Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine as a result of the twisting and curving of the spine. This condition can affect people at any age but normally starts and is noticeable during adolescence when the growth spurt is at peak. Most cases of scoliosis are idiopathic which means the cause is unknown if left untreated can lead to the condition to develop with age and can be disabling when it becomes severe.
This abnormal curving of the spine is often overlooked and is mistaken for common back pain. If not treated early, this condition can cause lifelong difficulty and pain. It is a condition that has no definite cure and can be impactful to life in general.
Most cases of scoliosis are mild however some can also be developmental with age. Severe cases of this condition can be disabling affecting some nerves and organs in the body. A severe spinal curve can result in the bones piercing the lungs and reducing the amount of space within the chest, making the organs affected function with difficulty.
How is it treated?
An abnormal curvature than exceeds 10 degrees is considered a case of scoliosis. Most scoliosis is mild and does not need treatment. Moderate forms of scoliosis that reach the 20-40 degree curve range should be monitored and therapies such as chiropractic care and bracing can be used to lessen degeneration over time. Severe cases as per the advice of doctors are treated via spine surgery to correct the placement of the spine.
Dealing Life with Scoliosis
Scoliosis affects people’s lives differently. The condition isn’t that noticeable until it gets noticed. While the abnormal curve isn’t necessarily seen by the naked eye, most people with scoliosis (depending on severity) have noticeably bad posture, uneven waist or hips, shoulders or a hump on the side where there the curvature is found.
Life with scoliosis is associated with pains and discomfort due to the nerves being affected by the curvature.
Scoliosis isn’t just a physical condition, much less a curve in the spine. It also has an emotional impact on the person with the condition. Studies show that people with scoliosis are more prone to depression and negative self-image. Others may even turn to substance abuse and suicidal thoughts. People with scoliosis tend to be sensitive to their posture, which can turn any sensitive remarks into something degrading.
The emotional effects are as or more real as the physical ones. For children, wearing brace makes kids with scoliosis feel isolated from their peers and uneven posture makes them feel different from the others. Many kids and even teens develop body image issues because of their posture. When fitting in is important in these stages of their lives, their self-confidence faces havoc.
Living with scoliosis is not easy. It is important for people who suffer this condition to have a support system who understands their condition. It is important for them to know that they are not alone in their battle.