Normal human spine is straight when you see from back or from the front. When you view it from lateral side you will notice many normal curvatures. Scoliosis is deformity of spine characterized by disproportionate side way bending of spine. Severe bend will be more apparent and will affect the cosmetic look of a person, besides long term health problems.
Milder scoliosis can be noticed only on X-ray. Scoliosis usually occurs during the growing spurt of puberty. However it can also occur later with growing age and degeneration of spine due to osteoporosis.A person with scoliosis has hunch back with uneven shoulder blade and tilt at the waistline. Treatment is needed for persons having symptoms which affect the normal day living.
What Are The Causes Of Scoliosis?
In most cases of adult scoliosis the cause is not known. There are several types of scoliosis. The condition is present in all age group. It usually develops during the early puberty age and continues to become severe with age.
However, in some people scoliosis starts developing only in adulthood. As child they may not have this spinal deformity.It may be related to deterioration or degeneration of the bones of spine caused due to osteoporosis.
Here are some of the causes of scoliosis in adults:
- Idiopathic curve meaning the cause is not known.
- Scoliosis in adults can result due to paralysis of muscles attached to the spine. Once this muscle become weak and lose its ability to hold or support the spine in its place, it can cause curvature of spine. It can be seen after spinal injury that causes paralysis.
- Neuromuscular diseases such as polio, cerebral palsy can also lead to scoliosis.
- Osteoporosis, osteomalacia can cause degeneration of vertebral bones. Both can be the cause of scoliosis in adults.
Common Symptoms Of Scoliosis
Many adult patients visit their doctor due to bad appearance of their posture and back. Mild form of scoliosis may not present with any symptoms except the ugly cosmetic appearance of their back. Individuals with scoliosis may have following deformities such as:
- Shoulder blade may not appear similar in line. One shoulder blade is higher than the other and projecting out.
- One shoulder is higher than the other.
- The deformity becomes apparent while bending.
With progression of the condition, patient may begin to suffer from backache. It is due to the pressure on the nerves caused by compression of vertebra. More severe cases may suffer from weakness and tingling numbness in leg and thigh.
Person may not be able to walk properly due to loss of muscle coordination of leg or maintain balance while walking. Stooped posture is common in people with scoliosis.
Treatment Options For Scoliosis
Most patients suffering from scoliosis may need conservative treatment, if the symptoms are distressing. Anti inflammatory medicines for few days can alleviate severe pain. Proper physiotherapy exercise, eating healthy food containing all nutrients, will help in relieving symptoms as well as strengthen the vertebra with proper calcium deposition.
Some patients may require spinal brace for relief of pain. Surgery is relatively risky and it is reserved only in bad cases. Curves more than 40 degrees may need surgery if the pain is difficult to bear, or curvature gives rise to serious heart and lung problems.