What is Scoliosis
Scoliosis (sko-lee-oh-sis) is a term taken from a Greek word meaning curvature. During the 19th Century physicians thought poor posture was the primary cause of scoliosis. Today scoliosis is known to be either congenital (present at birth) or developmental and may be hereditary. The disease causes the spine to curve to the side, usually in the shape of an “S” or “C”.
Scoliosis attacks the muscles and ligaments of the spinal column, causing a side ways twisting and rotation of the spine, ribs, and pelvis. The deteriorating crooked spinal column is a consequence of the disease, not the disease itself. Symptoms of scoliosis may vary on an individual basis and may include mood swings, headaches, digestive problems, menstrual-cycle disturbance, and leg, hip and knee pain. Curve progression may continue though out life, but the degree of deformity may accelerate according to hormonal stress, diet, exercise, and genetic make up.
Current research shows that idiopathic (‘unknown in origin’) scoliosis is a multifaceted disease compromising five of the body’s systems: digestive, hormonal, muscular, osseous (bones), and neurological.
Scoliosis affects the entire skeletal system including the spine, ribs, and pelvis. It impacts upon the brain and central nervous system and affects the body’s hormonal and digestive systems. It can deplete the body’s nutritional resources and damage its major organs including the heart and lungs.
Some factors that can cause scoliosis include: cerebral palsy, birth defects, muscular dystrophy and Marfan syndrome. However, 80% of scoliosis is idiopathic.
According to the International Scoliosis Society, one in nine females and a smaller percentage of males have some sign of scoliosis. Approximately 4% of the general population is affected. While the average patient is between 10-15 years of age, many adults suffer from this disease as well.
Conditions arising as a result of scoliosis include rib deformity, shortness of breath, digestive problems, chronic fatigue, acute or dull back pain, leg, hip, and knee pain, acute headaches, mood swings, and menstrual disturbances.
Scoliosis is a progressive condition that can continue to progress even after skeletal maturity.
When Should I Begin Treatment?
A proactive treatment should begin as early as possible. It is important to treat the multifaceted nature of scoliosis.
How Does Scoliosis Affect The Body?
In the infantile stages, a very mild rotation occurs at the spinal column. It is often overlooked by parents or medical professionals. As the condition progresses, symptoms of shoulder unleveling, waistline discrepancies and a mild rib deformity may be detected.
Internal symptoms may be expressed as headaches, acute to dull back pain, loss of coordination, digestive problems, menstrual cycle disturbances, leg, hip and knee pain.
Is Surgery My Only Option?
No, absolutely not. Scoliosis treatments such as deep tissue relaxation techniques that utilize muscle stimulation, nutritional therapy, spinal adjustments, comprehensive exercise, and hydrotherapy may help.
As with all forms of chronic pain, left untreated, there can be a number of associated problems that lead to a downward cycle for the patient, including depression, sleeplessness, feelings of fear and anxiety, limited social interaction and inability to perform normal daily activities.
Structural stability starts in the pelvis. Re-organizing and stabilizing your pelvis is vital to unraveling scoliosis.