Scoliosis is a condition which is associated with lateral curvature of the spine. While in general scoliosis is a degenerative condition is observed in elderly population, scoliosis in adults may be associated with several challenges in overall work productivity and health. This article provides information about the causes of scoliosis, its symptoms and probable treatment options.
Human spine has a natural curvature which is meant to assist us in performing our day to day functions like breathing, sitting up, walking, lifting weights, etc. However some individuals may have an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine, which may interfere with their ability to perform regular and routine functions. This condition is referred to as scoliosis.
Scoliosis is usually observed in elderly population; however, it may be observed in young adults and may poise several challenges.
Scoliosis in adults is a condition which is associated with several challenges. Scoliosis can interfere with the ability of adults to perform functions, which others at their age can perform with ease.
Scoliosis in adults may interfere with their ability to run, walk, lift weight, etc.
What Causes Scoliosis In Adults?
There are three basic origins for development of scoliosis in adults,
- Degenerative disease like osteoarthritis which may affect younger adults may result in weakening of the spine. This associated with muscle pull from the other side may lead to a curvature.
- Idiopathic scoliosis is another type of scoliosis which was not noticed during adolescence and hence left untreated.
- Scoliosis that was surgically treated during adolescence, but continues to develop and persist during adulthood.
Signs And Symptoms Of Scoliosis In Adults
Scoliosis is associated with certain signs and symptoms that can help in the easy identification of the condition. While an X-ray scan can help in confirmation of the diagnosis, there are certain signs that need to be observed for scoliosis,
- One shoulder may be positioned higher than the other shoulder or one shoulder blade may be more prominent than the other one.
- One side of the rib cage may appear to be positioned higher than the other side.
- The waist line may appear to be uneven with the body tilting on one side.
- One leg may appear slightly shorter than the other leg.
Pain and numbness in the lower extremities may be addition symptoms that may be observed. While these are not very common symptoms and it is recommended to investigate them further, pinching of a nerve due to scoliosis may lead to these symptoms.
Scoliosis Treatment For Adults
Conventional adult scoliosis treatment usually focuses on reducing pain and improving the flexibility of the spine. Some of the conventional treatment options include,
- Bracing: Bracing is a technique which attempts to provide external support to the spine and help in overcoming its abnormal curvature. This technique is useful in management of scoliosis in children but may not be as effective in adults.
- Surgical intervention may be suggested only if the curvature is more than 50 degree and the condition is progressive with significant interference in pulmonary functions.
Chiropractic techniques are considered to be very effective as well in helping deal with this condition.