Scoliosis is a condition characterized by a sideways curve of the spine, or backbone. This curvature is typically in the shape of a “C” or “S”.
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Scoliosis is more likely to affect girls than boys.
The condition is often diagnosed through school screening exams or an annual physical. Indications of possible scoliosis include uneven shoulders, a protruding shoulder blade or an uneven waist. If scoliosis is suspected, X-rays can confirm the magnitude of the problem.
According to the National Scoliosis Foundation, roughly 2 to 3 percent of Americans are living with scoliosis today. That equates to around seven million people in this country alone. While anyone can develop scoliosis, a majority of the cases start with children who are in their pre-teens, or 10 to 12 years old. Additionally, girls tend to be diagnosed with this condition at a higher rate than boys. A number of factors may determine whether any person, adolescent or otherwise, will develop scoliosis.
Most scoliosis diagnoses are classified as idiopathic, which means that the cause is unknown. But it does appear to potentially have a genetic component. Therefore, it’s generally recommended that family members be tested if a parent or sibling has it.
Some causes can be identified, though, and those cases can be classified as either nonstructural or structural. Nonstructural scoliosis refers to scoliosis not related to the structure of the spine, which can be alleviated by finding and rectifying the source. Structural scoliosis, on the other hand, is related to the structure of the spine and can be caused by injury or infection, disease or defect.
Researchers found that chiropractic care for scoliosis resulted in the patients experiencing lower levels of pain and disability, as well as improvement in the angle of the curvature. Therefore, this type of treatment offers many projected benefits to those living with scoliosis.