By Dr. Giuseppe Cannillo, on August 16, 2011
Scoliosis, a three-dimensional spinal curvature, affects over 4% of the population. The spine curves sideways and also rotates, causing pain, muscle imbalance, visible prominences and compromises breathing. For 80% of cases the cause of scoliosis is unknown but often develops during adolescence. The majority of scoliosis is female. Frequency of scoliosis:
- Scoliosis curves measuring at least 10° occur in 1.5% to 3.0% of the population
- Curves exceeding 20° occur in 0.3% to 0.5% of the population
- Curves exceeding 30° occur in 0.2% to 0.3% of the population
- Small spinal curves occur with similar frequency in boys and girls, but girls are more likely to have a progressively larger scoliotic curve that will require treatment.
Scoliosis refers to lateral deviation of the vertebral column in the coronal plane. The deviation in the coronal plane is often accompanied by rotation of the vertebral body. Often compensatory curves develop with the primary curve. The diagnosis of a scoliosis is most important before the growth phase of adolescence, when the curves and subsequent deformity can increase in magnitude. The diagnosis of scoliosis can be made with a thorough history, physical exam and 3d postural examination. Careful attention for biomechanical factors that could be contributing to the scoliosis is important. Most scoliosis is idiopathic. The importance of early intervention instead of waiting to see if a curve gets worse before deciding to do something about it is important, why not treat the problem to help prevent the curve from getting worse. A musculoskeletal evaluation that includes postural alignment and muscle tests is important. Muscle length tests include evaluation of hip flexors, hamstrings, posterior back muscles, tensor fascia latae and iliotibial band, teres and latissimus dorsi. Muscle strength tests include back extensors, abdominals, lateral trunk, obliques, hip flexors, hip extensors, hip adductors, gluteus medius and trapezius. One of the best treatments for scoliotic curves is CBP (Chiropractic BioPhysics). CBP spine care focuses on correcting structural scoliosis and other structural abnormalities of the spine through a combination of spinal adjustments, corrective scoliosis exercises and corrective scoliosis traction.