Sometimes a person’s spine curves and rotates making it look like an”S” or a “C.” This is called “scoliosis.” Because your ribs attach to your spine, when the spine rotates, it raises the ribs and creates a rib hump. This is especially noticeable when you bend forward. Do you see it here? You may also notice differences in your chest or breast size, your shoulders, or your waist. They may appear uneven. The curve may become larger as you grow. Curves.
In the middle of your back, that reach 45 to 50 degrees will probably increase throughout life. If the curve is greater than 70 degrees, it can affect your breathing. Curves in your lower back that reach 35 to 40degrees may also get larger throughout life. In most cases, we don’t know what causes scoliosis, and we call that”Idiopathic Scoliosis.” Scoliosis does not come from carrying something heavy like your backpack or from bad posture. Scoliosis does not cause back pain in most patients.
There are many treatments for scoliosis. Your doctor will consider the size and type of your curve, how much growing you have left to do, and if you have any other medical conditions. Many times, treatment includes watching your curve, and also regularly getting an X-ray. Sometimes, wearing a brace is effective for curves between 20 and 40 degrees in children who are growing. But wearing a brace does not make the curve smaller. The goal is to prevent a curve from progressing or getting bigger.
Many families ask about alternative treatments. Physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic care can help some people with back pain. But there is currently no good scientific evidence showing they can prevent the progression of a curve or improve the curve. Discuss these therapies with your provider. For larger curves, your doctor might recommend surgery. No matter how your doctor treats your scoliosis, don’t let it stop you from being active or participating in sports or other activities you enjoy. Follow your doctor’s instructions and call the spine nurses if you have any questions.
There are several signs that may indicate the possibility of scoliosis. If one or more of the following signs is noticed, schedule an appointment with a doctor.
- Shoulders are uneven – one or both shoulder blades may stick out
- Head is not centered directly above the pelvis
- One or both hips are raised or unusually high
- Rib cages are at different heights
- Waist is uneven
- The appearance or texture of the skin overlying the spine changes (dimples, hairy patches, color abnormalities)
- The entire body leans to one side
In one study, about 23 percent of patients with idiopathic scoliosis presented with back pain at the time of initial diagnosis. Ten percent of these patients were found to have an underlying associated condition such as spondylolisthesis, syringomyelia, tethered cord, herniated disc or spinal tumor. If a patient with diagnosed idiopathic scoliosis has more than mild back discomfort, a thorough evaluation for another cause of pain is advised.
Due to changes in the shape and size of the thorax, idiopathic scoliosis may affect pulmonary function. Recent reports on pulmonary function testing in patients with mild to moderate idiopathic scoliosis showed diminished pulmonary function.
If a health and wellness checkup is on your back-to-school lists and we just did this, Amber don’t forget to add scoliosis screening so important. There’s a new spine screen app developed by Shriners Hospitals For Children that helps parents detect the signs and early detection is key, especially for an onefourteen-year-old aspiring ballerina. And as a mom of two dancers the story certainly speaks to me, take a look. I want to be a principal dancer in the New York City Ballet.
It’sreally competitive to get there but I think I can do it as long as I work hard. Kate aspires to be a professional ballet dancer and for her to have the fusion-less surgery really allowed her to be able to pursue her dreams and it just gave her her life back. Scoliosis is a curve in the spine that if it’s left untreated can cause breathing problems, pain, and even disability. We don’t know what causes scoliosis but we do know that it runs in families. So when Kate’s sister, Lauren was detected with scoliosis we knew that we had to watch Kate even more closely.
I felt more strongly on one side and also would get tired and because my lungs were twisted and my ribs were twisted that I couldn’t breathe as well. So getting this surgery helped me breathe well and help both sides be even so that dancing would be easier for me. Every six months Doctor SamDani would see Kate and she got really the best care possible. You know without this opportunity her dance career would have ended, I’m sure. She was struggling with rib rotation and breathing, being able to you know fill her lungs and do all the athletic things that dancers do.
And it really put a damper on what she was able to actually accomplish. At Shriners Hospital for children, we can offer all the different treatment options that a patient may need for the treatment of their scoliosis, including scoliosis specific exercises, physical therapy, and for some patients surgery and all of this can be offered under one roof. We are able to take care of kids from all over the world regardless of a family’s ability to pay. It was awesome, I had to go back slowly but it was quick. It was like 20 days and after that, like a week after I started dancing I started getting all my flexibility back.
Before the surgery, I felt kind of slouched and it would be hard to stand up tall, and now I felt like because in ballet you have to be one long line and now I can do that. I’m not all crooked. As a clinician, one of the most frustrating things for me to see is a child to come to the clinic with a really severe curvature because I know that if that curve was picked up earlier there would be many different options available. Including exercises and bracing, certainly, there are some patients that would need surgery but there are many others that we may have been able to avoid surgery with early detection.
Thus we felt it was really important for us to develop the spine screenapp. The spine screen app is easy to use it’s free, you can download it onto your phone, it has a step-by-step video, that shows parents how to use it. Basically, once the app is downloaded onto the phone the parent can run the phone down their child’s back twice to ensure accuracy, if the results are outside of acceptable then we recommend follow-up with the spine specialist.
If the results are fine the app will actually set up reminders for you to go ahead and check your child back again. Weare really encouraging parents to make this a part of their back-to-school routine. It’s not taking the place of doctors’ offices or the care that they would get but it’s just a starting point and it’s wonderful to be able to share what we’ve gotten herewith other parents that come to us and other parents that we seek out.
DoctorSamDani helped my future and helped me be the best dancer I can possibly and helps me be able to follow my dreams and he is he’s our hero. What a great story! Absolutely, and for more information about detectingscoliosis and the new spine screen app goto Shriners Hospitals for children dot org slash scoliosis. Of course, you can always go to our website the balancing act dot com We’ve got lots more, stay with us!