Scoliosis is a condition of abnormal spinal curvature. Your backbone, or spine, should normally run straight down the middle of your back when viewed from behind. In patients who have scoliosis, the spine may curve in a pattern that looks like a “c” or an “S” when viewed from behind.
The cause of scoliosis is usually unknown. It typically occurs or becomes more prominent in a growth spurt, often around adolescence. Because the cause is unknown, this type of scoliosis is referred to as “idiopathic.” If a child has problems with intrauterine spinal development resulting in curvature at birth, this is called congenital scoliosis. Finally, some patients develop scoliosis as a result of a neuromuscular problem, such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy or spina bifida.
Symptoms are often minimal, but in some cases, back pain occurs. There may be fatigue in the back after long periods of sitting or standing. There are postural abnormalities that include uneven hip or shoulder heights and pelvic tilt. If you have an abnormal curvature by visual inspection, imaging studies should be done to determine the actual extent of the curvature. Your treatment will depend upon the severity, your stage of growth, and the cause of the curvature. Most people don’t require treatment for idiopathic scoliosis, but sometimes a back brace is used for growing children to prevent increased deformity. If the cause of your scoliosis is congenital or neuromuscular, a back brace will not be helpful. If the curvature is severe, surgery may required.
As you age, you may experience pain from scoliosis. Some problems associated with scoliosis may include spinal or nerve damage, pain from degeneration of the vertebrae, low back pain, and restriction of the chest, leading to problems with breathing.
If you are suffering from back pain, due to scoliosis, contact us today for a consultation to evaluate your best options for pain relief. We offer weekday and weekend appointments. You can find us at our conveniently located clinics in West Orange, Aberdeen, and Lyndhurst.