Scoliosis of the Spine in Adults and Kids

05 Jun

Scoliosis is an orthopedic disease that manifests itself by tilting the spine to the sides. It is most often diagnosed in childhood, but it can also occur in adulthood. For his treatment to be successful, the disease must be diagnosed at an early stage and rehabilitation must begin. Special corsets can help with more severe scoliosis. In some cases, surgery is necessary.

Scoliosis is probably the best known orthopedic disease. As a result, the spine curves to the side, either in the shape of the letter C (c form scoliosis) or S (s form scoliosis). At the same time, the spine can also be bent forwards ( lordosis ) and also backwards ( kyphosis ). The exact name of the disease is also decided by the side to which the spine is tilted. In the case of transport curvature talking about dextroskolióze if it's the opposite, it is a sinistroskoliózu

Scoliosis of the spine can be congenital in some cases, but is much more common in patients during their lifetime, and its causes are not always well known. According to experts, the deviation of the spine is most often caused by uneven growth of the back muscles and individual organs. For example, one side may grow faster than the other. The result is then a deflection of the spine.

Other diseases can also contribute to the disease, for example:

  • Inflammation or tumors of the vertebrae
  • Osteoporosis
  • Infantile paralysis

Symptoms of spinal scoliosis in Adults

In the initial stage, the disease is very difficult to recognize, because the incipient curvature usually does not cause any problems for patients. Therefore, the diagnosis of scoliosis usually occurs completely randomly, often between the tenth and twelfth year of life , but it can only happen in adulthood. However, the advantage of scoliosis in children is that their organism is still growing and the spine is much more flexible. The disease is therefore better treatable.

The first sign of difficulty that a patient encounters is pain, usually the lumbar spine, whose surrounding muscles are unnaturally stressed by the curvature. Patients feel these problems mainly after a long sitting or standing. In addition to the back, patients with scoliosis can also suffer from headaches or lower limb joint pain . In the same way, the disease can also manifest itself in painless curvature of the back or poor posture, where the right shoulder is usually higher than the left. The position of the head can also be skewed.

Degrees of scoliosis in Adults

Scoliosis occurs in patients in four stages, which are divided according to the extent and nature of the curvature:

  1. Mild scoliosis - curvature up to 40 °
  2. Moderate scoliosis - curvature between 40 ° and 60 °
  3. Severe scoliosis - curvature between 60 ° and 80 °
  4. Very severe scoliosis - curvature above 80 °

Treatment of scoliosis in Adults

The method of treatment always depends on the degree of scoliosis. If the curvature is slightly up to 20 °, the disease is treated by rehabilitation. Exercises for spinal scoliosis, which are aimed at strengthening the back muscles, play an important role. These have a protruding spine to better balance. There are a number of methods that are carried out for this purpose, the most well-known being Vojta's method. However, the choice of the right procedure is always up to the rehabilitation specialist. In addition, it is necessary to realize that positive results can only be achieved through daily exercise.

In general, for scoliosis, it is recommended to combine exercises for:

  • straightening of the torso
  • increase the mobility of the spine and ribs
  • compensation of muscle imbalances
  • strengthening the deep stabilization system

For young children, in addition to the right exercises, it is also necessary to think about motivation. It is important that they enjoy the exercise. It is therefore not recommended to force children into the activity at all costs. Despite the fact that the exercises should be performed every morning and evening for 15 to 20 minutes , it is better to abandon the exercise from time to time than to force the child and risk a complete loss of motivation.

For moderate and severe illness, a special plaster bed or corset can also help patients . However, in some cases it is necessary to wear it all day and sometimes even overnight. It is important that the corset does not push anywhere and is sufficiently reinforced.

The last option is surgery, which is performed if the degree of curvature exceeds 40 °. With such severe scoliosis, there is a risk of oppression of the internal organs, as a result of which their function may be limited. For example, the lungs are often squeezed , making it easier for the disease to get tired. They may also experience difficulty breathing after physical activity.

The operation is performed only in individuals in whom the growth of the spine has completely stopped, otherwise the procedure would have to be repeated later. The operation is not suitable for expectant mothers or for women who are about to become pregnant.

How to prevent scoliosis?

As mentioned above, early diagnosis plays an essential role. Any signs of poor posture should be noted and any back pain should not be underestimated. A suitable form of prevention is also physical activity, in which the back muscles are strengthened. Swimming is therefore ideal.  

Also keep in mind that the bad curvature of the spine in children can begin to form at a very young age, and parents can help. They should avoid:

  • Posing a child who has not yet sat down
  • Frequent guiding by hand
  • Buying low-quality shoes or a briefcase for school without a firm back support
  • Acquisition of poor quality mattresses
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