Scoliosis – what you need to know?

Scoliosis is referred to as the condition that causes the spinal cord to bend or curve. A regular spine appears straight when viewed from the front, however, there is a natural curve in our spines but Kyphosis is a curve that is visible when viewed from the side which clearly indicates a forward bend in the spine. People who have this condition develop an additional bend or curve in their backbone or spine on either side of the body that causes the bones in the spine to twist on themselves creating a ‘C’ or ‘S’ formation in the spine.

Based on research, it is observed that scoliosis is rampant amongst women or girls over men or boys. Statistically, over 0.5% of females develop scoliosis wherein only 2% of males develop the same condition. It is also observed that if a parent has scoliosis, the child is also highly likely to be born or develop scoliosis eventually. It is however not correlated to the degree or severity of the curve of a parent to their children’s spine.

Scoliosis with an unknown cause is referred to idiopathic scoliosis and is the case in most patients. Scoliosis is categorised into three major types, namely:

  • Infantile idiopathic scoliosis
    This is the condition when a child below the age of 3 years develops it.
  • Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis
    When a child in the age range of 3-10 years develops this condition, it comes under this category.
  • Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
    Any child/adolescent of the age 10-18 falls under this category if they develop scoliosis.

Scoliosis is also referred to as several other names based on the degree of curvature on the spine. These are the listed medical terms that refer to scoliosis:

  • Kyphoscoliosis
  • Dextroscoliosis
  • Levoconvex
  • Rotoscoliosis
  • Thoracolumbar

Symptoms

It is known to be painless in most cases but these are some of the most common signs and symptoms of Scoliosis:

  • Abnormal visible curve in the spine/ backbone
  • Difficulty in the functioning of the heart and the lungs
  • Breathlessness
  • Back pain and neck pain for a prolonged time
  • Sudden muscle spasms
  • Pain around the chest or diaphragm

Treatment

Generally, treatment for scoliosis is based on the severity of the curve in the spine and the plausible chances of further degradation of the condition, however, scoliosis does not have a cure but the treatments are intended to reduce the symptoms. The treatments are also categorised into three types:

  • Observation
  • Bracing
  • Surgery

Surgery is usually only recommended by the doctor is that appears to be the best and only solution to their condition or the severity of their case.

Scoliosis is an intimidating condition but at the same time, it is almost, always painless and does not cause any major pain to the person. The curve itself may not be a very noticeable or obvious one as such and might be only spotted by close ones who live with you and see you on a regular basis. Overall, it does not have a cure but it does not affect your life in any major way in most scoliosis cases and people lead their lives as any regular person would!

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