Scoliosis: Treating the Spinal Condition
Scoliosis affects roughly 3 out of every 100 people, and is more common in women than in men. The name of the condition is derived from the Greek word for “crooked” or “bent,” and, as such, the condition consists of the curving of the spine in an “S” or a “C” shape. No cures exist for it currently, but exercise and bracing could help improve the condition, or prevent it from progressing. Surgery, although quite complicated, has alleviated scoliosis greatly in people with a severe version of the condition. Use this guide to learn what scoliosis is, how it’s diagnosed and treated, and where to find support if you or a loved one have it.
Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves one or more times. It isn’t life threatening, but at its most severe it can interfere with how organs function. For most cases, doctors don’t know what causes it.
- Because scoliosis is usually associated with children, some sites are designed for younger users and include stories of teens who have scoliosis. A number of sites are geared toward people who have little to no medical knowledge. But there are various sites out there for individuals who are more familiar with medical concepts and issues. eMedicine, a clinical reference source for physicians, is one example; it has articles on idiopathic scoliosis and neuromuscular scoliosis.
- Scoliosis is a misunderstood disorder that is sometimes confused with kyphosis, which is also a curvature of the spine, but is associated with increased “roundback.”
For general information on scoliosis …
has a brief overview of scoliosis that includes signs and symptoms, causes, treatment, coping, and more.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
provides a concise explanation of scoliosis. Some particularly helpful features include the picture near the top of the page illustrating the spine curvature and the “The Importance of Early Detection: Tips For Parents” area.
lists the different types of scoliosis, along with symptom and treatment information. Look for articles about scoliosis on the lower left-hand side of the page, though be aware that many were written in 2002.
For children …
is geared toward children and in addition to information about scoliosis and treatment, it offers phonetic help to pronounce some of the terminology, such as thoracolumbosacral orthosis.
aims to teach children and parents about scoliosis with clear language and graphics. Look for some interesting scoliosis myths at the bottom.
To find a physician …
The Scoliosis Research Society
can help you find a physician in your area who specializes in disorders such as scoliosis. Search by a doctor’s name or your location. Note that not all scoliosis specialists are listed here.
Children are routinely screened for scoliosis at school but it’s important for parents to ... read more »
Scoliosis treatments fall into two categories: nonsurgical and surgical. Nonsurgical treatments may ... read more »
Scoliosis tends to develop during adolescence, and can be a heavy burden on teens during these ... read more »
For the most part, the information provided so far in this guide comes from organizations and Web ... read more »
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