoliotic curvature greater than 30 degrees will most often warrant further investigation to determine the most suitable way to manage this degree of structural shift.
Villafane. J, et al. Manipulative and rehabilitative therapy as a treatment of idiopathic scoliosis without psychological sequelae: A case report. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2012. Vol 11(2); 109 – 114
Morningstar, M. Outcomes for adult scoliosis patients receiving Chiropractic rehabilitation: A 24-month retrospective analysis. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2011. Vol 10(3); 179 – 184
Kao-Chang, C, Chiu, E. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis treated by spinal manipulation: A case study. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2008. Vol 14(6); 749 – 751