The human spine is deceiving in shape. From a frontal perspective, the spine looks adequately straight, but from the sides, the spine is actually curved slightly at different parts which represents the natural curvature of the human body as well as its capable flexibility. The upper curve is called the Cervical Lordosis which is located along the neck. The middle curve is called the Thoracic kyphosis which is located in the center of the back. The bottom curve is called the Lumbar lordosis.
Scoliosis is a condition where there are one or more irregular curves located along the spine than usual, specifically prominent from a horizontal perspective. The cause of Scoliosis is unknown, but different factors like genetic predisposition, growth, hormone dysfunction, abnormal bone density, biochemical factors, or nerve problems can affect Scoliosis.
Keep in mind, that many patients with Scoliosis live comfortably and do not live with the pain of the condition, in fact, many do not know they have it until the condition is diagnosed.
Contrarily, if an abnormal curve in the spine is too large it can cause the whole spine to rotate and cause pain. This rotation of the spine can clearly cause abnormality in the shape of the spine and can even lead to nerve damage in the future. For example, patients with uneven shoulders, an abnormal waistline, or an abnormal hump in the back are all signs of severe Scoliosis.
With Scoliosis comes asymmetric pressure on the discs of the spine which cause pain in the body due to an unequal balance in pressure. In terms of treatments, there are many options to relieve the pain of Scoliosis. Treatments like bracing, pain medications, chiropractic therapy, acupuncture, exercise, or yoga can help. The most effective treatment depending on how serious a patient’s Scoliosis is Surgery of straightening the spine to relieve pressure off of nerves.
- Surgery involves a long incision with rods and screws.
- Shorter segment fusions can be performed which can make a smaller scar.
- Under certain circumstances, scoliotic curves can be straightened using a tubular minimally invasive technique.
If you have questions about treating scoliosis, contact our BOARD CERTIFIED spine surgeon at Rocky Mountain Brain & Spine Institute, click here to contact us.
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