Scoliosis describes a condition in which your spine becomes rotated and curved sideways. While no cure for the condition exists, proper management helps prevent pain and dysfunction related to the abnormal spine placement. Chiropractic care provides many of the strategies you need to live a normal, pain-free life. If you’re a resident of Portland, Oregon, trust Dr. Phil McCary of Laurelhurst Chiropractic to evaluate your scoliosis and offer therapies and lifestyle remedies to keep you as healthy as possible. To develop your scoliosis therapy plan, call the office for an appointment or use the online booking agent.
Scoliosis Q & A
What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is usually an inherited condition. Each case of scoliosis looks slightly different, depending on the degree of your abnormality. Scoliosis is the diagnosis when you have a sideways curve of the spine that’s greater than 10 degrees. Your ribcage twists and the normal curves of the spine flatten. You may lose some curve in your neck, so you have a forward-head posture.
Spinal irregularities are only part of the condition. You experience miscommunications between the motor-sensory input and output from the upper and lower body. Your brain doesn’t get or receive the correct messages about your position or need for strength to create movement. This can be linked to imbalances or dysfunctions in the proprioceptive and vestibular systems — those responsible for you knowing where you are in space and your balance.
How is scoliosis diagnosed?
Scoliosis usually becomes apparent in early adolescence but can be diagnosed in adulthood. Signs that you’re suffering from the condition include awkwardly fitting clothes that hang unevenly and an obvious sideways curve to your shape that’s noticeable when you’re in a swimsuit. One side of your ribs or one shoulder might seem higher than the other, and your head isn’t quite centered.
More severe cases of scoliosis can lead to changes in your gait, reduced range of motion, and pain. Scoliosis cannot be the result of a sports injury or accident, or of carrying a heavy backpack on one side.
How does a chiropractor treat scoliosis?
With scoliosis, the joints of your spine are irregularly placed, so Dr. McCary concentrates on repositioning them. For these adjustments to be successful, he offers therapies to relax the muscles and associated connective tissue. By relieving some of the compression from the misalignment, he improves nerve function and communication — restoring function and feeling.
How often do I need treatment?
The degree of chiropractic care you need depends on the extent of your scoliosis. If you have a mild curve, you may benefit from periodic adjustments to promote an optimal range of motion and strength. More severe cases of scoliosis benefit from more frequent visits, therapeutic exercise, and soft tissue stimulation.
Managing your scoliosis can help prevent symptoms and dysfunction from worsening with time and interfering with your quality of life.