Category Archives: Scoliosis Symptoms
“Scoliosis is going to crush her lungs!” is the great fear of every mother of a child with scoliosis as they stare at an x-ray with the spinal curvature intruding into what appear to be the patient’s lung fields.
Adult patients fear this for themselves, as well.
The concern is certainly genuine and real, but is it scientifically accurate? We hope to expose the truth behind this pressing question, as well as explore other possible causes of severe shortness of breath if you or your child have scoliosis.
Scoliosis is like any other illness: the sooner you identify it, the better your chances of treating it. Since the spine becomes more rigid as a person gets older, the sooner someone is diagnosed with scoliosis, the sooner they can begin a proper course of treatment that can control — or even reverse — the effects of scoliosis.
Detecting scoliosis can be tricky.
Symptoms are often subtle during the early stages, which can make them easy to dismiss.
In children, developing scoliosis often goes unnoticed until they reach adolescence and enter a rapid growth phase. In adults, it can be even harder to spot. One study found that the condition remained undetected in 67% of adult back-pain patients with scoliosis — particularly when the spinal curvature was mild. Even patients with moderate to severe curvature went undiagnosed more than 10% of the time.
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), scoliosis affects between 2% and 3% of the American population, or about six to nine million people. It is characterized by an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine and there are many different forms. The various types of scoliosis are classified by cause and age of onset; the speed and mechanism of progression also plays a role in determining the specific type of scoliosis.
Understanding scoliosis begins with identifying its location and the type of spinal curvature.
Knowing this information can help predict what types of scoliosis symptoms may be experienced and how the condition can best be treated.
There are several detailed systems for classifying specific types of scoliosis curves, but some of the most common terms identify curves based on their location within the spine and the direction they bend.
Treating scoliosis is a race against the clock. If you catch it early enough, the right exercises can reduce it to negligible levels.
Unfortunately, many cases aren’t spotted until the spinal curve is moderately advanced. At that point treatment becomes more difficult and the risk of progression increases threefold.
A scoliosis diagnosis can be scary, especially when doctors start talking about back braces and spinal fusion surgery. The good news is that informed parents are far more likely to achieve a positive outcome for their children.
It all starts with understanding what scoliosis is — and what it isn’t. Scoliosis is a complex neuromuscular condition that causes the spine to curve. Although most people think of the curve itself as the problem, it’s actually just the symptom of a deeper defect: a neuro-hormonal imbalance that prevents the brain from detecting and correcting the spine’s abnormal posture.