What Is the Best Therapy for Scoliosis at a Birmingham Al Chiropractor?

For those not familiar with scoliosis, it is a medical condition characterized by curvature of the spine measuring 10 degrees or more.  According to a study published by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, an estimated 6 to 9 million people in the U.S. are living with scoliosis, which typically develops in early childhood or during adolescence and continues well into adulthood.

Available data shows that scoliosis is responsible for some 600,000 doctor visits each year, with an estimated 38,000 of those visits resulting in a referral for spinal fusion surgery.

What Causes Scoliosis in the First Place?

As of the writing of this article, researchers, epidemiologists, and physicians still do not know the exact cause of scoliosis.  But many believe that genetics can play a big part in increasing someone’s chances of developing one of the three forms of the disease, which, by the way, includes idiopathic, congenital, and neuromuscular scoliosis.

Many have also gone on record in saying that the following can put individuals at risk of developing the disease as well:

  • Having a congenital anomaly that affects the development of bones that make up the spine
  • Injuries to or infections involving the spine
  • Abnormalities of the spinal cord
  • Nerve disorders
  • Cardiovascular problems

While boys and girls can develop scoliosis at a young age, it is far more common among girls.  What’s more, girls are at greater risk of their spinal curvature worsening and requiring treatment when they become adults compared to boys.  Some of the complications associated with severe curvature of the spine caused by scoliosis include the following:

Breathing problems –  Multiple studies show that severe scoliosis can cause the rib cage to press against the lungs, which, in turn, makes it a lot harder to breathe.

Back pain –  Studies show that individuals who develop scoliosis as children are more likely to have chronic back pain when they become adults, especially if their spine is severely curved.

Changes in appearance – Severe scoliosis can cause an individual’s hips and shoulders to fall out of alignment. Additionally, the disease can cause their ribs to protrude as though they are malnourished. Lastly, many will also notice that their waist and trunk have shifted to one side due to the disease.

Chiropractors in Birmingham Discuss the Best Therapies for Individuals Suffering From Scoliosis

While there is no cure for scoliosis, many treatments can help ease the symptoms brought on by the spinal disease.  And one such treatment is a chiropractic adjustment, a non-drug, non-invasive treatment that reduces the pain and pressure on the spine.  In carrying out an adjustment, a licensed chiropractor will use their hands or a small instrument to apply enough force to manipulate vertebrae in the back.  And the benefits of this non-drug, non-invasive treatment for those with scoliosis are as follows:

  • Decreased inflammation
  • Improved flexibility and range of motion
  • Improvements in nervous system function and spinal health
  • Increased joint mobility
  • Less pain and discomfort

Birmingham Chiropractors Explain How a Back Brace Can Benefit Individuals With Scoliosis

Although chiropractic adjustments do an excellent job in combating pain, mobility issues, and other problems that arise from having scoliosis, some chiropractors will recommend a back brace as a form of adjunct therapy, especially for patients with idiopathic scoliosis. While there are no studies that support wearing a back brace will reverse scoliosis, there are studies that show wearing one can prevent the disease from getting worse.

Essentially, wearing a brace applies constant and corrective force to help release pressure on the concave or inner part of the spine’s curve while increasing the pressure on the convex or outer part of its curve, all of which keeps the spine stable. That said, the severity of the spinal curve will determine the kind of back brace a chiropractor is likely to recommend to a patient.

Since we are on the topic, it is worth noting that the Boston brace is the one that chiropractors in Birmingham and all across Alabama prescribe to patients with scoliosis the most.  For reference, the Boston back brace is a low-profile, thoracic-lumbar-sacral orthosis (TLSO) brace that individuals can comfortably wear underneath loose-fitting clothes. The snug fit of these braces helps keep pain to a minimum while simultaneously providing enough corrective forces to reduce any further curvature of the spine

Bottom Line

In summary, chiropractic adjustments and back bracing therapy both do a good job when it comes to providing relief from pain and many of the other hallmark symptoms of scoliosis.  To learn more about chiropractic therapy as a treatment for scoliosis and whether or not it is right for you, consider speaking with one of our friendly associates today at 205-637-1363.

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