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What Is Scoliosis?

You may have heard of scoliosis before and wondered what exactly it is.

Scoliosis is simply a curve in the spine, to the left, the right, or both in the shape of an ‘S’. The regular shape of the spine curves naturally to the front and back, but it should appear straight when viewed from behind. Scoliosis may appear in the backbone or it may show in uneven shoulder or hip height, a projection of a shoulder blade or one side of the rib cage. Scoliosis affects 2-3 % of people in the U. S…approximately 7 million people. scoliosis image Most people with slight curves in their spines may not even realize that they have scoliosis.  There is no cure for scoliosis, but treatment is available, and advised to prevent the condition from worsening. Moderately severe scoliosis is treated with special back braces, sometimes accompanied by physical therapy. A small percentage of curvatures are measured at more than 40 degrees, when surgery becomes an option.

Scoliosis is commonly divided into three types.

The most common being Idiopathic Scoliosis (idiopathic means unknown) and 80% of all cases fall into this category. There is evidence that it is hereditary, however. Congenital Scoliosis is caused by bone deformity present from birth, and is sometimes accompanied by other defects. Secondary  or Neuromuscular Scoliosis may be the result of neurological disorders or trauma. It can be caused by abnormal muscles or nerves, or the effect of Cerebral palsy and Muscular dystrophy.

Scoliosis is also sub-divided by age groups: infants and children, adolescents, and adults. Infantile and adolescent scoliosis are distinctly different from adult scoliosis. Adult scoliosis is often caused by aging or degenerative disease.



Scoliosis side effects include pain, problems with posture, and shoulder humping and in rare cases can lead to lung and heart problems.

The majority of cases occur in children, and diagnosis is important.

Corrective exercises, bracing and/or surgery may be required depending on the patient, the type of scoliosis and their individual diagnosis.

If you are concerned that you or your child may have scoliosis, or you are looking for corrective therapy in the Mishawaka and Elkhart area, please contact us today for a complimentary consultation.


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