What is scoliosis of the spine?
Scoliosis is the abnormal curvature of the spine forming an ‘S’ shape.
It affects approximately 3 children out of every 1000 in the UK. It is thought that as many as 70% of over 65s have some degree of scoliosis.
Signs include a visible curve of the spine; a shoulder or hip being more prominent than the other; back pain and problems with being able to sit up straight. In some cases it may affect breathing patterns.
Many children do not require treatment with mild scoliosis because the condition can correct itself as the child grows. However, in severe cases they may need to wear a back brace until they stop growing. Sometimes, they are offered surgery to straighten the spine which involves placing metal rods on either side of the spine to fuse it in place and hold the spine straight.
The Scoliosis Association UK
The Scoliosis Association UK says that everyone who is diagnosed with curvature of the spine should take the advice of a scoliosis specialist to discuss the different treatments available. As all individuals will present differently it is important to know what options are the most suitable for each individual.
However, exercise can improve posture and muscle strength which helps to support the spine. This will help to improve strength in core muscles which can help with flexibility and reduction in pain.
Can chiropractic support a person with Scoliosis?
Tone has treated several patients presenting with scoliosis of the spine. Although each patient will be individually assessed Tone describes an outline of the treatment she offers here at Luck’s Yard Clinic:
‘At Lucks Yard we value the importance of postural evaluation and preventative care. We estimate that approximately 30% of our patients are under the age of 16. Occasionally children are brought to the clinic for an assessment of back problems including muscle tension and discomfort. We are able to give them postural advice and guidance on what sports are suitable for them to ensure the safety and health of their backs.
It is not always easy to know if our backs are well aligned and balanced. Sometimes chiropractors are the first to assess postural balance during our initial assessment. When a child is presenting with scoliosis we work with their health care provider in supporting their care. Every type of scoliosis is different and needs a different approach and support which may include soft tissue work and/or exercises.’
Are there any other treatments?
Scoliosis sufferer Erika Maude opened the London based Scoliosis SOS clinic in 2009. They offer a combination of non-surgical methods of treating scoliosis. The treatment entails 4 weeks of intensive therapy after an initial consultation which involves a detailed medical questionnaire, examination and evaluation of the spine and back and a radiation-free back scan.
For further reading about Scoliosis we recommend ‘Your plan for natural scoliosis prevention and treatment’ by Dr Kevin Lau, (ISBN 9781 4565 12026) available from Amazon.
Further information on these research studies and organisations mentioned in this article can be found if you click on the following links: