Scoliosis and the Symptoms You Should Know
Scoliosis is a condition that results when the spine curves to the side. The condition can lead to nerve damage and visible deformity. Scoliosis can develop for different reasons, and it affects people of all ages. However, the condition is most common in young children and adults over age 60.
Children with scoliosis may not have any symptoms, or they may experience back pain, fatigue, or difficulty standing up straight. Adult scoliosis can cause chronic back pain, and the deformity may be visible.
There is no cure for scoliosis, but treatment can help prevent the condition from getting worse. If you or your child has scoliosis, it’s important to see a doctor so you can get started on treatment right away. With early treatment, you can minimize the effects of scoliosis and improve your quality of life.
Learn More About Your Spine
Your spine is made up of a column of bones called vertebrae. In between each vertebra is a small “shock absorber” cushion called a disc. The spinal cord runs through the middle of the vertebrae and is protected by them. The spine has several important functions. It supports the weight of your head and upper body, protects your spinal cord, and allows you to move your body in many different directions.
The vertebrae are connected to each other by strong ligaments and muscles. These soft accessory tissues allow the spine to move while still providing support and stability. The base of the spine (the sacrum and tailbone) attaches to the pelvis and provides even more stability.
The human spine is made up of 33 vertebrae, which are divided into 5 sections: cervical (neck), thoracic (upper back), lumbar (lower back), sacral, and coccyx (tailbone). The cervical and lumbar sections have 7 vertebrae each, while the thoracic has 12. The sacral section is made up of 5 fused vertebrae, while the coccyx is usually 4 fused vertebrae.
Let’s Talk About How A Normal Spine Works
The spine is made up of 33 bones called vertebrae. These bones are stacked on top of each other and separated by spongy discs. The spine has natural curves that form when viewed from the side. These curves help the spine balance and distribute the body’s weight evenly. The gentle outward curve in the neck is called a lordotic curve, while the inward curve in the lower back is called a kyphotic curve.
When these curves become more pronounced, it’s called scoliosis. This can happen when one vertebra starts to rotate or when the entire spine starts to curve to one side. Scoliosis can also cause the spine to twist and turn, which can pinch nerves and lead to pain.
While most people with scoliosis don’t experience any symptoms, some may have back pain, difficulty breathing, or fatigue. In severe cases, scoliosis can compress the heart and lungs, which can be life-threatening.
If you think you may have scoliosis, it’s important to see a doctor for a diagnosis. Scoliosis is often diagnosed during a physical exam or through an X-ray. Depending on the severity of your scoliosis, your doctor may recommend a treatment plan that includes:
- Observation: For mild scoliosis, your doctor may simply monitor your condition with regular check-ups. This is usually done for children who are still growing.
- Bracing: For children with mild to moderate scoliosis, a brace may be recommended to prevent the curve from getting worse. The brace is usually worn all day, except when bathing or exercising. Wearing a brace will not cure scoliosis, but it can stop the condition from getting worse.
- Surgery: In severe cases of scoliosis, surgery may be recommended to correct the curvature of the spine. Surgery involves placing metal rods along the length of the spine to hold it straight while it heals.
What Exactly is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a condition of the spine in which the spine starts to curve to the side. It can happen in the upper back, lower back, or middle back. The spine may curve to the left or right, or in a figure-8 shape.
The most common type of scoliosis is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. This type starts during the growth spurt before puberty, usually between ages 10 and 15. Girls are more likely than boys to have this type of scoliosis.
Most people with scoliosis have mild curves and do not need treatment. But some people with scoliosis can have pain, disability, and deformity if their curves get worse. Surgery may be needed to stop the curve from getting worse.
There are many causes of scoliosis, including:
- Idiopathic scoliosis (no known cause)
- Congenital scoliosis (present at birth)
- Neuromuscular scoliosis (due to muscle weakness or nervous system problems)
- Degenerative scoliosis (due to aging and wear and tear on the spine)
The most common type of scoliosis is idiopathic scoliosis, which means that the cause is unknown. Idiopathic scoliosis can run in families, so there may be a genetic predisposition for this type of scoliosis. However, most people with idiopathic scoliosis do not have a family history of the condition.
Most Common Symptoms of Adult Scoliosis
Most people with scoliosis do not experience any symptoms and the condition is only discovered during a routine physical examination. For those who do have symptoms, the most common ones include:
- Muscular pain often described as a dull ache
- Stiffness in the back
- Difficulty breathing
- Premature hunger or satiety
- Bladder dysfunction or loss of bowel control
- Shooting pain in the legs
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty sleeping
- Noticeable changes in posture
These symptoms can vary in intensity from mild to severe and are typically worse when standing or sitting for long periods of time. Scoliosis can also cause the muscles in the back to strain, which can lead to fatigue and soreness. In more severe cases, scoliosis can cause the core muscles to weaken, which can lead to problems with balance and mobility.
What Causes These Symptoms?
When your spine is in its normal alignment, your muscles, bones, and other tissues share the load evenly. But when your spine curves abnormally, it can cause muscles and other tissues to work harder. This can lead to pain and other problems.
One common cause of scoliosis pain is muscle cramping. When your spine curves, it can cause the muscles on one side of your body to work harder than the muscles on the other side. This can lead to cramping and fatigue.
Another common cause of scoliosis pain is the compression of nerve roots. Your spinal cord runs through a series of bones (vertebrae) that form your spine. Nerves branch off from your spinal cord and travel through spaces between the vertebrae to the rest of your body. When your spine curves, it can compress (squeeze) the nerves in these spaces. This can cause pain, numbness, or tingling in your neck, back, arms, or legs.
Diagnosing Adult Scoliosis
Adult scoliosis shares many of the same symptoms as pediatric scoliosis. However, because the adult spine is much less flexible than a child’s spine, it is often difficult to detect scoliosis in adults without a thorough examination by a doctor. There are several imaging techniques that can be used to diagnose adult scoliosis, but the most common imaging technique is the X-ray.
X-ray is the most common imaging technique used to diagnose adult scoliosis. However, an X-ray alone is not always enough to make an accurate diagnosis. In some cases, your doctor may need to order additional tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan, to get a better look at your spine. If you have any symptoms of scoliosis, it is important to see your doctor so that he or she can properly diagnose and treat your condition.
Do You Have Adult Scoliosis?
Adult scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs in adulthood. While scoliosis can happen at any age, it most commonly affects adolescents. In fact, scoliosis is the most common type of spinal deformity, affecting 2-3% of the population.
There are two main types of scoliosis: structural and nonstructural. Structural scoliosis is when the curve of the spine is caused by an abnormal bone structure, such as a vertebra that is rotated or displaced. Nonstructural scoliosis, on the other hand, is when the curve is not due to an underlying bone abnormality but is caused by factors such as muscle spasms or inflammation.
Scoliosis can cause a number of symptoms, including back pain, fatigue, and headaches. If you have adult scoliosis, you may also experience nerve pain. This can happen if the curvature of your spine puts pressure on your nerves. Nerve pain can be sharp and shooting or dull and achy. It can also cause numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arms or legs.
If you think you may have adult scoliosis, it’s important to see a doctor for a diagnosis. Your doctor will likely take X-rays to evaluate the curvature of your spine and rule out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms. Once diagnosed, there are several treatment options available for adult scoliosis.
These include over-the-counter pain medications, certain lifestyle habits (such as exercise and stretching), and short-term pain relief methods such as nerve block injections or acupuncture. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the curvature of the spine.
Regardless of which treatment option you choose, there are some things you can do to help ease your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Getting regular exercise, maintaining good posture, and learning stress-relieving techniques can all help reduce pain and improve your overall well-being.
Can Scoliosis Cause Neuropathy?
While scoliosis doesn’t directly cause neuropathy, it can lead to various issues that put pressure on the central nervous system (CNS) and nerves, which can ultimately result in neuropathy. Let’s take a look at how scoliosis can pinch nerves and what symptoms may develop as a result.
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that usually appears during adolescence. It can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the degree of curvature. In some cases, scoliosis may also lead to deformities in the chest or ribs.
While the exact cause of scoliosis is unknown, it is thought to be genetic in many cases. Scoliosis usually doesn’t cause pain or other symptoms. However, in severe cases, it can lead to respiratory problems and chronic back pain.
If left untreated, scoliosis can also make daily activities more difficult and put extra stress on the muscles and spine. This can lead to various issues that put pressure on the CNS and nerves, which can ultimately result in neuropathy.
There are three main types of nerve damage:
This type of damage affects your ability to feel sensations such as heat, cold, and pain.
This type of damage affects your ability to move your muscles properly.
This type of damage affects your automatic body functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, and digestion.
Symptoms of neuropathy vary depending on the type of nerve damage involved. However common symptoms include numbness, tingling sensations, muscle weakness, and pain. In severe cases, neuropathy can lead to paralysis or organ damage.
If you have scoliosis and are experiencing any neurological symptoms such as numbness or tingling sensations, it’s important to see a doctor right away for an evaluation. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to preventing further nerve damage and preserving overall spinal health.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many problems that can be caused by scoliosis. Some of these problems include back pain, difficulty breathing, and difficulty walking.
If your back hurts from scoliosis, you may need to see a doctor or other healthcare provider. There are many possible treatments for scoliosis, so the best option for you will depend on the severity of your condition. In some cases, scoliosis may be treated with exercises, a back brace, or surgery.
There is no certain answer to this question, as the condition may be caused by a number of different factors. These may include genetic abnormalities, birth defects, neuromuscular disorders, or injuries to the spine. In many cases, however, the exact cause of scoliosis is unknown.
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The nervous system is a vast and complicated network that controls almost every function in the body. Scoliosis can cause problems with this system, leading to symptoms like neuropathy (nerve pain) and spinal cord compression.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for scoliosis, but treatment typically focuses on relieving symptoms and preventing the condition from progressing. This may involve custom-prescribed home exercises, bracing, or surgery.
If your scoliosis is severe or causing pain, it’s important to see a spine specialist for an evaluation. They can develop a treatment plan that’s tailored to your specific needs.
Have you tried inversion therapy yet? We highly recommend Teeter® inversion tables to help relieve scoliosis symptoms and you can do it yourself, in the privacy of your home. If you’d like to learn more, simply click the button below to learn more about this topic.
James Nystrom is a leading researcher in the field of hip pain. He has spent his career studying the latest treatments and techniques for relieving hip pain, and he is known for his innovative approach to care. He is passionate about helping his patients find relief from their pain and improving their quality of life. He is also a huge fan of inversion therapy and all things related to health and well-being.