Today is the last in the mini series of postural faults. We've looked at Kyphosis and Lordosis, and we're going to finish with Scoliosis, where the spine curves to one side or the other out of it's natural alignment. Scoliosis tends to arise in childhood or adolescence and it is the most common spinal problem in children. Thankfully in most cases it is mild and more severe cases can be corrected by wearing braces or surgery. The cause is unknown in 80% of cases. In adults, the most common type of Scoliosis is degenerative Scoliosis, where roughly 38% of the population are affected. It results from asymmetrical disc generation over time. It can cause back pain and sciatica and is most common in people in their 60s or older.
Signs of scoliosis include:
· A visibly curved spine
· Leaning to 1 side
· Uneven shoulders
· 1 shoulder or hip sticking out
· Ribs sticking out on 1 side
· Clothes not fitting well
A small amount of curvature is perfectly normal. To get a diagnosis of Scoliosis the curve would need to be at least 10 degrees. If you suspect you have Scoliosis, please seek medical advice. There are many therapies available to help such as physical therapy, heat and ice treatments, massage and ultrasound treatments. In most cases, if it is caught early on, it can be treated and managed well. There are also support groups that you can join to meet other people living with Scoliosis.
It's not clear that targeted exercises or
stretches help with Scoliosis, but regular exercise is good for overall physical and mental health and most people with the condition can exercise as normal.