Scoliosis Signs, Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

By Alley Benton
Updated December 7, 2016
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Scoliosis Signs, Symptoms, Causes And TreatmentScoliosis is a medical condition whereby the spine is curved and/or twisted. Usually, the first socoliosis signs and symptoms are that the back starts to change in appearance. Details include:

1.) One shoulder is higher compared to the other.

2.) The spine is visibly curved.

3.) One hip or should is more prominent than the other.

4.) Clothes don't hang properly.

5.) The ribcage is prominent.

6.) Legs are of different lengths.

A lot of people also experience back pain, particularly in adulthood. Discomfort is common in children, but generally not as bad.

When to See a Doctor:

If you notice any scoliosis signs and symptoms, you must seek medical assistance. You are likely to be referred for an x-ray to confirm the diagnosis. If you do have it, treatment options will be discussed.

Causes of Scoliosis:

In around 80% of cases, there is no known cause, which means it is idiopathic scoliosis. In 20% of cases, there is a clear cause, including:

- Cerebral palsy, which is a type of brain damage

- Muscular dystrophy, which is a genetic type of muscle weakness

- Marfan syndrome, which is a connective tissue disorder

In very rare cases, babies are born with the condition because they didn't develop properly in the womb. As people age, their bone density is reduced, and this can lead to scoliosis. Or, if adults already had it, it can make the condition worse.

Who Gets Scoliosis?

It was long believed that scoliosis signs and symptoms can only be found in children, but this is untrue. In fact, anyone can get it, although it is more common in kids aged between 10 and 15. Treatment is needed in only three or four out of every 1,000 children. Scoliosis is also more common in females than males.

Treatment for Scoliosis Signs and Symptoms:

There are different types of treatment, and the one that is right for you depends on its severity, your age, and whether specialists think it will get worse. If the patient is still very young, treatment may not be necessary at all, as the spine is still developing and may straighten out naturally as the person ages. However, if it is found that treatment is required, the patient may need a brace or cast, thereby effectively forcing the spine to grow straight.

If the young child's spine continues to become more curved, even if a brace or cast has been provided, then surgery may be required. Here, metal rods will be placed in the back to stabilize the spine. These rods are made longer regularly as the child grows.

If the patient is an older child, the scoliosis will likely not improve. Treatment will depend on whether it is believed that it will get worse. Common forms of treatment include:

- Wearing a back brace until the child has stopped growing, preventing further curvature.

- Spinal surgery to correct the curvature by using rods, wires, hooks, and/or screws.

If the patient is an adult, treatment will focus on pain relief. This includes exercise and over the counter or prescription pain medication. Correctional surgery is the last resort.

* Disclaimer:
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.