Scoliosis 101

 

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To give hope to families by providing highly effective, state-of-the-art care,

that helps to increase the quality of life in an individual.

 

This section of our website has been designed to help answer questions concerning scoliosis.  If you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with scoliosis, you are not alone.  According to the National Scoliosis Foundation, nearly 6 million individuals in the U.S. have scoliosis.  We are here to help educate and empower you to take the best action steps towards intervention of scoliosis at any stage.  You do have options when it comes to treating scoliosis on Long Island!

Scoliosis is a disease affecting the neuro-musculoskeletal system.  Dysfunction of this system can cause abnormal curving of the spine.  Scoliosis can be very progressive in nature, which is why early intervention is crucial in treating the disease.


 

Signs of scoliosis can be detected through postural misalignments found during spinal screenings.  Common postural abnormalities can include but are not limited to:

*Uneven head tilt

*Uneven shoulders

*Uneven pelvis

*Uneven shoulder blades

*Pronounced rib bump

The pelvis can also rotate forward on one side while the other compensates and rotates back.  One shoulder blade may flare out more than the other.  Looking at an individual from the side, one might notice that the head protrudes forward where the ears are not in line with the shoulders.  This is referred to as forward head posture.  This postural misalignment occurs when there is a loss of curve in the neck.  Our heads natural weight is as heavy as a bowling ball and when we begin to loose the curvature in our neck, it puts extra stress on our spinal cord and nervous system.  Every 25mm’s worth of forward head posture causes the head to feel like it’s an extra 10 lbs heavier.  This can throw the biomechanics of the spine off and the body tries to compensate for this added stress against gravity.  This can lead the neuro-musculoskeletal system to put curves in the lateral dimension of the spine in order to stabilize the body. 

It has been found that standard screenings performed in the school system sometimes may not detect scoliosis until it has progressed to a significant amount.  The “Adam’s Test” which consists of the child touching their toes while someone evaluates his or her spine is often referred to by professionals as the “Too Late Test.”  Sometimes this particular test will not detect scoliosis until it has progressed over 30 degrees.


 

Symptoms of scoliosis can include back and neck pain, fatigue, difficulties breathing, lowered self esteem, and much more.  Since scoliosis is a neuro-musculoskeletal condition, the nervous system can be affected.  Basic science shows that the brain is in control of every function in the body.  The brain communicates with the body by sending signals from brain, down the spinal cord, out every nerve and travels to the organs, muscle, and other tissue of the body.  Abnormal curves of the spine can place added stress on the nervous system, therefore interfering with the body’s natural state of well being. 

 

The prognosis of scoliosis depends on multiple factors including environmental factors, genetics, age, and severity.  Look at the graph below to see how scoliosis can progress:
0-25 degree mild or early stage scoliosis. 14-22% risk of further progression

 

Early intervention can help slow down progression, arrest, and even reverse scoliosis.  It is important to note that each scoliosis is unique to the individual that has it.  Therefore, it is important to treat the disease on an individual basis.