FAQ’s on Adult Scoliosis
What is Adult Scoliosis?
Adult scoliosis is a condition which causes deformation to the spine of a matured patient. This condition makes the spine bend sideways, normally as a result of either an accident or abnormal growth pattern that may have been developing over the patient’s lifetime. The shape of the curved spine can adopt the form of either an S or a C, instead of being in a straight line.
Who are the candidates of Adult Scoliosis?
Adult scoliosis is the name given to the scoliosis condition when it is diagnosed within an adult, and it only separated from the juvenile condition due to age. This condition is mostly prevalent in individuals aged 60 and above, as the condition has had more time to affect the spine during this time.
Research has shown that more women are likely to suffer from adult scoliosis than men. This is because females are more prone to metabolic bone diseases, which can include osteomalacia and osteoporosis. Scoliosis within an adult can potentially restrict a person from performing normal physical tasks and can reduce their quality of life significantly.
What causes Adult Scoliosis?
There are three main ways an adult may develop scoliosis, the most common being the condition was simply either not diagnosed, or not severe during the childhood years to warrant correctional treatment. This is known as congenital scoliosis, where the condition occurs at birth and can remain undiagnosed throughout a patient’s life. It is also possible for the condition to be noticed while the patient is young, but the degree of the curvature was not severe. General degradation of the spine due to age can worsen and progress symptoms, leading to the development of scoliosis in an adult that requires therapeutic intervention..
The second way scoliosis can occur is as the result of a paralytic curve, which is when the muscle groups that support the spine are malfunctioning. Muscle spasms by these groups can force the spine into abnormal positions, or force it slightly out of alignment. While neither of these will directly need immediate treatment, these slight complications can spiral into a huge issue for the patient given enough time. These curves are often the result of injury leading to some degree of paralysis.
Myopathic curves (the third cause of scoliosis), affect the spine in the same way as a paralytic curve but have a different root cause. Myopathic curves originate from a muscular or neuromuscular complication with the body, such as polio, cerebral palsy, or muscular dystrophy.
What are the symptoms of Adult Scoliosis?
Adult scoliosis provides a number of unique identifiers, with the most prevalent being a visible deformity of the patient’s spine. These deformities do not always result in pain for the patient, but will often cause an asymmetrical formation of the spine.
Patients will normally attempt to cope with this deformity by slouching their body to one side, which can result in an awkward walking gait or in a discrepancy of the length of the limbs. Some patients may have a degree of spinal deformity that noticeably arises from their back.
What are the treatments for Adult Scoliosis?
The treatment options available for adult scoliosis will be based on the severity of the present symptoms. Many physicians opt to attempt conservative methods initially. These may include a program of pain medication combined with physical or chiropractic therapy for the patient in an effort to correct the spinal curve without surgery. Many patients may also be given a spinal brace in order to provide extra support to the spine with a goal of preventing acceleration of the condition.
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