Visiting a chiropractor can change your life in more ways than one. This includes fighting the battle of scoliosis.
There’s a lot to this type of holistic care. Those suffering from back and neck pain can finally begin to feel relief. Chiropractic care can ease anxiety and stress, lessen the frequency of headaches, help you sleep better, and make muscles less tense. With a chiropractor, your body heals. A chiropractor can design a medical and wellness approach for those with certain conditions, including scoliosis, or a sideways spinal curvature.
Scoliosis can begin in childhood and is often diagnosed in adolescents. Signs include shoulders, a waist, and hips that are uneven.
There are several different forms of scoliosis, including:
- Idiopathic (when the cause is unknown)
- Congenital (you were born with it)
- Paralytic and Myopathic (where the muscles are not working or working properly)
- Secondary (caused by another condition, such as osteoporosis)
Scoliosis can be mild but severe forms can be debilitating, leading to difficulty walking and breathing, and chronic back pain. As holistic chiropractors, it is our goal to work with you along your healing journey versus prescribing medication or suggesting surgery. Chiropractic care can be a vital part of an effective medical plan for the estimated 6 to 9 people with scoliosis in the United States. Here are a few ways a chiropractic visit can help with scoliosis.
Identify Undiagnosed Scoliosis
Chiropractors specialize in the musculoskeletal system and its associated disorders, which include muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and bones, especially the spine. Some suffering from severe neck pain, or consistent backaches, may not know that they’re experiencing the impact of scoliosis. It can appear as C-shaped or S-shaped curves. Since chiropractors usually integrate a full physical examination when seeing patients, they can pinpoint such conditions as scoliosis rather easily.
The symptoms of scoliosis chiropractors can observe include:
- hips that are uneven
- muscle spasms in addition to back pain
- difficulty breathing, due to reduced space for lungs in the chest
Doctors of Chiropractic can take note if a shoulder blade is higher than the other or if your clothes hang unevenly.
Scoliosis Treatment Options
Surgery and braces are common medical interventions for scoliosis, especially in adults. Our primary goal as holistic chiropractors is to avoid these things and help guide your body to heal on its own.
We understand that each case is different. If you have already had surgery, chiropractors can still help! We will tailor our gentle force chiropractic approach for those with rods or braces, or for those who have undergone surgery for scoliosis. The technique we practice at our wellness center – network spinal analysis – is noninvasive and light-touch.
Those with scoliosis, especially those post-surgery or with rods, often experience trouble sleeping and must adjust to sleeping in different ways than they’re used to in order to alleviate problems sleeping related to scoliosis. Additionally, people with scoliosis often have to find ways to support their neck and move their heads to a straight position. Some even have to use specially designed pillows to ease the tension caused by scoliosis.
Chiropractors can offer care that supports your overall wellness. Often, that includes stress reduction therapies, identifying habits that lead to poor overall health, and treatments that help to improve and improve the immune system — all of which contribute to better sleep for those with scoliosis.
How a Chiropractor Can Help Improve Your Scoliosis
1.) Reduce Scoliosis Pain
The majority of people with scoliosis have mild spinal curvature that does not require surgery. That’s where chiropractic visits can come in. Chiropractic treatments that are noninvasive have been shown to help people reduce the pain caused by scoliosis primarily through decreasing nervous system pressure. Incredible, right?
Since unlevel hips and shoulders can lead to pain in the neck and even down into the knees, chiropractic care can address these tense areas.
2.) Spinal Adjustments
While the majority of chiropractors treat back pain through spinal manipulation or adjustments, other techniques such as network spinal, take a gentler approach called contacts. “Contacts,” or light touches, address tension within both the nervous system and the spine.
Such adjustments not only reduce pain but have been shown to decrease inflammation, improve mobility and flexibility and lead to a more active lifestyle. Chiropractors focus on what is already working well in the body, and leverage that energy and resourcefulness to help improve other areas that are not as resourced.
Chiropractic treatment can improve posture, increase comfort and function and improve the quality of your mobility — all beneficial for those with scoliosis.
3.) Target the Muscles
Consistent chiropractic care can help loosen up tense muscles along the spine. This can help tremendously with scoliosis. Many elements of holistic chiropractic treatments work to eliminate tense muscles and increase flexibility. Overall, holistic chiropractic medicine lessens the stress that is often part of the root of body pain.
The muscle spasms that often are associated with scoliosis causes pain that can be addressed over time by massage therapy. Abnormal spinal curves lead to tension and pressure on back muscles making them stiff.
Muscle function improves and nerves are decompressed, leading to pain relief. Used as part of an overall treatment plan, chiropractic massage can help improve the tension and inflexibility of muscles caused by scoliosis.
Body Movement is Key
Consistent chiropractic therapies can lower blood pressure and improve circulation. Keeping your body moving is important! For example, lomilomi bodywork is an adaptation of Swedish massage using broader strokes on both the nerve and muscle centers.
4.) Strength-Building Exercising
Either in the office for care or as an assignment at home, many chiropractors give their scoliosis patients exercise advice tailored to their specific needs and medical plan.
Certain exercises help to strengthen the back and increase flexibility. They also can lead to better posture, another issue contributing to chronic back pain that chiropractic care can address. Many of the recommended exercises for those with scoliosis address spine-supporting core muscles and lower back muscles.
These include leg and arm raises while lying on your stomach; pelvic tilts which help your abs work overtime; stretching that works the tendons and muscles supporting the spine; and stretches that strengthen the back’s latissimus muscles.
For some with mild or moderate scoliosis, yoga and Pilates-type work centered on the flexibility of the spine — and recommended by a chiropractor — can work wonders. If you are wondering how else a chiropractor can help with scoliosis, give us a call today!