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Scoliosis Relief in Fredericksburg

Jan 31, 2022

Scoliosis is the abnormal curvature of the spine. If you have this chiropractic condition, you will have it for the rest of your life. However, a chiropractor in Fredericksburg, VA – Stine Chiropractic Clinic – will examine you for scoliosis and recommend treatment.

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis means you have a lateral curvature of the spine. To receive a diagnosis for scoliosis, your spine must measure at least 10 degrees of lateral curvature. In order to measure the size of your scoliosis we use the Cobb angle method.

Cobb Angle: How to Measure Scoliosis

  1. The patient stands for a front-facing X-ray of the spine.
  2. Next, the chiropractor identifies the vertebra at the apex of the scoliosis curve in the X-ray image.
  3. Then the most-tilted vertebrae above and below the apex are identified.
  4. Draw perpendicular lines from each of the most-tilted vertebrae.
  5. You measure the Cobb angle where the lines intersect.

How does scoliosis affect the body?

In severe cases, scoliosis causes a distortion of the cavities where vital organs lie. This is a major concern. In addition, scoliosis changes rib placement, called rib humping. The lateral curvature and the rotation of the vertebrae change the ribs. The ribs are raised on the convex side of the curve and depressed on the concave side. Although mainly aesthetic, rib humping is seen while lying down.

In addition, scoliosis causes more back pain. As the curve changes, the spinal biomechanics also change, which results in more pain and tightness.

Can chiropractic help?

Yes, chiropractic helps with scoliosis. You will experience a lot of aches and pains as the lateral curvature develops. Treatment includes applying gentle pressure and heat to the problem areas.

How do you treat scoliosis?

Early on your chiropractor will look at the amount of curvature and any associated pain. An X-ray and physical exam will identify which tissues are most affected by the scoliosis. Chiropractic treatment provides relief from pain while increasing the degree of motion in those areas. One area includes the joints of the spine, called facet joints.

Your joints receive nutrients as you move. With scoliosis, however, these joints become irritated and jammed. When facet joints are jammed they stimulate little nerves in the spine, sending pain signals to your brain. This signals to your brain that damage is occurring. Your brain then responds by causing muscles to tighten in the area of pain, which further compromises the joint. Although your brain works to stabilize the spine, this response restricts nutrition from entering the joint. As a result you experience more pain and less mobility.

Chiropractic care uses gentle forces to restore motion to these joints. Also, your body releases enkephalin – your body’s own pain killer. As your chiropractor applies gentle force to the area, it stimulates the receptors responsible for tone in the muscle. These receptors will cause the muscles to relax, which allows for increased motion and nutrients to the joints.

Is scoliosis curable?

No, scoliosis is not curable. You develop scoliosis and will have it for the rest of your life. But chiropractic treatments relieve back pain and other symptoms.

Can scoliosis be fixed?

If you develop a severe case of scoliosis, surgery can prevent injury to vital organs. However, this does not fix scoliosis.

Can I live a good life with scoliosis?

Most people live with a scoliosis without any issues. A majority of the patients that visit Stine Chiropractic Clinic don’t quite make the 10 degree cut off for consideration of scoliosis, They do, however, seem to have a lateral curvature. This is often attributed to other conditions, like a short leg.

If a short leg is present and causing a lateral curve, there is a possibility to fix it. We do this by building up the shoe of the short leg. Then we re-image the area while you stand on a lift. If the X-ray shows a correction we have found the right level.

Will my scoliosis progress?

If you have scoliosis you may wonder if it will progress. Unfortunately, there is no direct answer. In more severe cases, however, we are concerned with any chance of progression. Your chiropractor should re-image your spine every few months. If the curve progresses, scoliosis results in complications later on in life. For example, if the curve reaches 50 degrees, the condition may injure your vital organs. You may consider a surgical consult with moderate (30-40 degrees) or severe (50 degrees) angles. Prior to becoming more severe, your physician may fit you with a brace to help slow the progression.

What influences the progression of scoliosis?

The level of skeletal maturity affects the progression of scoliosis. If your long bones have fused, then progression of scoliosis should be minimal.

If you are concerned your scoliosis will progress, continue to meet with your chiropractor in Fredericksburg.

 

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