The cause of scoliosis is often unknown (referred to as “idiopathic scoliosis“), though some cases may be congenital since scoliosis tends to run in families. Althoughscoliosis usually appears between the ages of 5 and 15, it probably begins earlier and is not detected until a growth spurt makes the curvature more noticeable. Spinal injury from the birth process, leg-length discrepancies, birth defects or genetic factors that have not yet been identified may all be related to scoliosis.
No one knows why girls are more likely to develop scoliosis than boys, but they seem to suffer from scoliosis at a rate at least twice that for boys. And adults can have scoliosis as well: most adult scoliosis is actually idiopathic or congenital scoliosis that went unnoticed or untreated in their adolescence, but some have a type of scoliosis referred to as degenerative scoliosis, which is likely related to osteoarthritis of the spine. Regardless of the scoliosis cause, something can be done to help.
Noticing scoliosis symptoms early is the key to preventing scoliosis from worsening. Signs to look for include:
- One shoulder higher than the other
- One hip higher than the other
- Shoulder blade protruding more on one side
- Uneven waistline
- Uneven shoe wear
- Clothes fitting unevenly
- Leaning to one side
Pain in the legs or back, along with fatigue, are often present – but these are normally disregarded as normal growing pains. If the curve continues to develop, the spine can also become twisted, causing the ribs on one side to become more prominent. In severe cases, scoliosis can also interfere with breathing and other organ functions.
Even if the curvature is not severe enough to affect a child’s general health, it is often a source of embarrassment and results in diminished self-esteem. Even a slight curvature can make a child’s clothes fit improperly or give her posture a decided lean, which can become magnified in the child’s mind and play havoc with her developing body image. A natural approach to scoliosis can help restore your child’s confidence.
Scoliosis treatment varies. Depending on the degree of curvature and the patient’s age, one of three options is generally recommended: do nothing (in cases of mild curvature), wear a scoliosis brace (for mild to moderate curvature when the child is still growing), or undergo scoliosis surgery (in moderate to severe cases).
If the child is nearly done growing and the curve is quite mild, it’s unlikely that it will progress further. But if he or she is still growing, the curve will likely worsen with each subsequent growth spurt. In the “do nothing” scenario, frequent X-rays are typically recommended to make sure the curve is not progressing. Repeated exposure to X-ray radiation is linked to many types of cancers.
Although today’s braces are made of molded polymer materials and worn under the clothes, unlike the bulky metal contraptions of the past, they are still uncomfortable (after all, they’re keeping the spine from moving in the direction it wants to move) and must be worn day and night. And even though they are minimally noticeable, kids believe that “everyone can tell, ” which further compounds their self-esteem problems.
Surgery involves “fusing” vertebrae of the spine together. Metal rods, wires or screws are used to hold the spine in place while the vertebrae are joining, and then are left in the body to hold the spine straight and prevent further curvature. Besides the risks inherent in any invasive procedure, fusing vertebrae together can result in other back problems in the future.
A fourth option is available for treating scoliosis, and it’s totally non-invasive, safe and doesn’t involve braces. Find out more about it here.
A Natural Approach to Scoliosis
Obviously, you want to do whatever’s necessary to protect your child’s health – and you want to help him or her develop a positive body image and good self-esteem. Fortunately, these goals are not mutually exclusive: you can do something about the scoliosis, without resorting to risky surgery or embarrassing braces. Chiropractic has had excellent success with scoliosis, and it’s safe, 100% natural and non-invasive.
You may have tried chiropractic yourself, but never realized it could work for scoliosis. Or you may be new to the idea of chiropractic. Either way, you’ll be happy to learn that chiropractic is safe for your child – even for newborns – and works with the body gently to restore proper alignment, rather than forcing the spine to straighten using steel rods. The application of precise chiropractic adjustments helps restore the spine’s natural alignment, helping the relevant muscles to strengthen and the posture to improve. Results vary and obviously cannot be guaranteed, but stopping the progression of scoliosis curvature and even eliminating the existing curvature are common results with chiropractic!
Chiropractic is a highly regulated, licensed health care field requiring advanced degrees as well as continuing education. Thanks to the following factors, chiropractic is the premier method of alternative health care in the world:
- It’s safe for patients of all ages: newborn to elderly
- It has no side effects or interaction issues
- It works with the body’s own healing abilities
- It’s effective!
And chiropractic is most likely offered by your insurance provider!
Don’t let your child’s scoliosis progress – call a ChooseNatural.com sponsoring chiropractor today to set up a consultation. The doctor will make you and your child feel comfortable, chatting about what’s going on in your child’s life as well as what you’ve both noticed about the scoliosis symptoms. Then he or she will examine your child thoroughly and explain the findings to you, answering any questions along the way and outlining the strategy for approaching your child’s scoliosis. Finally, specific chiropractic adjustments will be applied with the goal of restoring the spine’s normal structure and function.
Our ChooseNatural.com chiropractors are compassionate, caring professionals who understand your concern for your child – as well as your child’s own concerns – and there’s bound to be one near your home, work or school! Don’t wait another day to take action to find out what can be done about your child’s scoliosis.
Click here for a Choose Natural sponsor in your area.
Many people wonder if the backpacks kids carry can cause scoliosis. While there is no conclusive evidence to support this, the fact is that backpacks are dangerous to the development of your child’s spine and musculature. Tightened security measures have prompted many schools to eliminate lockers, forcing children to tote all of their schoolbooks around all day. Follow these backpack safety guidelines to reduce the risk of injury:
|What features are important?||The backpack should have two wide, padded shoulder straps, a waist strap and a padded back. It should be as light as possible to carry the intended load.|
|How should backpacks be worn?||Kids often sling a pack over one shoulder; this is one of the worst things they can do, as it forces the spine into a C-curve. Always wear the pack over both shoulders. The straps should be tightened so that the pack is close to the body and sits about 2″ above the waist. If they’re too loose, the weight of the pack will pull the child backwards, straining the back and the shoulders. The waist strap should be used, as it helps distribute the weight more evenly. And the loaded pack should never weigh more than 10 – 15% of the child’s body weight.|
|What if my child’s books weigh too much?||Try a rolling pack. Rolling packs are similar to rolling luggage in that they roll on wheels while being steered by an attached handle. Rolling packs often have optional straps, so the child can carry the pack when the load is not too great. Even if your child’s load is not excessive, a rolling back is a safer alternative.|