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Clinton, NC 28328

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Wallace, NC 28466


Scoliosis is a medical condition characterized by an abnormal curvature of the spine, which can either be "C"-shaped or "S"-shaped when viewed from the back. The curvature can occur in different parts of the spine and may vary in severity. Scoliosis can develop in childhood (idiopathic scoliosis) or later in life due to various underlying conditions.

Types and Causes of Scoliosis:

  1. Idiopathic Scoliosis: This is the most common type and occurs without a known cause. It often develops during adolescence, with no identifiable risk factors.

  2. Congenital Scoliosis: Present at birth, congenital scoliosis results from abnormal formation of the vertebrae during fetal development.

  3. Neuromuscular Scoliosis: Caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury, which affect muscle control and contribute to spinal curvature.

  4. Degenerative Scoliosis: Occurs later in life due to degeneration of the spine's discs and joints, often associated with aging and osteoarthritis.

Symptoms of Scoliosis:

  • Uneven Shoulders or Hips: One shoulder or hip may appear higher than the other.

  • Uneven Waistline: The waistline may appear uneven or asymmetrical.

  • Prominent Ribs: One side of the rib cage may protrude more than the other when bending forward (Adam's forward bend test).

  • Back Pain: Mild to severe back pain, especially in adults with degenerative scoliosis or untreated cases.

Common Injuries Associated with Scoliosis

Scoliosis itself is not an injury but can lead to complications or associated conditions that may require medical attention:

  1. Pain and Discomfort: Chronic back pain, muscle stiffness, and discomfort, especially as the curvature progresses.

  2. Breathing Difficulties: Severe scoliosis can impair lung function due to restricted chest expansion.

  3. Cardiovascular Issues: In severe cases, scoliosis can affect heart function due to reduced space in the chest cavity.

  4. Psychological Impact: Body image concerns, social stigma, and emotional distress, especially in adolescents with visible spinal deformity.

  5. Progression of Curvature: Untreated scoliosis can lead to worsening of the spinal curvature over time, potentially impacting mobility and function.

Prevention and Management

  • Early Detection: Regular screenings during childhood and adolescence can help detect scoliosis early when treatment options are most effective.

  • Bracing: For adolescents with moderate spinal curves, wearing a brace may help prevent further progression of scoliosis.

  • Physical Therapy: Exercises to improve spinal alignment, strengthen core muscles, and maintain flexibility.

  • Surgical Intervention: In severe cases (typically curves greater than 40-50 degrees), surgery may be recommended to straighten the spine and stabilize it with implants.

  • Pain Management: Techniques such as physical therapy, pain medications, or injections to manage discomfort associated with scoliosis.

  • Orthotic Support: Customized orthotic devices or supports to improve posture and reduce strain on the spine.

  • Monitoring: Regular follow-up appointments with healthcare providers to monitor the progression of scoliosis and adjust treatment as needed.

Effective management of scoliosis involves a multidisciplinary approach tailored to the individual's age, curve severity, and underlying cause. Early intervention and ongoing monitoring are essential to minimize complications and optimize outcomes for individuals with scoliosis.

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