5 things you need to know about scoliosis

Did you know that 6 million people in the U.S. are currently living with scoliosis? Thankfully, most will live their lives virtually symptom free, but for others, the condition—characterized by the spine forming an abnormal curve, typically in either an “S” or a “C” shape—causes pain, limits their mobility or interferes with respiratory function.

Below are five things you should know about scoliosis, whether it affects you or a loved one.

We don’t know the cause. Scoliosis is typically diagnosed in childhood between ages 9 and 15, as the curve in the spine often forms just before puberty. Boys and girls are equally likely to develop scoliosis in puberty, but girls tend to have worse curvatures overall and more often require treatment. While some cases of scoliosis can be caused by muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or injuries or infections of the spine, doctors don’t know what causes the condition in 85 percent of the cases.

Look for unevenness. Scoliosis symptoms can include uneven shoulders (one is higher than the other) or an uneven waist. One shoulder blade may protrude more than the other and one hip could sit higher than the other. If you notice these symptoms in your child, see your doctor.

You can make your spine stronger. By strengthening the muscles that surround the spine, you can increase not only your back strength, but also your flexibility and range of motion. Find three back-strengthening exercises you can do at home here.

Surgery doesn’t have to be scary. Every year, roughly 38,000 scoliosis sufferers undergo spinal surgery to help improve the symptoms associated with the curvature of their spine.

If you or someone you care for is living with pain from scoliosis, contact Laser Spine Institute. We offer a minimally invasive fusion procedure for adults with a much quicker recovery than traditional open back surgery. The surgery can help with the pain, tingling and numbness that some scoliosis patients endure. You can read more about it here.

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