Written by Dr. Warner
“My, what a beautiful young lady… it’s too bad about her posture.”
A tragic comment to hear if it is one that could have been avoided through more careful attention when she was a youngster growing up.
“What is scoliosis anyways?” is a question we frequently have patients ask. Specifically, it is a lateral (side to side) curving of the spine. At the risk of being a little technical, let me mention the two kinds — congenital (inherited) and idiopathic (unknown origin). Congenital scoliosis is frequently caused by a malformation of one or more spinal vertebrae. While it cannot be corrected, painful symptoms may be relieved with Chiropractic care. It is the rarer of the two types.
Idiopathic scoliosis is the kind that “just happens, and while no one knows why, there is evidence that posture plays a significant role. Most of us think of posture as being how we stand or sit, but it can start as early as how we lie in our crib, how we crawl and toddle. Monitoring our youngsters at this stage can alert us t developing problems and allow us to correct them before they become deeply ingrained.
Scoliosis is more prevalent in females than in males and seems to be found in the tall, athletically inclined, who have received good nutrition. (Be sure to check the young males and the non-athletic as well, however.)
While we should always be concerned with our youngsters health, we should intensify our scoliosis checks from age 8-16 (especially ages 10-13). At home you should check uneven shoe wear, uneven hems or pants lengths, high shoulder or hip, and of course, the straightness of the spine. Observing the bare back as your youngster bends from the waist to touch her toes may reveal the bunching of muscles on one side and indicate a problem. This review should be done monthly during the 10-13 age period.
Posture review (seated and standing) may bring to your attention the awareness that the body is “getting used to” a twisted, bent, or curving spine and permit you to begin preventive measures. The old adage, ‘you can’t unscramble an egg’ is very true when it comes to undoing an established scoliosis. It can be done, but it is so much easier if it is caught in the developing stages.
Chiropractic care? An absolute must. Scoliosis is difficult to correct at best and you should get everything going for you that you possibly can.
Check for Scoliosis:
1. Uneven shoe wear
2. Uneven hems or pants lengths
3. High shoulder or hip
4. Straightness of the spine