Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral or sideways curvature of the spine; most of the time, the cause is unknown (Idiopathic Scoliosis). It is most commonly diagnosed in young pre-teens, around ten years old, and affects girls more than boys. Scoliosis progresses as a child continues to grow, usually throughout puberty. Scoliosis affects roughly 3% of the population, and over 90% of cases are not severe enough to require surgery.
According to the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons, 80% of cases have no identifiable causes. Though schools conduct posture screenings through their nurses’ offices, the most definitive way to diagnose scoliosis is to have an X-ray. If there is a chance you or your child have scoliosis, early detection is essential. With an X-ray, we can establish a baseline curvature and monitor progression every six months to see if the scoliosis worsens. Sometimes there is only one curve to the scoliosis, other times, there may be two. The main concern with scoliosis is determining if the curvature bends into the left thoracic area toward the heart. If it is severe enough, surgery will be warranted. Bracing for scoliosis is usually recommended if the curve is more than 25°. If the curve is more than 35°, a surgical consult will be recommended.
As mentioned, the vast majority of curvatures are under 25° and can be managed with conservative therapy like chiropractic care. There is no cure for scoliosis, but like any misaligned spine, chiropractic care is beneficial for scoliosis patients to help with the effects of a curved spine. With abnormal curvature and alignment, a patient may experience back pain, neck pain, or inflammation. There may be problems with normal movement, range of motion, and posture, and long-standing scoliosis will give rise to early arthritis. Early detection and chiropractic care can help ease all scoliosis-related problems. Sometimes, we have even seen curves lessen slightly with adjustments.
$49 Complete Chiropratic Health Screening For Scoliosis
$49 for a complete chiropractic health screening including a consultation, exam, X-rays if necessary, a report of findings, and a plan of action.
How Our Chiropractic Care Works
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How We Treat Scoliosis in Belmar, NJ
Comprehensive Consultation and Exam
The best way to understand your specific scoliosis situation is to take a detailed history and have a thorough consultation. Scoliosis tends to be hereditary, so you will need to speak with a doctor who will really listen and ascertain all the details about your condition.
Then the doctor will perform comprehensive chiropractic, functional, and orthopedic exams, as well as postural exams and range of motion testing. Our doctor will then take precise digital X-rays in-house, so you will not be referred out for X-rays. Our doctor must be able to measure the angles and curves of your spine. She will then go over the X-rays in detail with all the patients, explaining the findings and the plan for care.
Specific Chiropractic Care in Belmar, NJ
At Kinney Chiropractic, one of the main problems we look for is subluxations. Subluxations are when vertebrae shift out of alignment and don’t move well, putting abnormal pressure and pinching on nerves. Subluxations do not allow your spine to function correctly. With scoliosis, the spine is already in an unnatural position, leading to muscle strain and pain in the back, neck, shoulders, or hips. Improving proper motion, alignment, and nerve function by correcting subluxations is imperative to a healthy spine with scoliosis.
Custom Therapeutic Exercise Plan
We customize a therapeutic exercise plan for all of our patients. We provide exercises to stretch the spine and strengthening exercises to minimize pain. We give stretches and exercises in the office, but we also email stretching and strengthening exercises for you to have a plan at home.
Spinal Decompression in Belmar, NJ
One of the ways we address abnormal curvature and stress on the discs is with a spinal decompression technique called Flexion-distraction, an adjustment technique that effectively stretches and decompresses the middle and lower spine. An abnormal curvature, like scoliosis, increases stress on the vertebrae and exacerbates muscular imbalance. Flexion-distraction works to separate the joints, open up the disc spaces, and elongate and stretch muscle ligaments and tendons to decrease abnormal stress and possibly reduce scoliosis curves.
Massage therapy is definitely recommended for patients who have scoliosis. Due to the muscle imbalances around scoliosis, some muscles are usually too tight, while others are overly stretched. This can lead to discomfort and pain.
Massage therapy can break through annoying muscle knots and provide relief. Decreasing abnormal muscle tone can make it easier for corrective exercises to be more effective for posture. Ongoing periodic adjustments can improve function in everyday life. Our massage therapist is available by appointment and can help with any abnormal muscle function or pain.
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Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Scoliosis Pain in Belmar, NJ
Risk Factors of Scoliosis
Risk factors for developing scoliosis include age, gender, and family history. If your child is between 10 and 14, they should be screened for scoliosis. Scoliosis is usually more prevalent in girls and progresses as the child grows. Pay attention to growth spurts to see if there are more signs of scoliosis. If there is abnormal posture, scapular winging, or abnormal pelvic alignment, the patient should have X-rays to rule out scoliosis. Your child may be more prone to developing scoliosis if there is a positive family history.
Complications from Scoliosis
Some complications can arise from scoliosis. If the curve is severe enough and bending toward the heart, there may be problems with cardiovascular function. In this case, the ribcage is pushed against the heart and lungs, causing breathing problems and making it difficult for the heart to pump blood around the body. This situation usually requires a surgical consult.
Another complication is back problems. Many people with scoliosis have pain in their middle or lower back or both. Sometimes they also have shoulder pain. This is where chiropractic is so complimentary and beneficial to patients with scoliosis.
The abnormal curves can also give an unflattering appearance to a patient’s spinal alignment and posture. When curves are severe enough, it is evident in posture, and many girls are uncomfortable with their appearance.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care is extremely beneficial for patients who have scoliosis. First, chiropractic adjustments help to reduce pain, inflammation, and discomfort. Once we identify where abnormal curves and subluxations (fixations in joints) are, gentle, effective adjustments help reduce the fixation and nerve interference and improve joint motion and nervous system function. This ultimately helps improve range of motion and flexibility. We support adjustments with stretching and strengthening exercises to decrease strain on muscles and improve overall lifestyle.
The best part about chiropractic adjustments is that it’s a non-invasive type of care that is very cost-effective and non-habit forming. Chiropractic care is beneficial for people and children of all ages.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a chiropractor in Belmar, NJ good for scoliosis?
Yes. If you suspect your child has scoliosis, we can take specific X-rays to assess the curve and create a specific treatment plan to help reduce pain and help minimize abnormal function associated with scoliosis.
Can chiropractic adjustments fix scoliosis?
Nothing can ‘cure’ or ‘fix’ scoliosis, but chiropractic adjustments help reduce abnormal joint and muscle function, and occasionally we have seen a slight reduction in curvature with care.
Can you straighten scoliosis without surgery?
A patient can do little to ‘straighten’ the spine with or without surgery. Chiropractic adjustments may help slightly reduce curves, and some more advanced scoliosis needs bracing.
Is massage in Belmar, NJ good for scoliosis?
Yes. Our massage therapist can help reduce the abnormal and sometimes painful muscle tension associated with scoliosis.
What happens if scoliosis is left untreated in adults?
If left untreated, long-standing scoliosis can lead to potential disc problems and often arthritis in older patients.