The spine is made up of individual bones known as vertebrae. Scoliosis occurs when these bones are misaligned, causing a curvature in the spine.
The onset of scoliosis can occur in males and females at any age, from an infant to an adult. However, it is very common in teenage girls. Usually, the cause of this is unknown, making it harder to prevent.
Despite this, there are ways to pick up on scoliosis early to ensure the proper treatment is received to prevent the progression of the curvature. An osteopath can perform the proper assessments to identify scoliosis and manage it if required.
There are 3 main approaches to treating scoliosis:
Physical therapy: your osteopath may choose to provide manual therapy and exercises to help reduce the pain and manage the scoliosis.
Bracing: In more severe cases, a back brace may be recommended to reduce the risk of progression
Surgery: If physical therapy and bracing are ineffective, surgery may be required. This is known as a “spinal fusion”, where the vertebrae are fused to create a straight spine. To do this, screws are placed in the required vertebrae, and a rod is placed on either side of the spine to connect each of the screws together.
Regardless of whether you have mild scoliosis, have a brace, or have undergone surgery, osteopathy can help manage your pain and concerns.
It is not uncommon to be told that scoliosis is just something you have to live with, but this is not the case. Manual therapy and exercise provided by your osteopath can help you along the way.
The blog post "Spinal Shenanigans: Taming Scoliosis with Osteopathy (and more...)" was written by Dr Jacqui De Santis, who is an osteopath at Whole Health Osteopathy. Dr Jacqui is available Monday for treatment, and she has had personal experience with scoliosis and spinal fusion to manage her scoliosis, so she has first-hand knowledge of your experience.