Many young people have experienced back pain, and upon seeing their doctor told they have been given a daunting diagnosis….scoliosis! Most times the advice is to swim, but will this really help the issue?
What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a lateral translation of the spine. Put simply the spine isn’t straight! When we view the spine looking at somebody from the back/front we want to see a straight line. However, when we view the spine from the side we want to see curves in the spine, it should not be straight. These curves are a natural way for the body to redistribute weight in day to day life, improving the strength of our spine, much like the curves we see on suspension bridges. When we see Olympic weightlifters, they are always picking up the weights with these natural curves in their back.
When the spine moves more to one side it will interfere with the nerves that exit each side of the spine, potentially pulling one side and compressing the other. This lateral curve will also affect the muscles, ribs and other structures around them.
Why does this lateral curve happen?
This lateral curve usually develops in younger ages and can occur due to a number of factors. Sometimes it can be hereditary or a consequence of other conditions (such as muscular atrophies). However, we are seeing a growing number of cases where the spine is curving due to lifestyle factors, such as poor posture or carrying heavy loads, especially when they are mixed together.
“As the twig is bent so grows the tree”
Since this is a problem developed in youth it is logical to seek help as soon as possible. This involves preventing lifting with a poor posture, reducing the weight of schoolbags and reducing mental stress. If the brain is over working due to emotional factors then the communication between the mind and the body can start to break down. If this is the case the mental aspect is as important to address as the physical.
“It is less important to focus on the label of a scoliosis but to focus on how it affects our lives and where to go from here. If we continue to dwell on the diagnosis then we will never change or make improvements”
How can Chiropractic help?
It is important to address the reason why the change in the spine has occurred. This involves taking a detailed history, including finding out anything you’re doing that may be making things worse; such as wearing a backpack on one shoulder or certain posture you favour. Then physical tests will be done which will include seeing how you move and checking the alignment of the spine. Finally the Chiropractor will be able to tell you how they can help and start treatment. This will usually involve a mix of Chiropractic adjustments, stretches and exercises. It’s also important to modify our movement and behaviour in everyday life to accelerate the healing.
Call us today to find out how we can help you express the healthiest version of yourself