Scoliosis - symptoms, and how to overcome this condition
What is Scoliosis / why does it occur?
Scoliosis is the condition where your backbone has an unnatural curvature to it. It is a sideways curvature of the spine and observed when you are a child or teenager. Some Scoliosis may have an association with Muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and cerebral palsy. There are a few cases that have no known cause and are called "Idiopathic Scoliosis."
There can be two classifications- Permanent Scoliosis (structural curve), which is probably due to some medical condition or an accident, and Temporary Scoliosis (nonstructural curve), in which the spine is structurally normal. Either of the two is treatable. Your doctor will do their best to bring you the most optimal solution.
What are the symptoms?
Usually, the curvature is mild and may not affect your lifestyle nor appearance. But the situation can snowball downwards over time.
Symptoms in a child:
- The height difference of shoulders.
- Asymmetric body.
- One hip may be higher than the other and can sometimes bulge out.
Symptoms in an adult:
- Uneven shoulders/hips.
- Numbness or pain in the legs.
- Trouble walking
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of Height
- Intense pressure on your belly because of the curvature of the spine.
These are the classic symptoms of Scoliosis and are a sign to consult your doctor and get it treated.
Can the condition be prevented?
Scoliosis is an abnormal condition. Its root cause is unknown. There are myths that people follow like practicing good posture and doing yoga. But Scoliosis is spontaneous and can happen randomly.
The only thing you can do is manage the condition afterward. You can prevent further curvature of the spine.
Activities like strength exercises, yoga, and pilates are great to relieve the symptoms of people who already have Scoliosis. Sometimes Scoliosis can present itself with Osteoporosis. Good nutrition and regular exercise can prevent this.
What may be the treatments available?
The symptoms of Scoliosis are very subtle in the first few weeks. Hence the condition may go unnoticed. Your child's health is of great importance and should be checked regularly. The harsh effects of Scoliosis could be prevented if discovered earlier.
The treatment has three phases/options- Monitoring, Non-surgical methods, and surgery.
Minor spinal curvature, like most cases, doesn't require treatment. They need regular checkups. The doctor may observe their condition closely to check for the degree of curvature.
Some kids may get "Idiopathic Scoliosis." Doctors monitor and analyze the child or adult's situation in this phase.
If the child’s bones are still growing or the child has moderate Scoliosis, the doctor may recommend braces. It will not cure or reverse the curvature but is essential in stopping the progress of the curvature. The braces are usually made of hard plastic and are both rigid and elastic.
The whole intention of wearing the braces is to control the curvature so that they don't require surgery afterward. The back braces allow you to participate in most activities. It rarely has any restrictions.
When the curvature worsens to about 45 and 50 degrees, it can get worse and may even harm your lungs. The surgery will help straighten the curve and stop further curvature.
There are a few surgical approaches like expanding rod technique and vertebral body tethering, but the most common is Spinal fusion.
The result is to fuse the vertebrae so that the spine is unable to bend. The surgery can also help to correct the deformity to a great extend. Pieces of bone or "Bone Grafts" are placed between the vertebrae. Metal implants like screws and wires hold the spine in place until the vertebrae fuse.
We provide you with the best doctors in Dubai to bring about a positive change in your lives. The doctor will give you the support and solution that you deserve. Get a second medical opinion on your child's health to ascertain any issues in the early stage. Our doctors provide you with optimal care and the best options available.