Everyone has normal spinal curves, which exist to support the weight of the head/body and allow the spine to bear weight. Scoliosis refers to abnormal spinal curvature that can cause back pain and spinal deformity. It’s vital to understand the whole condition so you can ensure it’s diagnosed early and treated correctly. In this blog, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the condition, from signs and symptoms to treatments and prevention.
What is Idiopathic Scoliosis?
Idiopathic scoliosis is a medical condition. It develops due to specific genetic variant patterns during times of rapid adolescent growth. It is characterized by spinal rotation (measured by Scoliometer) causing a curve. Scoliosis is a condition that most commonly affects teenage girls and involves a sideways curvature of the spine. The reason of most childhood scoliosis is still largely unknown, despite the fact that it may result from disorders such as spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy (neuromuscular scoliosis).
Scoliosis is usually idiopathic (a type of scoliosis), which means that its cause cannot be identified clearly in most cases. However, the condition is thought to develop as a result of genetic mutations or other environmental factors. Moreover, the condition has been seen more frequently among girls than boys and can occasionally occur in siblings of the affected individual too.
Early stage intervention is vital for treatment success. The sooner treatment begins, the better the outcome can be. This can include x-ray examination, CT scan, and exercises for mild-moderate cases or surgery for severe scoliosis that does not respond well to other forms of treatment (e.g., back brace and rehabilitation).
Who Gets Scoliosis?
The condition usually occurs in children aged 9 to 14. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, and affects approximately 3 in every 100 children in the United States. The cause of is not well-understood; however, it is thought to be a combination of environmental and genetic factors, so most cases may be inherited. While the condition can affect both boys and girls, girls are more likely to have it than boys. There are a few risk factors that can increase the chances of developing the condition, including: – Having a parent, brother, or sister with this condition – Having cerebral palsy or other health complications that affect the spinal cord – An abnormal spinal curve during childhood – congenital scoliosis is caused by an abnormality of one or more vertebrae in the womb. Uncovering the mysteries of spine curves can help researchers develop better treatments for this debilitating condition.
Incidence and Prevalence
Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type and affects 2-3% of the population. It commonly begins in adolescence and can progress over time to curve magnitude that requires scoliosis treatment, such as a brace, Scoliosis Boot Camp, or surgery, depending on the severity of the curve. The prevalence of the condition among females is approximately three times higher than males. Due to their greater risk, females are often recommended to receive condition-specific backbone treatment and follow-up care at an earlier age. Additionally, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type, affecting approximately 80% of patients with the condition. Signs of scoliosis develop at a younger age than adult-onset curves, usually between the ages of 10-14 years.
Causes of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS)
AIS is the most common type of curved spine condition. It accounts for up to 80% of all cases of scoliosis in children.
– AIS is classified by age, children age 9-18 are considered adolescent cases.
– AIS is caused by genetic factors and is more likely to affect girls than boys.
– The cause of AIS is unknown, but it’s possible that idiopathic scoliosis occurs when the spine develops abnormally during growth or development, causing bad posture, uneven shoulder blade, and a spinal curvature.
– It often does not cause pain in children unless the curve becomes severe. This can happen quickly, so it’s important for healthcare providers to detect curves quickly and start treatment as soon as possible.
The disease is more common in females than males, and it has been linked to a number of different factors. These include age, gender, genetics, and other health conditions.
Scoliosis risk factors are also related to the types of scoliosis a person develops. For example, people with a family history of scoliosis are more likely to develop the condition. However, scoliosis can occur for many different reasons and can be mild or severe depending on the person’s health history.
Once the condition has been diagnosed, it is important for the individual to receive treatment as soon as possible to prevent further complications and symptoms of scoliosis from developing. This could include spinal surgery or back brace treatment if necessary.
How is Idiopathic Scoliosis Treated?
– Non-surgical Treatment options for the condition may include bracing or Scoliosis Boot Camp, or a combination of the two. Bracing is the most common treatment and can help support the spine and improve the curve temporarily. A scoliosis brace is a type of treatment that uses graduated straps or bracelets to support the spine and help stabilize the curve. Surgery is usually recommended for patients with a curve exceeding 50 degrees and can help correct scoliosis by removing part of the spine that is out of alignment. Some alternative treatments, such as ScoliSMART and Schroth, are also options.
Spine curves can result in pain, difficulty with breathing, and other complications. It is generally categorized into mild, moderate, severe, based on the degree of spinal curve. It can also be caused by congenital abnormalities of the spine.
If mild cases are treated through physical therapy (Scoliosis Boot Camp), it can often be corrected and stabilized. However, approximately 20% of cases require more thorough assessment through neurotransmitter and hormone testing. Scoliosis exercises help patients reduce the curve, improve spine stability, and quality of life. In addition to scoliosis-specific exercises, patients benefit from highly targeted supplements to support their active lifestyles.
To learn more about how to treat the whole scoliosis condition and not only the curve, connect with our passionate providers at ScoliSMART. To explore a non-brace/ non-surgical treatment for your child’s scoliosis problem, you may schedule a no-cost Zoom or phone consultation with a ScoliSMART doctor. Please get in touch with us today!
Genetic and Clinical Testing
It can be idiopathic in nature, meaning there is no identifiable cause for the scoliosis; or it can be associated with other types of spinal and back disorders. Genetic testing for idiopathic scoliosis typically involves the analysis of genetic variants. If a genetic cause is found, treatment may involve the use of nutrient therapies to address the identified problem and support healthy function. In most cases, non-invasive interventions may be all that is needed to treat idiopathic scoliosis and support spinal health.
Clinical testing for idiopathic scoliosis generally involves checking for hormone and neurotransmitter imbalances that may contribute to spinal curvature. Additionally, treatment may involve physical examination, exercise programs, and nutritional counseling.
Supplements for Scoliosis
Treatment typically consists of non-operative treatment such as exercise to reduce and stabilize the curve. Additionally, highly specific supplements may be recommended based on individual patient needs and clinical test results. These supplements are usually targeted to address any underlying deficiencies in the body and target the root cause of the condition. In older adults, osteoporosis may be a contributing factor to degenerative scoliosis/arthritis and supplements may be given to strengthen bones and support spine and pelvis strength.
Bracing, which involves wearing different types of braces on the back, can provide pain relief and help adults with the condition maintain an upright posture.
The Boston brace is the most commonly used brace for scoliosis. The brace must be worn continuously for at least 23 hours each day until skeletal maturity is achieved. The brace must be changed every few months to allow the spine to continue growing. The Boston brace is effective only when worn 23 hours per day, so it must be replaced as the patient grows it.
Spinal Fusion Surgery
Spinal fusion is the treatment recommendation when the Cobb angle is greater than 50 degrees. The spinal fusion may involve implanting metal rods and screws into the spine to straighten the spine and correct the curve. It may also involve spinal fusion of vertebrae to prevent further progression. Spine surgery typically involves a variety of techniques, depending on the cause and stage of the disease and patient’s health status.
It is complex condition that requires careful physical exam and treatment by an experienced multidisciplinary team of doctors. While effective treatment options exist, patients must be aware of the risks and complications associated with any type of surgery, especially addiction from painkillers.
Risks of surgery
Surgery may be recommended for severe cases of that have not responded to other treatments. Possible complications of surgery include spinal infection, spine or nerve damage, and leakage of spinal fluid. Additionally, surgery may be necessary if the curvature of the spine is severe enough to cause pain or mobility issues. In mild cases of scoliosis, physical complications are rare. Early diagnosis and treatment help prevent idiopathic scoliosis from becoming severe enough to require surgery.
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Scoliosis is a condition of the spine that can cause back pain and limb deformity in young people. It occurs when the spine curves to the side or the back, causing spinal bones to grow and curve abnormally. Scoliosis can be idiopathic—meaning it’s caused by unknown causes—or scoliosis may be hereditary.
It’s important for individuals with scoliosis to discuss their medical history with a health care provider, as scoliosis can lead to higher risk of lower back pain, chronic pain, and difficulty breathing.
A scoliosis examination involves checking the spine for signs of curvature, such as bowing of the back or mild scoliosis-like curves in the spine. This is done by taking x-ray (or standing MRI) images of the back and comparing them with images taken during a previous examination. Additionally, the health care provider may perform tests to check for genetic problems that might provide an outlook on the condition.
After diagnosing scoliosis, it’s important for individuals to receive treatment as soon as possible. In particular, highly targeted nutrient therapies may help determine the cause of scoliosis in children who are genetically at risk of developing it. Early diagnosis is also vital for outlook on prevention and treatment. Support groups like Scoliosis Warriors on Facebook provide information and support for those living with scoliosis. They offer daily support through their Scoliosis Warriors community forum. This gives people with scoliosis the opportunity to discuss issues and concerns about their condition openly and without fear of judgment or blame.