How To Prevent Scoliosis

Orthopedic SpecialistsOrthopedic specialists treat scoliosis patients of all ages and degrees of severity. This debilitating condition, in which the spine is abnormally curved, may be diagnosed in infancy and progress throughout life if not treated. Here is what you should know about this abnormality:

Causes

Scoliosis is often inherited and tends to run in families. It is important to note that these types of cases cannot be prevented, however orthopedic specialists would work to prevent the curvature from worsening. Scoliosis may also occur in cases of osteoporosis, or as a result of an injury. Those circumstances may be prevented, and are less likely to occur if a healthy diet and appropriate exercise program are followed.

Milder Cases of Scoliosis

In any case of scoliosis it is important to take action to prevent it from getting worse. The most critical time is from childhood through the teenage years, as bones are growing and bodies are developing. As high as 3% of children up to age 16 may have scoliosis. The most typical treatments for mild or moderate cases are to have the patient wear a brace and/or to have them involved in physical therapy. A brace will help keep an abnormal curve from getting worse, but won’t fix an already existing problem. Physical therapy is a very good treatment tool, especially for scoliosis associated with osteoporosis. Stronger muscles can help support the back and allow correct alignment, plus weight-bearing activity is of great benefit to bone health.

Severe Cases

More extreme cases of scoliosis can result in esthetic abnormalities (think of a “hump” or “hunch”) but more importantly, may reduce lung function. For these situations, orthopedic specialists could surgically correct the problem. This surgery involves a fusion of the vertebrae and will not resolve the problem completely, but often makes a big difference in comfort and lung capacity.

If you suffer with any joint or bone problem, the importance of good diet and exercise becomes even more critical for you. Orthopedic specialists are the perfect source of information about spinal health, including scoliosis.

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