Your spine is a complex network of bones, muscles, and joints. It is the armor that protects your body’s central computer – the central nervous system comprised of your brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Your spinal cord connects to the brain, which controls all movement and reflexes. If your spine curves to one side or the other, it may cause pain or problems like frequent headaches or muscle spasms.
Scoliosis occurs due to an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. The condition is the most common spinal deformity in children and adolescents. Scoliosis is also more common in girls than boys. 3% of the American population suffers from scoliosis. Most cases of scoliosis do not require surgery and can be treated with conservative, non-invasive chiropractic care.
Severe scoliosis cases can lead to shortness of breath, life-long pain, breathing problems, and heart issues. Long-term scoliosis cases may also reduce lung capacity and result in issues like osteoporosis and scoliosis kyphosis. If left untreated, it can also cause damage to the back, shoulders, ribs, or vertebrae. Some of the complications are reversible with timely treatment. Others may become permanent with age. Surgery and other treatments are available for severe cases but can cause more harm than good in most cases.
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Chiropractic care promotes overall health and well-being by focusing on the spine and core muscles. It is also a safe, natural alternative to surgery and invasive procedures. Chiropractors are trained to perform a series of adjustments that help correct and treat symptoms related to the spine and back. They take a natural approach to spinal health that does not require medication or invasive procedures like radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery. All you need is regular chiropractic care and exercise sessions to improve your mobility in the long run.
The treatment improves the quality of your life by reducing spine curvature and restoring normal spinal alignment. Many patients experience a noticeable improvement in their mobility and restoration of a full range of motion to the muscles, spine, and bones. After receiving the treatment, you will also notice positive changes in overall health, reduced stress, and enhanced energy levels.
How Our Scoliosis Care Plan Works
1. Get To The Root Cause Of The Problem
We’re not interested in temporary solutions, we want to address the underlying issue for long-term relief. We’ll take the time to listen to your story and conduct a thorough exam to get to the root cause of the problem.
2. Receive A Plan Based On Your Goals And Our Findings
No two people experience the same issue in the same way. That’s why we use your health goals and our exam findings as the guideposts to design an action plan that is unique to you.
3. Live Your Best Life
Having control over your health will unleash your full potential. You’ll no longer be held back from doing what you need, want, and love to do. Without physical limitations or emotional worry, you can be the blessing to your friends and family.
Common Causes of Scoliosis in Wheaton, IL
Weak Muscles or Ligaments
The most common cause of Scoliosis is the presence of weak muscles or ligaments that do not provide sufficient support to the spine. In such cases, combined with weak vertebrae, this can eventually lead to the spine curving to one side. However, genetic factors and a family history of scoliosis may also increase its occurrence. Despite these predisposing conditions, most cases of Scoliosis occur in people who have not been diagnosed with a spinal abnormality or have no noticeable signs. According to the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons, 80% of cases have no identifiable cause. These cases are usually diagnosed between the ages of 10 and 14. The average age of onset is about 11 years old.
How to Identify Scoliosis in Yourself or Others
Observing the spine in a standing position makes Scoliosis easy to identify. Typically, your spine should be straight and in line with the head and feet. If a person has scoliosis, the spine will bend to one side. Depending on its severity, the curve may be visible from the front or back. A lateral view of the spine may reveal a slight deviation from a straight line. In most cases, curves of more than 10-15° are considered abnormal and warrant medical attention.
The signs and symptoms of Scoliosis are usually mild initially and do not require treatment. However, if the condition worsens, it can cause severe pain and muscle spasms around the spine. Common Scoliosis symptoms include back pain and neck pain, frequent headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, and poor posture. These symptoms are often present in more than one part of the body. Early detection is essential to avoid complications and ensure proper treatment.
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How We Treat Scoliosis in Wheaton, IL
Chiropractic care is one of the most common treatments for scoliosis. Chiropractic works to correct spinal structure through chiropractic adjustments and therapeutic exercises that strengthen and stretch muscles and improve posture. A chiropractor can identify the underlying cause of scoliosis and prescribe the best treatment options based on each patient’s needs.
Comprehensive Consultation and Exam
A thorough hands-on examination is the best way to diagnose Scoliosis. We will take a detailed health history to understand how scoliosis affects your life. The examination is not restricted to the spine but also looks into the joints, muscles, bones, and other areas, including your ears, jawline, and hands. After the exam, your doctor will provide you with an accurate diagnosis and explain the best treatment options. Your doctor will assess spinal curvature, alignment, flexibility, strength, and general health.
Specific Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic adjustments are specific to your condition. They are used to relieve pressure on spinal nerves. This unique approach may use stretch, traction, or other manual techniques depending on the severity of your condition.
During the session, the chiropractor will assess your movement and flexibility to determine the initial frames of the spine and work on the misalignment. The adjustments are usually applied manually but can be administered using instruments or equipment. Chiropractic adjustments relieve pressure and stress on the nervous system to improve nerve function, alleviate pain, and restore mobility and muscle function.
Custom Therapeutic Exercise Plan
Your exercise program will often be designed from kinesiology to correct the tightness and alignment in the affected areas. This can include muscle stretches, strengthening exercises, and gentle mobility exercises. More advanced plans may even include scoliosis motion chairs or special braces that allow patients to work on stretching and strengthening their muscles.
At home, the best exercises include resistance band training, yoga poses, core strengthening, and other fitness activities that improve muscle balance and flexibility. Your chiropractor will recommend an appropriate home program based on your condition.
Spinal decompression involves using a motorized machine that provides traction for the spine. By stretching the spine, decompression removes pressure from the spinal discs and nerves, rehydrating the discs and giving them a chance to heal.
During the procedure, you will lie on a special table with a harness with multiple straps that secure your shoulders, hips, and feet. The table is then tilted at an angle to lower the upper body, decompress the spine and improve alignment. This works by pulling the spinal discs away from each other, which reduces pressure on the nerves and lowers blood pressure in the spinal discs when combined with traction.
Massage therapy involves using hands, pressure, and stretching to work on aches, stiffness, and muscle tightness. Manipulating specific muscles, tendons, and ligaments increases blood supply to relieve pain. Massage promotes flexibility, reduces pain, and helps correct muscle imbalances. Your doctor can recommend different types of massage based on your back pain, specific pain points, and desired treatment goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
How should I sleep with scoliosis?
Sleeping on your back is an excellent way to reduce pressure on the spine and allow for good spinal alignment. Try to sleep on your back supported by pillows for the optimal position. Sleeping in a fetal position or leaning on uncomfortable pillows and chairs can cause stress on the lower back. Get a comfortable mattress with enough support for your shoulders to be at the same level as your hips. Remove all tight clothing or belts that can pull on the spine, especially when sleeping or sitting for extended periods.
What foods help scoliosis?
To maintain good health, patients should consume a diet rich in leafy greens, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. These foods contain phytonutrients that promote overall health and reduce the risk of diseases. We also recommend avoiding processed foods high in sodium and refined sugars, like cookies, chips, and doughnuts.
What sports should I avoid with scoliosis?
Patients need extra care while dealing with sports and physical activities. They should avoid high-impact activities that can cause excessive pressure on the spine and aggravate the symptoms of Scoliosis. Activities like running, jumping, high-impact aerobics, or sports like gymnastics, football, and rugby can worsen the symptoms. Other dangerous activities include water skiing, martial arts, horseback riding, bike riding, and long-distance running.
What does scoliosis pain feel like?
In mild cases of Scoliosis, you may feel stiffness in the back and even pain. But if it is severe, you will experience intense pain in the lower back and hips that can become unbearable. This pain indicates that the spine is out of alignment and should be checked by your doctor as soon as possible. It can lead to complications like muscle strain, nerve damage, muscle fatigue, and even nerve-root impingement.
Is walking good for scoliosis?
Walking is one of the best ways to improve scoliosis. It helps improve the range of motion and strength of the lower back and hips. An excellent daily walking routine can easily be incorporated into your schedule and requires little effort to maintain. Consult with your doctor before starting any exercise routine. You can start with simple walking and slowly progress to a comfortable level. Walking on uneven surfaces and uphill can also help improve your spinal curvature.
Can a chiropractor straighten your spine?
Yes, a chiropractor can effectively reduce spinal curvature and restore alignment. We are trained to identify and correct abnormal spinal curvature. Through chiropractic adjustments, either manual or assisted with special tools, we can relieve pressure on the vertebrae to relieve pain, improve nerve function, and increase spinal mobility. Chiropractic care is painless, non-invasive, natural, and does not require surgery.