The following links allow you to better understand the scoliosis condition and help in your search for a scoliosis treatment program.
What is Scoliosis? Scoliosis is a sideways curve in the spine of greater than 10 degrees when viewed from front to back and is diagnosed by an x-ray. Spinal curvature is a complex three dimensional condition that causes twisting of the ribcage as well as flattening of normally curved side view of the spine.
What Causes Scoliosis? While the actual cause of scoliosis is unknown, it is believed that certain genetic and environmental factors contribute to the beginnings and progression of this spinal condition that affects 3-5% of the population.
Scoliosis Information for Adults and Children In most cases, scoliosis will present itself in the adolescent years - starting out as a mild curve that in time, may or may not progress into a more severe curvature. However, sometimes adults can begin to display the beginning stages of scoliosis due to environmental reasons - like repetitive motions, poor posture, and bone density loss.
Scoliosis Treatment Recommendations The treatment options for scoliosis patients has until recently, been limited to watching and waiting (in the early stages of the condition), and if the curvature progresses above twenty five degrees, then bracing was recommended - if the curvature progressed past forty degrees, then spinal surgery was frequently recommended.
Scoliosis Braces In an attempt to prevent further curve progression, there have been many forms of braces that have been developed over the years. These braces range from soft to rigid, covering part or all of the torso, and must be worn for up to twenty three hours per day. The long-term effectiveness of bracing has not been shown to prevent further progression, or aid in restoring spinal stability or increased flexibility.
Is Scoliosis Surgery Dangerous? Multiple level spinal fusions are the most invasive orthopedic procedure performed. These surgeries often take 6-8 hours to perform with a 55% failure rate with in 15-20 years post operation. Although some correction will occur the spine is then fused and will not bend or twist normally which limits movement. Many patients experience pain and disability in later life following spinal fusion.
Scoliosis and Nutrition New research is showing that nutrition is one of the environmental factors that may contribute to the progression of scoliosis. Nutrients such as selenium, melatonin, and others, have symbiotic effects in patients with scoliosis.
Scoliosis Progression 1 in 4 children with scoliosis are at risk of developing moderate to severe spinal deformity. 70% of all scoliosis progression occurs during a short 3 year pubertal growth phase. Certain types of scoliosis continue to progress into adulthood at a slower pace.