What is Scolosis?

Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine. The spinal curve may develop as a single curve (shaped like the letter C) or as two curves (shaped like the letter S). In children and teens, scoliosis often does not have any noticeable symptoms and may not be noticeable unless it progresses significantly.

Scoliosis Types

Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common form of scoliosis. The term idiopathic means a condition or disease with no known cause. Idiopathic scoliosis is further classified based on age:

  • Infantile Idiopathic Scoliosis: onset from birth to 3 years of age.
  • Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis: onset between 3 and 10 years of age.
  • Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: onset between 10 years of age and skeletal maturity.

Adolescent scoliosis is the most common type of idiopathic scoliosis. Females are predominantly affected. This age range is when rapid growth typically occurs which is why a curve at this stage should be monitored closely for progression.

Scoliosis Types

In children and teenagers, scoliosis often does not have any noticeable symptoms. The curvature of the spine does not cause pain, and if it is mild, it can go unnoticed.

Signs of scoliosis:

  • Positive Adam's Forward Bend Test
  • One shoulder is higher than the other
  • One shoulder blade sticks out more than the other
  • The waist appears uneven
  • One side of the rib cage appears higher than the other
  • The body tilts to one side
  • One hip appears higher or more prominent than the other
  • One leg may appear shorter than the other

Xray imaging is the most definitive diagnostic tool in the diagnosis and management of a patient with scoliosis.

Treatment and Management of Scoliosis

Treatment options for scoliosis are:

  • Observation and Monitoring. Once scoliosis is detected, close observation and monitoring is important in the evolving management of scoliosis. Measurement of the curve on a regular schedule is important to determine the rate of curvature progression.
  • Bracing /Surgery may be required for a rapidly progressing curve greater than 20 degrees
  • Chiropractic spinal manipulation and exercise frequently decrease associated musculoskeletal symptoms and improve posture, flexibility and muscular tone.
  • Soft tissue techniques