Scoliosis

By Dr. Aaron Dutruch D.C.

Adolescent Idiopathic scoliosis, like the name suggests, is usually found during adolescence and has no specifically known cause, it is believed that genetics may play a role in its development.  This condition often goes undiagnosed, but for some kids it can cause symptoms like back pain during activity, pain into the legs and even chronically poor posture.  Even though these patients are often symptom free, when they do present with pain or more severe symptoms, its important to monitor the patient periodically as they grow.  This type of scoliosis is more likely to change or increase during puberty when the child is growing rapidly.  The patients with this condition don’t often have specific activity limitations but an evaluation should be done by a professional to determine activity level on a case-by-case basis.  Patients that have been cleared for activity should be encouraged to focus on activities or exercises that will increase their flexibility and core stability and strength.  This will help provide a solid foundation for their spine as they continue to grow.

Degenerative scoliosis is often found in adulthood and is typically a product of age and degenerative changes within the spine.  This can start off with something as simple as small leg length differences, sitting on your wallet for extended periods of time, always standing on one leg or leaning to one side when you are driving.  These consistent unequal pressures on your spine over time can cause uneven wear and tear on the joints and discs.  This condition usually develops in the lower back and patients with this condition can have a range of symptoms from chronic lower back pain and stiffness to pain or numbness/tingling into the legs.  Recommended activities for this condition are similar to those of idiopathic scoliosis in the importance of flexibility and core stability but should also take into account the degenerative changes.  I often recommend decompression to help decrease the pressure on the discs and reduce the associated symptoms (pain or numbness/tingling into the legs). 

Although the previous mentioned are the most common types of scoliosis, there are others to be concerned about as well.  Congenital scoliosis is often noted shortly after birth and is caused by a malformation of the bones in the spine.  Neuromuscular scoliosis is often caused by a disconnect between the brain and the muscles, causing uneven pressures on the spinal bones such as in cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy.  I mention these to highlight the importance of being properly evaluated by a professional so that the proper treatment can be rendered.  An easy at home test you can do if you suspect a curvature is Adam’s test.  To perform the test, have the person being evaluated stand in front of you facing away, and have them slowly bend forward while you are looking at their back and observe their ribs, they should be even.  If one side of the ribs are higher than the other, this could indicate a curvature and could be worth having them evaluated. 

Dr. Aaron Dutruch D. C. received his BS in Kinesiology, Fitness and Human Performance from LSU and his Doctorate of Chiropractic from Texas Chiropractic College.  He is proficient in Upper Cervical chiropractic care and is a certified FAKTR provider.  Premier Chiropractic, 1120 N Causeway Blvd. Ste 2, Mandeville, (985) 674-5855, premierchiromandeville.com

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