In its broadest definition, scoliosis typically refers to a “curved spine”. This curve can develop in the thoracic spine (mid- to upper-level of the back) or in the lumbar (lower spine). The twist in the spine may develop towards either side, resulting in a C-shape curvature, or even in both opposite directions to force an S-shape.
How Does It Occur?
Scoliosis can occur to any age group, but it is more common for children/infants. Common causes include developmental, congenital, or degenerative disorders. There are four different types of scoliosis, namely:
•Congenital Scoliosis Problem at birth giving rise to a deformed vertebra
•Neuromuscular Scoliosis Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Spina Bifida, Paralysis, Spinal Cord Tumours, Arnold Chiari Malformation, Syringomyelia
•Degenerative Scoliosis Most common type of scoliosis typically found in adults which stems primarily from conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis
•Idiopathic Scoliosis Type of scoliosis with unknown causes which affects three major age groups; Infantile (1-3 years old), Juvenile (3-9) and Adolescent (10-18)
Common symptoms include: body twisted to one side when walking or bending over, uneven shoulder or hip lengths, chronic back pain.
Scoliosis can be usually detected via a combination of X-ray and physical examination.
Traditionally, scoliosis treatments focus on three different approaches; observation (monitor for development of spinal deformities), bracing and surgery (to fuse the spine or to straighten the spine via insertion of a rod). However, Functional Wellness and exercise programs have risen in prominence in recent times and fast-becoming a popular option to improve spinal health towards the successful treatment of scoliosis.