Chiropractic Care for Scoliosis in Queens, NY
Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine that affects five to seven million Americans. It may occur in conjunction with lordosis, an abnormal forward curvature of the spine, or kyphosis, an abnormal backward curvature of the spine. Scoliosis is often inherited; it most often appears in children aged 10 to 15 and is more common in girls than in boys. In about 80 percent of cases, scoliosis is idiopathic, meaning that no cause can be identified. In the other 20 percent of cases, trauma, tumors, disease, and other causes are responsible. If you suffer from scoliosis, chiropractic care at Dr. Lee's Spine Center in Queens, NY can help you manage pain and other symptoms to enjoy a fuller, happier life.
Diagnosing and Treating Scoliosis with Chiropractic
Though scoliosis can affect people of any age, it most commonly develops in preteens and young adolescents. Scoliosis can cause back pain, perhaps its most noticeable symptom, but it can also affect the functioning of major organs like the heart and lungs. In severe cases, scoliosis can affect movement. Because scoliosis often affects young people at a sensitive stage of their social development, the condition can cause problems with self-image and self-esteem. Many children and teens with scoliosis suffer teasing or bullying thanks to their condition.
Dr. Lee diagnoses scoliosis by taking a thorough medical history and performing an in-depth physical exam. If you or your partner have scoliosis, make sure to mention it to Dr. Lee, since the condition is often hereditary; children whose parents have scoliosis are more likely to develop it themselves. Analysis of the patient's posture and X-rays are usually enough to make a definitive diagnosis.
Four-fifths of scoliosis cases are mild, with curves of less than 20 degrees. It is usually not possible to see such a mild curve with the naked eye, and such mild curves are not usually cause for great concern. While most cases of scoliosis are not progressive, Dr. Lee will want to monitor scoliosis for signs of progression, especially if it occurs in a child or adolescent who is still growing. Young girls who have not yet had their first periods are at the greatest risk for scoliosis progression. Monitoring scoliosis progression may require X-rays as frequently as every three months, or as infrequently as once a year.
Most cases of scoliosis can be managed with conservative treatment. Dr. Lee can help manage pain and discomfort with regular chiropractic adjustments. Exercise and electric muscle stimulation can also help manage symptoms of mild scoliosis. Growing children who have scoliosis curves of 25 to 45 degrees may benefit from wearing a brace. Patients with scoliosis curves greater than 45 degrees, or those whose scoliosis is affecting major organ function, may require corrective surgery. For the most part, people with scoliosis manage to lead normal, full, and productive lives. Scoliosis is typically not severe enough to inhibit physical activity, or activity of any kind.