Chiropractic Care and Scoliosis
Scoliosis is defined as an abnormal curvature of the spine. It affects upwards of three percent of the population in the U.S. Getting diagnosed is most common during late childhood or early adolescence, yet can be discovered as early as infancy in some cases. Recommendations for treatment will vary depending on a lot of factors, with age and severity being the biggest factors. Ultimately, scoliosis can affect quality of life secondary to chronic back pain and poor self-esteem.
Today’s we’ll dive into how chiropractic care can help support and possibly prevent the progression of a scoliosis spine curve. Additionally, we’ll dive into the complications that can arise when you sustain a car accident with underlying scoliosis.
The Classifications of Scoliosis
There are many different ways to classify scoliosis. This includes categories based on the severity, cause, and structural anomalies of the spine.
- The degree of curvature is most often measured by an orthopedic doctor or chiropractor via a physical assessment and imaging. The degrees of severity include:
- Mild at 10-24 degrees
- Significant at 25-49 degrees
- Severe at 49 degrees or more
- The cause of scoliosis is classified into three main categories:
- Idiopathic – the most common type with no known cause. It is further categorized by age, including infant (0-3), juvenile (4-10), adolescent (11-18), and adult (18+).
- Congenital – secondary to a spine deformity present at birth.
- Neurological – due to nerve dysfunction that affects muscle tension. This is most common with chronic neurological disorders including spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and spinal cord injury.
- Lastly, scoliosis can also be categorized into two classifications based on the flexibility of the spine.
- Structural – an inflexible permanently fixed spine secondary to birth defect, disease, or injury.
- Non-structural – a flexible and temporary curve secondary to issues like muscle spasms, poor ergonomics, leg length discrepancies, inflammation, or even injury associated with a car accident.
Health Issues That Can Arise from Scoliosis
Scoliosis can become a problem when symptoms arise that affect your quality of life. Plus, for those that choose to have surgery, there are also a lot of associated long term complications and suffering associated with that as well. The most common issues that scoliosis can cause or exacerbate include:
- Chronic low back pain
- Chronic neck pain
- Migraines or headaches
- Herniated discs or disc degeneration
- Poor breathing mechanics secondary to limited rib mechanics
- Organ dysfunction secondary to positional pressure – such as poor digestion
- Chronic fatigue secondary to poor biomechanics with daily movement
- And much more…
Unfortunately, all of these symptoms can also be initiated, or even further exacerbated in the event of an auto accident.
How Chiropractic Care Can Help
Seeking care from a chiropractor for scoliosis is a go to treatment option. Chiropractic care has been shown to increase spine flexibility and reduce pain associated with scoliosis. Since chiropractors are truly experts when it comes to spine alignment, they can find subtle yet significant ways to help manage, support, and prevent progression of a spine curvature.
Common treatment options that a chiropractor can offer you for scoliosis management include:
- An exam to diagnose scoliosis and determine the degree of the curve
- Extensive education in scoliosis and what to expect
- Custom scoliosis bracing
- Scoliosis exercise and core strengthening
- Pain management with modalities such as massage, ice, heat, electrical stimulation and more
Ultimately, which treatment is best for you will depend on your goals, preferences, age, and severity.
Holistically Addressing Your Scoliosis
Scoliosis surgery is often recommended when the curve is severe or symptoms, like pain, are present. Unfortunately, this highly invasive treatment option comes with some pretty major side effects that can equally affect your quality of life, sometimes even more significantly than the scoliosis itself. This is why conservative non-invasive options can be so lucrative, and it’s why chiropractors have been having success with scoliosis for decades.
A Special Note on Scoliosis and Car Accidents
Recovering from a motor vehicle accident can feel even more ambiguous when scoliosis is present. Any type of underlying spine misalignment from scoliosis can easily be exacerbated in the event of an auto injury. Likewise, muscle spasms often associated with an auto accident can also lead to a temporary nonstructural scoliosis. The good news is that there is a way to heal and get back to your normal life with the expert care of a chiropractor.
If you suspect you have scoliosis, or have been diagnosed with it, and have been in a car accident, get in touch with North Alabama Spine and Rehab in Decatur or Huntsville, AL. As chiropractors, they understand the nuances of scoliosis and spine alignment. Schedule a consultation with them today. They can help you create a custom treatment plan for maximizing your results and recovering efficiently from your car accident and underlying scoliosis.