Our back is affected in almost every movement we make. This includes when we pick things up, exercise, and go about your daily routine. If your back isn’t aligned properly, you can start to feel it in everyday movements and even when simply sitting or lying down. People whose back isn’t aligned properly may have a condition called scoliosis. If you or someone you love has scoliosis, we will go over some of the most common treatments.
What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a common condition where a person’s back is curved in an unnatural way. People of all ages can be affected, and it can be quite painful. Sometimes a person is born with the condition, or it can develop as you get older. The condition can vary greatly in severity. It’s important to go to a doctor to get x-rays to determine the location and severity of the condition.
The most common sign of a problem is a pain. Other signs of a problem include one leg being longer than the other, the head falling to one side, one side of the rib cage protruding more than the other, and one shoulder being higher than the other.
What option is best for me?
There are many factors that determine what treatment option will be the best for you. Some of these factors include:
While not always, boys typically don’t see the problem progress as quickly as girls. Girls will typically need to seek out treatment more problem.
Severity of Condition
Depending on the severity of the condition, the doctor will recommend the best option. The more severe the problem, the more intense the treatment will be. The most intense treatment would be surgery.
Location of the Curve
If the curve is in the middle of the spine, it may be more difficult correct than if the curve is at the top or bottom of the spine.
Simply, the earlier you spot the problem, the better chance you have of stopping it from getting worse. Furthermore, younger children may respond better to certain treatments than adults.
Most Common Treatment Options
There are multiple options when it comes to treating scoliosis, including braces, physical therapy, and surgery.
A brace is a device that the patient will wear on their back to help keep their spine in place. This is best for children and people with mild or moderate scoliosis. While the brace won’t’ correct a curve in the spine, it will stop the curve from getting worse. Braces are a popular option when the curve in the spine is between 25 and 40 degrees. However, there haven’t been many advancements made to braces in about 20 years.
Unfortunately, when the curve in the spine is greater than 40 degrees, surgery may be required. The most popular surgery for scoliosis joins two affected vertebrae together so that they cannot move separately. The surgery usually lasts less than 8 hours, and the patient can generally go home in 10 days. This is a serious surgery that will require weeks for recovery. Patients may still require a brace for up to 6 months after the surgery.
Doctors try to avoid going through surgery if possible. Like all surgeries, there is a certain level of risk. The doctor will help determine if the risk is worth it.
Patients with scoliosis can try stretches and exercises to help correct their back. The most common modern option is Schroth exercises. These exercises can be personalized to each individual patient. One of the benefits of physical therapy is that patients are involved in their own care. When they are involved in their care, they tend to take treatment more seriously.
While scoliosis may make a person feel stifled, there are plenty of treatments available to help people diagnosed with the condition live a normal life. Don’t wait too long to talk to a doctor. Scoliosis is a condition best treated as quickly as possible before the problem gets worse. If you’re living with scoliosis and find yourself experiencing emotional or social difficulties related to the disease or its treatment, there are plenty of resources available to help you get the help you need. Call us today at 205-637-1363 to schedule a consultation today.