"Fourways Chiropractic For the Whole Family"

Chiropractor Fourways Sandton Johannesburg
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scoliosis x-ray

Ever heard people talking about having an s-shaped curve of the spine?

Maybe you are worried you or your child has this type of curvature fo the spine and what does that mean for their future and yours?

What people are most likely talking about is a common finding which is called a scoliosis of the spine. This is a commonly used term for a curve in the spine. However, this curve is only called a scoliosis if it is a sideways curve. An increased natural curve either forward or backwards as seen in Dowager's hump, rounding of the shoulders in teenagers etc... are NOT scoliosis.

Is Scoliosis Normal?

No, as it is not normal for our spines to have sideways/lateral curves. The curve can be anywhere in the length of the spine and you can have more than one scoliosis curve in a spine.

Scoliosis occurs mainly when a spine is growing, so it is usually seen in children from around 8 years of age. Scoliosis can also occur because of a degeneration of the joints of the spine. This degeneration is seen in the elderly, from forces making the spine give way into a sideways curve under the weight.

Types of Scoliosis

The most common type is idiopathic scoliosis. This type is seen in children and adolescents and the cause is unknown, meaning there is nothing you could have done for your child to prevent it. However, it is important to have children screened for scoliosis as the sooner it is picked up, the quicker any treatment needed can be done. Some tips for keeping a child's healthy spine is to keep your child's weight under control, have them exercise regularly, keep good posture, and wear backpacks over both shoulders.

Scoliosis Screening

Some schools have nurses or doctors who come once a year to check the children if they have a scoliosis. If your child school doesn't have something like this, it is recommended to have a child screened once a year from 8 years of age, as this is when the spine has large rapid growth spurts, until about 15 years of age by a primary care physician, such as a medical doctor, chiropractor etc...

Screening by your child's physician for scoliosis is non-invasive and painless. If scoliosis is suspected, a simple x-ray of the spine can confirm if an abnormal curve is present. Early detection is key to stopping or slowing the progression of abnormal spinal curves.

How to Treat my Child's Scoliosis?

Treatment for scoliosis depends on the type. Scoliosis can be caused by a functional problem in the body. This type is different from a structural scoliosis where there have been physical changes to the spine to cause it to curve.

Functional scoliosis treatment is to find the source of the postural imbalance. Functional scoliosis treatment may involve conservative treatment like physiotherapy and occupational therapy for any muscle pain or associated imbalance.

Structural curve pain or discomfort symptoms can only treated conservativley up to a certain degree in the scoliosis spinal curve whereby referral to an orthopaedic surgeon for external bracing or even surgical bracing may be required.

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