Your spine acts as a pillar of support for the rest of your body. When an issue with this area arises, it’s important to seek medical intervention for it right away. At Free Body Physical Therapy, our team is well versed in helping patients deal with spine-related issues. Scoliosis is a common spinal-related complaint that we offer assistance with for our patients. To learn more about this condition, and the treatment options that you have for it, please consider contacting a member of our staff.
What Is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a condition that typically occurs in adolescents during growth spurts right before puberty. During these growth spurts, the spine does not grow as it normally should, leading to it becoming curved. While most cases are minor, some patients will face a curve in the spine that is so severe that it becomes debilitating. When it appears that your child is developing this condition, you should seek out medical attention from an expert back physical therapist right away.
Symptoms To Watch For
Sometimes mild cases of scoliosis can go unnoticed to the naked eye. Even if your child’s case is minor, letting it go unchecked could lead to the curve becoming more pronounced as they age. Unfortunately, what once seemed like a non-issue can quickly spiral out of control. To prevent this from taking place, you must do your part in correcting and managing scoliosis in its early stages. Examples of symptoms that point to the development of this condition can include the following:
- Uneven shoulders and waist.
- One hip is higher than the other.
- One shoulder blade is more prominent than the other.
To highlight why it is so important to take scoliosis seriously, our team wants to share some of the complications that this condition can bring. By working with our team, you’ll be playing an active role in prevention. Some of the most common complications associated with scoliosis tend to include the following:
- Damage to the heart and lungs due to the spinal curve causing your ribcage to press against these areas.
- Increased likelihood of developing chronic back pain.
- A decline in physical appearance due to the extreme curvature of the spine.
When it comes to managing scoliosis, the first option that is provided will almost always be bracing. Although wearing a brace does not act as a cure for scoliosis or correct any curving that has already taken place, what it does do is that it may prevent the condition from getting any worse. Once again, this is why early detection is so critical. By taking action such as this when your child’s case of scoliosis is still minor, you can greatly increase their future quality of life.
With extreme cases of scoliosis, doctors may recommend having surgery performed to both correct the curve and prevent it from becoming any worse. The type of surgery that will typically take place in this instance is called spinal fusion surgery. During this procedure, the surgeon will connect two or more of your spinal vertebrae to prevent them from moving independently. Once they are fused, the curving will stop, meaning further complications can be eliminated.
One last method for treating scoliosis we’d like to mention is our primary specialty, and that is physical therapy. What makes this form of treatment so special is that it can be used independently of, or in conjunction with, the previously mentioned methods. Physical therapy is an activity-based form of treatment that aims to promote healing from within an affected area. Through the use of certain therapeutic stretches and strengthening exercises that our therapists teach our patients, the issues that come along with scoliosis can be greatly diminished.
Additionally, if a patient chooses to undergo spinal surgery, physical therapy will be needed to help ensure a full recovery is made. The goals our physical therapists will look to achieve for patients suffering from scoliosis may include any combination of the following:
- Ergonomic corrections.
- Increased muscle endurance and strength.
- Stabilization of the spine.
- Improved equilibrium.
When you’re dealing with scoliosis, you want to work with a team that you can trust to help prevent the condition from reaching unmanageable levels. Here at Free Body Physical Therapy, we can be that team. For more information on what can be done, be sure to contact our staff today.