Non-Surgical Scoliosis Treatment, Diagnosis, Symptoms & More

Non-Surgical Scoliosis Treatment

A spine affected with scoliosis appears as a C-shaped or S-shaped curve because of the rotation of vertebrae. Vertebrae is the building block of our spines. A person is diagnosed with scoliosis when the X-ray depicts a curvature of the spine of 10 degrees or more. Scoliosis treatment is done in both surgical and non-surgical methods.

Scoliosis can affect the lumbar and thoracic spine and appear on either side of the spine or both. When scoliosis happens, a person has a leaning appearance on one side.

Want to know more about this spinal deformity, its non-surgical treatment, diagnosis, symptoms, and causes? Here is a complete overview. 

When Do You Need Scoliosis Treatment?

Scoliosis has many symptoms, and if you notice any of these symptoms, you can visit a doctor without any delay. 

  • There is a problem with the positioning of your head or when the head is not aligned at the center with respect to the entire body. 
  • The heights of your shoulders do not match.
  • There is mispositioning of the hip or a difference in the height of your hip.
  • The shoulder blades are not the same in height or positioned correctly.
  • The height of hands is different when they are hung on both sides of your body while standing straight.
  • As you lean forward, the height of your back on both sides of the spine is different.
  • Ribs are prominently visible, or they look asymmetrical.

The symptoms will differ from one person to another. For example, one can have the vertebrae curvature on one side of the spine and anyone else can have curvature on both sides of the spine. 

Further, the symptoms of scoliosis can be similar to other spinal deformities, injuries, or infections. So, the right diagnosis is crucial for scoliosis treatment for teenager, adults, and children. 

Types of Scoliosis

Scoliosis has different types. Let’s have a look at the types of scoliosis and important details about them.

Idiopathic Scoliosis

Idiopathic scoliosis occurs when a child is at the onset of adolescence. However, it can happen in children below the age of two, and then it is called infantile idiopathic scoliosis.

A study reveals that children approaching adolescence are at a greater risk of getting affected by thoracolumbar scoliosis. In this type of scoliosis, the curvature occurs between the lower thoracic and upper lumber region in the back, giving the spine a sideway curvature. 

Congenital Scoliosis

One has spinal curvature in congenital scoliosis because of the malformation of vertebrae. Usually, infants are diagnosed with this type of scoliosis. However, congenital scoliosis can be detected among children at a later stage.

Doctors observe the progress of congenital scoliosis as a child grows, and non-surgical treatment methods are used. Surgery is only recommended when scoliosis makes the curvature more severe, and the curvature measure is equal to or greater than 50 degrees. 

Neuromuscular Scoliosis

Muscular help is crucial for the spine to remain straight. So, when a child suffers from an imbalance in the muscles or inferior torso strength, the spine can develop a curvature. Children with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and spina bifida can develop neuromuscular scoliosis.

Doctors use bracing for the treatment of children suffering from neuromuscular scoliosis. 

What Are The Causes of Scoliosis?

Scoliosis in children happens due to neuromuscular problems or malformed vertebrae. The reason for idiopathic scoliosis is still not known properly.

Scoliosis not detected in infancy, childhood, or adolescence can lead to adult scoliosis. However, the most common cause of adult scoliosis is the degeneration of the spine, causing a curve in the spine. 

Scoliosis Diagnosis

Early diagnosis or detection of scoliosis is crucial for proper treatment. A doctor will listen to your medical history and family history of scoliosis or neuromuscular problems. The patient’s medical history, including when the deformity was first noticed, will also be considered.

The doctor will further ask whether you face any dysfunction related to the bladder, bowel, respiratory system, or motor functions. You will even need to share the location of the pain (if any).

As you visit the doctor, a lot of physical examinations will be performed. The doctor will check your muscle strength, movements, sensations, and reflexes.

Nevertheless, the most comprehensive diagnosis methods for scoliosis diagnosis are X-ray, MRI, and CT scan. 

X-Ray For Scoliosis Diagnosis

X-ray is the most widely used diagnostic tool for the detection of scoliosis. X-ray imaging done from the front and side helps the doctor see your spine’s structure, curvature, or deformity. The doctor also gets to know the angle of the curvature. 

MRI For Scoliosis Diagnosis

MRI is a computerized diagnosis process for imaging done with large magnets. It helps doctors to get a detailed image of the spine.

CT Scan For Scoliosis Diagnosis

CT scan is a computerized and more advanced version of traditional X-ray imaging. One can get axis and horizontal images of the body for necessary diagnosis. 

Non Surgical Scoliosis Treatment

Scoliosis in children and adolescents is not alarming, and doctors usually recommend regular checkups in months to assess the progress of the curvature if the curvature range is within 10-25%. 

Treatment in children/adolescents with 10-25% spine deformity is done in a “wait and watch” mode. Further, doctors go for bracing treatment only when the curvature becomes more than 25 degrees and less than 40 degrees. When the curvature becomes higher, surgical methods are used for treatment. 

Nevertheless, doctors consider the following factors while determining scoliosis treatment for a patient. 

Sex Of The Patient

Women are more likely to have scoliosis than men. Scoliosis condition in women also grows rapidly.

Maturity Of The Bone

Non-surgical methods like bracing work when a child or adolescent has a growing bone. If the bone growth is stopped, surgical methods are followed for treatment.

Position Of The Curve

Curvature in the upper or lower part of the spine is less severe. The curvature in the middle of your spine can get worse with time, and adolescent people are more likely to have this type of spinal deformity or thoracolumbar scoliosis. 

Severity Of The Scoliosis Curve

The treatment method will be decided based on the type of curvature you have in your spine. Neuromuscular curvatures with a C shape are common. S-shaped curvatures happen in idiopathic scoliosis. 

In chiropractic clinic singapore it provides non-surgical scoliosis treatment which includes chiropractic methods, bracing, casting, and exercise. 

Scoliosis Treatment Chiropractic

Chiropractic is not a cure treatment for scoliosis. It alleviates the pain or discomfort induced by scoliosis and promotes the realignment of the spine. 

Bracing For Scoliosis Treatment

Bracing helps in moderate scoliosis. When a person has growing bone, bracing will prevent further curvature. Then again, it will not cure the curvature or deformity the spine already has. 

Bracing does not interfere with a person’s physical activities; one can take it off if any physical activity demands it.

To enjoy the optimum benefits of braces in scoliosis, one has to wear them for long hours, even at night. 

Braces for scoliosis treatment are of two types.  

Thoracolumbar Scoliosis Treatment With Bracing

A thoracolumbosacral orthosis or TLSO is used for thoracolumbar scoliosis treatment. This brace is made of plastic and has to be worn beneath the clothes. It fits around the curve of one’s body. 

Milwaukee Brace For Scoliosis Treatment

It is a full torso brace used for more severe cases when a person needs support to lift the head. It comes with a neck ring and offers support to the chin and back of the head. 

Casting For Scoliosis Treatment

Casting is suitable for infants suffering from scoliosis. A plaster casting is used to align the growth of an infant’s spine. 

As growth in infants is rapid, the doctor needs to change the plaster casting in short intervals. 

Exercises For Scoliosis Treatment At Home

Exercise can be helpful in the treatment of mild scoliosis, and it can alleviate the pain and discomforts caused by scoliosis. Further, if you face difficulty in movement, exercises can really help. 

Arm Reach And Split Stance

  • Stretch, keep the longer length at the front, and try to keep the distance between your legs as much as possible.
  • Move your body front and back so that your body weight on the front leg keeps shifting.
  • Raise the opposite hand of the leg at the front as much as possible. For example, if your left leg is at the front, raise your right hand.
  • Use the other arm to reach your back with your palm up.
  • Repeat this exercise five to ten times to complete a set. You need to do this exercise two to three times a day.

Upward And Downward Dog Movement

  • Get yourself in a prone plank position and stretch your arms straight at the front.
  • Push your hip up or backward as much as you can.
  • Hold this position for 2-4 seconds and push your hip downward as much as possible.
  • You must perform this exercise in two to three sets with five to ten repetitions. 

Step Down With One Arm Reach

  • Figure Out which leg is longer when you lie back.
  • Now, get up and find a small step.
  • Place the longer leg on the step and touch the floor with the leg on your opposite side. You should bend the knee of the longer leg during this exercise.
  • Raise the arm on the same side of your leg touching the ground and try to raise the hand as much as possible.
  • Continue this for five to ten times to complete a set. You can do two or three sets of this exercise in a day.
  • Only do the exercise, keeping your longer leg on the step. 

Schroth Exercises

Schroth exercises are beneficial for promoting muscular symmetry, rotational angular breathing that reshapes the rib cage, and improving posture. 

These also help strengthen the muscles in your abdomen, legs, and back. Patients suffering from scoliosis benefit from these exercises with improved posture, better pain management, and stronger back muscles. 

Along with these exercises, you can also do Yoga. Yoga is not a cure for scoliosis. But this is definitely a new scoliosis treatment for adults, helping to combat pain and strengthen muscles. 

Acupuncture and massage are also emerging as popular methods for scoliosis treatment. However, the efficacy of these methods needs further studies, and at the same time, they are not a cure for scoliosis and can alleviate the pain only. 

Moreover, suppose you are to avail yourself of any of these alternative treatments. In that case, you must do the same with prior consultation with your doctor and under the supervision of certified professionals. 

What Is The New Scoliosis Treatment?

The new scoliosis treatment is ApiFix. It is a surgical method with no need for spinal fusion. It is like an internal bracing system that improves a person’s deteriorated posture or spinal curvature from the back.

Two screws are used at the top of this internal brace, and one screw is used at the bottom for securing it to the spine. So, there will not be any prolonged infusion on your spine, and your spine will receive adequate support.

However, this is not a completely risk-free procedure for scoliosis treatment. There can be many complications like loosening of the screws, breaking of the braces, calling for repeated surgeries. Further, once the doctor places ApiFix in your body, you will not be allowed to take part in gymnastics or other contact sports. 

So, doctors only recommend this method of treatment when external bracing fails for a patient. Nevertheless, this is a safe treatment procedure considering the minimal scope of infection and less recovery time. 

The Takeaway

Scoliosis is a spinal deformity that can happen in infants, children, and adolescents. Adult scoliosis occurs when this spinal problem is not diagnosed at the early stage. Scoliosis can cause breathing problems, deteriorated posture, reduced mobility, and malfunctioning of several organs. 

Early diagnosis and scoliosis treatment are necessary to cure and prevent further deformity in the spine. There are multiple surgical and non-surgical methods to treat scoliosis. Casting, bracing, chiropractic methods, and exercises are the most effective non-surgical treatments.

However, exercises to fight scoliosis should initially be done under complete expert supervision. Once you are confident about managing these exercises on your own, you can do them at home. Wrong exercises or wrong techniques while exercising can further impact the spine curvature and call for more critical problems.

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