Scoliosis Essay, Research Paper
In the following information, I will discuss scoliosis. I will explain what it is, how it
may occur, all the different types, early detection, and the possible treatments.
Scoliosis is defined as a side-to-side deviation from the normal frontal axis of the
body. This definition is limited since the deformity occurs in varying degrees in all three
planes: back-front; side-to-side; top-to-bottom. Most often the spine has a curvature in
the form of an S or C shape. However, your spine does originally have some natural
curves which gives us our shape and can also act as shock absorbers. There are a
couple of ways that scoliosis may occur, but the most shocking one is that there is no
evident cause. Unfortunately, people’s spines naturally curve on their own and occur
most often in healthy people. It has been stated that in a case where no cause is
found, it is known as Idiopathic Scoliosis (http://www.hjd.edu/html/body_scoliosis.html).
It also may occur with Cerebral Palsy or may be induced by Spina Bifida.
There are different types of scoliosis, the two most common are congenital and
neuromuscular. Congenital scoliosis is caused by an abnormal formation of the
vertebrate. Vertebral absence, partial formation, or lack of separation can cause
asymmetrical growth and can result in a deformity. Neuromuscular scoliosis occurs on
patients with a neuromuscular disease. This spinal deformity is very common and is
most often extremely severe in these patients. Also there is early onset and juvenile
scoliosis which occur in the early years of a child’s life. As stated in this article,
scoliosis usually develops in middle or late childhood and before puberty and therefore
is called “Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis” (http://www.hjd.edu/html/body_scoliosis.html).
Girls are more likely to get scoliosis than boys are and is far more severe. Scoliosis
does not occur from carrying heavy things, athletic involvement, sleeping or standing
postures, or minor lower limb length inequality.
Early detection is very important. If you can detect it early enough, you may be
able to alter the curve and make small adjustments to keep the spine in line with the
necessary small curves. Although scoliosis is not preventable, detection and treatment
early on in childhood is the best way of preventing an existing problem from getting
worse. However, it is very hard to detect scoliosis. Parents should be aware of some
signs to help indicate the need for a screening. Such signs to look for are:
Uneven shoulders or hips
Prominent shoulder or shoulder blades
Leaning to one side
Prominence of one side of the rib cage
If any of the above signs become evident, the child should immediately be taken to the
doctor for further evaluation, which will be helpful with early detection. The focus
should be on the appearance of the spine, as well as the function of the nerves coming
out of the spinal cord (http://www.hjd.edu/html/body_scoliosis.html).
Depending on the severity of the curvature, treatments for scoliosis may vary.
Bracing is one type of treatment that has had some success. It has been documented
that the application of a Milwaukee brace can improve the juvenile curves and reduce
the surgical indication for surgery to 20 percent. The worst results are seen in children
whose curves are greater than 30 degrees at the time of ons (Medical Topics,
www.orthospine.com). Most braces need to be worn as much as possible. If the child
is able to tolerate it then 23 hours a day is ideal. If the child plays a sport they may
remove the brace to play. It does not mean the child cannot participate in a sport
because they wear a back brace. Almost all children effected with scoliosis can lead
very normal lives and can do all the activities they wish. It does not hamper there
ability in most cases. The article states that physical therapy such as muscle
strengthening, is important if a brace is to be utilized. The brace must be removed for
these exercises in order to keep the back, abdomen, and trunk strong to prevent further
The last resort in a treatment would be surgery. Surgery can be very dangerous
considering you’re dealing with the spine and spinal cord. Surgery means placing rods
next to the vertebrate with a combination of hooks, screws, and wires. These make the
spine straighter and allow it to fuse. One of the many problems that are associated
with surgery for scoliosis is that it is extremely expensive and most people cannot
afford to have it done.
There are many alternative treatments for scoliosis. Even though none of them
have been scientifically proven to help in reducing the curvature, there is no real harm
in experimenting with them. Whether it is chiropractic manipulation, electrical
stimulation, magnets, acupuncture, cranio-sacral massages, Reikki therapy or holistic
remedies, as long as the person involved is still receiving the necessary standard
treatments and follow-up, there is nothing wrong with it.
All in all, scoliosis is difficult to treat and manage for the patients. It occurs
mainly in adolescent women and has devastating body image issues in its presence.
Scoliosis should never become the focus of a child’s life nor anyone involved, but
support from friends and family can help any child look past it.
Congenital Scoliosis Spinal deformity in Spinal deformity in
cerebral palsy (pre-op) cerebral palsy (post-op)