Most people recognize that having an abnormally curved spine is not a good thing and rightfully so- scoliosis is a condition that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Numerous studies show that it can lead to a higher risk of injury and mortality, depression, poor self-image, respiratory and digestive issues, and pain among other problems. It’s not a condition that anyone wants to be labeled with.
Unfortunately though, scoliosis is a term that I see thrown around and used inappropriately as well. People often come into my office claiming that they have scoliosis because they were diagnosed incorrectly as a youth, or maybe a parent or friend noticed something odd about the shape of their back. Sometimes it’s even due to another health care professional giving them this diagnosis when in reality they may not have all the evidence that was needed to really make this distinction.
As a result I’ve seen this improper use of the term create a lot of unnecessary fear and stress in a person’s mind as to the state of their spine. The unfortunate irony here is that the stress created from being misdiagnosed can contribute to other health issues!
If you think you have scoliosis or you’ve been told that you do it’s important to know for sure whether or not this is actually the case and what to do about it. The only way to really know for sure is to get spinal xrays to confirm whether or not you do have an abnormally large curvature of the spine.
Scoliosis is defined as a curvature greater than 10 degrees when measured by the ‘Cobb-Lippmann’ method on xray. This means that visually observing at person’s back is NOT enough to make this distinction.
So what if it turns out that I DO have scoliosis?
If it turns out that you do actually have scoliosis you need to come to terms with the fact that it is a structural issue that will likely need your attention and care for the rest of your life. (SIDE NOTE* everyone’s spine needs lifetime care and attention!)
Everyone needs to take care of their back and maintain strength and flexibility, but for someone with the disadvantage of scoliosis it is twice as important to:
#1: Maintain a regular regime of back and core strengthening (see our exercises section)
#2: Maintain a regular regime of stretching (see our stretching section)
#3: Maintain a regular regime of chiropractic care in order to maintain your spinal alignment, range of motion, and nerve system health. Chiropractic can help correct and stabilize scoliosis to the greatest degree possible, and the younger a person is and less advanced the scoliosis is, the better the results!
What if it turns out that I don’t have scoliosis but I do have a curvature in my spine?
As mentioned, everyone’s spine needs care and attention throughout their lifetime. An abnormal curvature, or spinal or pelvic misalignment- even a small one- is not a good thing and can impact your health. Getting a spinal health assessment from a chiropractor along incorporating strengthening, stretching, and periodic chiropractic check-ups are important to maintain your overall wellness.
Do you think you have scoliosis or you’ve been told that you do? Contact us to find the truth and what it means for your health.