Scoliosis is a structural spine disorder, so many assume it only affects the back. Still, because the spine is involved in many bodily processes, it can have far-reaching consequences. Read on to discover some unexpected ways scoliosis can influence your health.
Scoliosis can have far-reaching consequences because the spine is connected to the central nervous system. While the severity of scoliosis can vary significantly from case to case, it does affect the body in general by throwing off its symmetry and alignment.
First, let's examine scoliosis to gain a more holistic understanding of the condition and its effects on the body.
Although thankfully, advances in treatment have been made over the centuries, there is still much about this complicated condition that we don't understand.
If the spine is abnormally curved to the side, with rotation, and the Cobb angle is at least 10 degrees, then the diagnosis is scoliosis.
Scoliosis is complicated for several reasons, not the least of which is that there are different types of the condition, each with its symptoms and causes.
A thorough evaluation must properly categorize a condition after its initial diagnosis.
Classifying scoliosis helps streamline treatment and provides valuable information for creating effective treatment plans.
Important patient/condition characteristics, such as age, location, curvature type, and severity level, are used to categorize conditions; each of these classification points tells us something significant about the disease and influences how it will affect the body.
The curvature of the spine is the most noticeable symptom of scoliosis because of its direct effect on the body. The spine will curve in the middle, creating an unbalanced appearance in the shoulders, waist, and back. Shoulder blade or hip prominence is a common anomaly.
Spinal curves in scoliosis are typically classified as either C or S, depending on the severity of the condition. The seriousness with which these forms manifest varies from case to case. Since an S curve causes an extra rotation in the spinal column, it is sometimes referred to as a "double curve."
Scoliosis, and the spinal curve it causes, can cause back pain or even reduce the range of motion, especially if left untreated, which probably won't surprise you. The spine is a strong structure, but it is also very delicate. An abnormal spine curvature can contribute to back pain just as much as other factors, like poor posture or prolonged sitting.
When it comes to scoliosis pain, it can vary from person to person. In most cases, treatment can help alleviate pain and discomfort and restore lost mobility.
Even a mild curvature of the spine can affect the stability of the body's skeleton and joints. People with scoliosis frequently complain of experiencing discomfort in various body parts, including the neck, knees, hips, shoulders, and legs. The ribs and pelvis may take both shift positions because of scoliosis.
The severity of the curvature is a variable that must be considered when assessing the potential for adverse outcomes. The greater the severity of the curve, the greater the potential for movement of adjacent bones and joints.
Unfortunately, other organs, especially in more severe cases of scoliosis, can be affected by the condition if it is not treated. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), heartburn, acid reflux, and abdominal pain can all be brought on by a curved spine. This is because the spinal column supports the digestive organs and has many contact points within the spinal column.
When the spine's ability to transmit signals to and from the brain is impaired, confusion may result. It also helps with structural support and reflex coordination, all of which are compromised by spinal curvature.
A curvature in the spine can affect the lungs in the same way that it can affect the digestive system. The chest wall can shift in scoliosis, causing a restrictive lung defect.
This is especially true if you start having trouble breathing (shortness of breath is a common symptom) or if breathing hurts.
The heart and circulatory system are also at risk when the spine is curved. The rib cage may press on the heart in people with severe scoliosis because of the spinal curvature. The heart's ability to pump blood to the rest of the body may be compromised. In extreme cases of scoliosis, respiratory and cardiovascular complications frequently coexist.
Some people with scoliosis experience fatigue due to the strain on their skeletal system, muscles, and internal organs. It may result from a single complication, like back pain or breathing difficulties, or it may result from a cluster of unrelated symptoms. Even without a broken system, anyone could feel drained if multiple factors were at play.
Symptoms of scoliosis include pain, altered posture, and the potential for a host of complications once the condition has progressed to a severe stage. Though it may seem like splitting hairs, the key to successfully treating scoliosis is taking a preventative rather than a corrective approach.