Franklin Chiropractor | horacolumbar Scoliosis
horacolumbar Scoliosis. About your problem. Scoliosis. Your spine is made up of 24 bones that stack on top of each other- normally in a straight line. “Scoliosis” means that your spine is curving from side to side, rather than being straight. Scoliosis affects between 1-3% of the population. Scoliosis may begin at any time between birth and adulthood but is most common during times that your skeleton is growing rapidly. Most cases of scoliosis begin between the ages of 13 and 18. Researchers are not completely certain why some people develop scoliosis, but they have found that the problem tends to run in families. The curve of your scoliosis may be measured with an x-ray. Although some curves get worse, most do not. In fact, only ¼ of all adolescent idiopathic scoliosis curves will progress. Small curves in mature patients have a low risk of progression (2%), while large curves in younger patients progress more frequently. (70%) Curve progression is more common in girls, especially those with larger curves (greater than 20 degrees). Your doctor may need to monitor your scoliosis for progression by performing x-rays every 6-18 months. Scoliosis may cause your shoulders, hips, or waist to be unlevel. Most curves are classified as “right thoracic”, which means that the peak of your curve protrudes toward the right. This is often accompanied by a forward rotation of your right shoulder and “winging” of your right shoulder blade. Many patients have a secondary curve in their lower spine that helps to balance their body. The majority of patients with mild to moderate scoliosis have no symptoms, but approximately ¼ report back pain. Unfortunately, scoliosis increases your risk of developing back pain later in life. The primary goal of treatment from your Franklin Chiropractor is to stop curve progression. While many cases can be slowed or even reversed through appropriate management, it is important to recognize that others may progress in spite of the best care. Conservative care, including spinal manipulation (like the type provided in our office) has been shown to help some patients with scoliosis. Exercise is another effective treatment for scoliosis. It is important that you clearly understand your home exercise program and that you perform it consistently. Patients with larger curves (30-40 degrees), or those who are at high risk for progression may benefit from wearing a brace. Braces have been shown to decrease the need for surgery in about three out of four patients. Fortunately, less than 0.3% of all scoliosis cases will ever require surgery. You should avoid carrying heavy back packs and consider switching to a wheeled version, if necessary. Sports and exercise will not worsen most cases of scoliosis, and you should continue to participate in the things you enjoy unless directed otherwise by your doctor. The diagnosis of scoliosis is always discouraging, but you must focus on what it is really most important. Be confident in who you are! Don’t let something like a curved spine (or any other medical condition) define you as a person. Our Treatment here is a brief description of the treatments we may use to help manage your problem. 1.Joint Manipulation -Your Franklin chiropractor has found joints in your body that are not moving freely. This can cause tightness and discomfort and can accelerate unwanted degeneration i.e. arthritis. Your Franklin chiropractor will apply a gentle force with their hands, or with hand held instruments, in order to restore motion to any“restricted” joints. Sometimes a specialized table will be used to assist with these safe and effective “adjustments”. Joint manipulation improves flexibility, relieves pain and helps maintain healthy joints. 2.Therapy Modalities -Your Franklin chiropractor may apply electrotherapy modalities that produce light electrical pulses transmitted through electrodes placed over your specific sites of concern. These comfortable modalities work to decrease your pain, limit inflammation and ease muscle spasm. Hot or cold packs are often used in conjunction, to enhance the effect of these modalities. Another available option is therapeutic ultrasound. Ultrasound pushes sound vibrations into tissues. When these vibrations reach your deep tissues, heat develops and unwanted waste products are dispersed. 3.Myofascial Release -Overworked muscles often become tight and develop knots or “trigger points”. Chronic tightness produces inflammation and swelling that ultimately leads to the formation of “adhesions” between tissues. Your Franklin chiropractor will apply pressure with their hands, or with specialized tools, in order to release muscle tightness and soft -tissue adhesions. This will help to improve your circulation, relieve pain and restore flexibility. 4.Therapeutic Exercise -Muscle tightness or weakness causes discomfort and alters normal joint function, leading to additional problems. Your Franklin chiropractor will target tight or weak muscles with specific therapeutic stretching and strengthening to help increase tissue flexibility, build strength, and ease pain. Healthy, strong, and flexible muscles may help prevent re-injury. 5.Foot Evaluation -Fallen arches and faulty foot mechanics are common problems that can perpetuate your condition. Our office will carefully evaluate your feet and consider the need for a change in shoe style, arch supports or even custom orthotics. 6.Traction – Your condition is aggravated by compression of your spinal joints and discs. We may perform traction “by hand” or utilize a specialized traction table to “decompress” these tissues. Traction helps to stretch your tight muscles and ligaments, improve nutrition to the discs and increases available space in the openings where your spinal nerves exit.
Some Things That You Can Do To Help Yourself. 1.Sleep Posture – Your mattress and the position you sleep in may affect your condition. •Choose a mattress that provides medium or firm support, such as a traditional coil spring or adjustable airbed. Avoid waterbeds, thick pillow tops and soft, sagging mattresses. •Always sleep on your back with a pillow either underneath your knees or on your side with a pillow between your knees. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. •Keep your neck and back covered while sleeping to avoid drafts that could cause potential muscle spasms. 2.Backpacks -To minimize strain from wearing a backpack, observe the following guidelines: •Backpacks should never weight more than 5-10% of a child’s body weight. •Shoulder straps should be padded, appropriately adjusted, and worn over both shoulders. •Purchase a backpack with an internal frame to distribute the load evenly. •Wheeled backpacks are optimal. Your Home Exercises. 1.Scoliosis- Walk in Place -First, from a standing position, move into your “auto correction” position to align your spine. (Do not begin this exercise if you have not yet been taught this position.) Next, while maintaining auto correction, walk in place by lifting one thigh to 90 degrees and simultaneously lifting the opposite straightened arm to shoulder height. Lower and repeat, alternating sides to “walk” in place for one minute, twice per day or as directed. 2.Scoliosis- Balance -First, from a standing position, move into your “auto correction” position to align your spine while standing. (Do not begin this exercise if you have not yet been taught this position.) Next, while maintaining auto correction, stand on one leg and lean forward from your hips at a 45-degree angle. Do not bend your spine. Keep your arms straight at your sides with your free foot elevated to knee level. Return to an upright standing position and repeat on the opposite leg. Perform 3 sets of 10 cycles, twice per day or as directed. 3.Scoliosis- Stick Push -First, from a sitting position, move into your “auto correction” position to align your spine. (Do not begin this exercise if you have not yet been taught this position.) Next, while maintaining auto correction in a sitting position, push a broomstick into the floor with great force for 7 seconds. Relax, reset your auto correction position and repeat. Be sure to contract your abdominal muscles while pushing down. Do not hold your breath and keep breathing naturally from your diaphragm. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions, twice per day or as directed. 4.Scoliosis- Wall Fall -Stand facing a wall, approximately 30 inches away and move into your “auto correction” position to align your spine. (Do not begin this exercise if you have not yet been taught this position.) Next, while maintaining auto correction, move your hands to shoulder level about a foot in front of your chest. While keeping your body straight, slowly fall forward into the wall, catching yourself with your hands. Return to a standing position by pushing off the wall with your hands. Reset and repeat 3 sets of 10 repetitions, twice per day or as directed