If you are Singaporean, you must be familiar with the spine check you have to go through in Primary School. If the nurse suspects that you have scoliosis, they most likely refer you to the Health Promotion Board for further checks. Often these checkups result in you being asked to wear a brace, or having to wait and see until your scoliosis is sever enough for an operation. These passive recommendations, which in one case results in a rather invasive procedure, do not really offer you a solution to the problem you are facing.
And this is children that we are speaking of – the ones that have so much of life in front of them with diverse dreams and roles they will end up playing in our society. The last thing we would want for them is to hinder their opportunities by not addressing the problems they may be facing.
Were you one of the children that were once further tested over the suspicion of scoliosis, to live on with the fear that one day you may be laying on an operating table? Have you experienced some level of back pain that was always suggested to be linked to scoliosis?
Since we have initiated this conversation, your next question will probably be, “Can chiropractic help with scoliosis?” The answer is yes and no.
Let unravel the reasons why.
What is Scoliosis?
First of all, what is scoliosis? Scoliosis is a specific type of spinal misalignment condition where your spine curves to the side when you are viewed from behind. A healthy spine from behind should be straight and your pelvis should be level. This ideal alignment allows for the optimal amount of stability, flexibility, strength, and resilience in your spinal structure.
This ideal alignment allows you to withstand all of the stresses and traumas of life.
With scoliosis, a sideward curve of the spine is present and this vastly alters the mechanical properties of your spinal structure. With scoliosis, you are often more prone to injuries and spin-related aches and pain.
Here’s an example of scoliosis on an x-ray taken from behind:
What Causes Scoliosis?
There has been no confirmed explanation on what causes scoliosis, but it has been said that it could be due to hereditary factors, neuromuscular conditions, birth defects, or injuries.
But spinal misalignment can be caused by a combination of a multitude of factors; such as the stresses on the spine during the birth process, during the process of learning how to balance and walk, the small injuries from the first time a child falls off a bike, the stress of carrying a school bag, bad posture, and so on.
A nurse suspecting scoliosis may not be 100% right, but a child may be experiencing some form of spinal misalignment, that may present to be larger issues, such as scoliosis at a later point in the child’s life.
Effects of Scoliosis
Scoliosis is serious because this type of spinal distortion will lead to asymmetrical stresses and loads on your spine. The abnormal or out-of-balance continual force present in your spine may cause a number of related problems.
Your muscles will become tight, stiff, and will likely ache when they are under stress. The stiffness and pain may spread to other areas of your body as the stress builds up.
Your posture most likely will be visibly distorted. Usually, we will see an obvious imbalance in the shoulders, and a rotation or some kind of distortion in the pelvis.
Signs of Scoliosis
- One shoulder blade sticks out
- One shoulder higher
- Head not centered
- Body shifts to one side
- One side of the hip higher
- More arm space on one side
Early Detection is Essential
As with most types of health problems, the earlier we can catch scoliosis the better the outcome.
This is another reason why children are the best people for chiropractic care: we have the greatest opportunity to make a positive impact in their lives if we catch a small problem before it becomes a major crisis.
If we can catch a spinal distortion like scoliosis at a young enough age, often the goal is complete correction of the misalignment. Many types of scoliosis are reversible if caught early enough and addressed properly.
If the problem is caught later in life, this will radically affect the goals of care. The goals change from full correction to more of a minimization or management of the problem approach.
This is common sense. If you have a more severe, longer-term problem, then more work is required to improve it and the outcomes may be more varied or unpredictable.
What is Chiropractic Approach to Scoliosis?
Chiropractors are the only healthcare providers that specialize in correcting spinal misalignments. Spinal realignment is our specialty. If a person’s spine is physically out of alignment, then a physical approach is required to improve it.
Chiropractic offers a three-pronged approach to managing scoliosis:
- Chiropractic adjustments
- Spinal exercises, stretches, and spinal rehab protocols
- Correcting your bad habits
Chiropractic adjustments realign your spine. They help you feel better, perform better, and live better.
Scoliosis can be a challenging pattern of misalignment to improve. Every person has a different healing process, so results are highly individualized.
In some cases the goal is full correction. In other, more advanced cases, the goal may be to simply stop the problem from worsening and retain as much function as possible.
Give Your Child the Chiropractic Advantage
So can chiropractic help with scoliosis? Well, the answer is yes and no. It depends on what you are looking for. Give your child the chiropractic advantage today, and let’s get them checked.