The condition of Scoliosis refers to an atypical spinal curvature which results in deviation of the spine, either to the left or right side. The bend in the spine may occur at any portion along the course of the spine, but is most commonly seen in the thoracic and the lumbar (lower aspect of the back) portion.
In a majority of cases, the precise cause for scoliosis is not known (known as idiopathic scoliosis). In remaining cases, certain neuromuscular conditions, like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy may be responsible for development of scoliosis in children. Let us read through the treatment options available for the condition of scoliosis in both, children and older adults.
List Of Treatments For Scoliosis
For early onset scoliosis, casting may offer promising results. The casting technique makes use of a series of body casts (made out of plaster of Paris) that help in correcting the curve while concurrent bone growth is taking place.
Use of these casts is recommended in young children who are either too young for undergoing invasive procedures, like surgery or do not require it at all. When worn constantly, these casts are successful in controlling as well as rectifying the curve.To facilitate proper growth and body development, the body cast will be changed at on a regular basis. In most of the cases, the body cast is later on replaced by a removable brace.
Bracing In Scoliosis
Bracing forms a useful component commonly employed for treatment of scoliosis (more promising in case of children than adults) in children with more than twenty degrees of curve in the spine. This treatment modality is recommended in cases bone growth is still present. The aim of wearing a fitted device that extends from the torso right till the neck of the individual is to reverse the formation of the curve and also retards further worsening of the curve.
Ideally, braces are meant for use both, during the day and night (23 hours) as its effectiveness is directly proportional to the duration for which it is worn. It’s use is, however, discontinued post completion of bone growth (such as when changes in height are no longer evident or two years post initiation of menstruation in girls). Milwaukee and low profile brace constitute the key types of braces used for patients with scoliosis. Low profile brace, also termed as Thoracolumbosacral orthosis, is a well fitted device that covers the rib cage, lower portion of the back and hips.
This makes the brace almost undetectable under clothing. As for Milwaukee brace, it covers the entire torso which quite obviously becomes bulky and cumbersome to wear and carry.
In adults, certain medications can be used, mainly for pain relief. Medicines, such as Paracetamol or Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; for example Ibuprofen can be used for controlling the painful symptoms seen in scoliosis. For those dealing with nerve pain owing to spinal compression, a nerve block may help in providing temporary relief.
In majority of patients with scoliosis, an invasive mode of treatment, such as surgery is not required. However, surgical intervention is considered only after other conservative forms of treatment have been incapable of bringing the pain under control. Thus, children or adults with uncontrolled, excruciating pain, also when the curve of the spine exceeds fifty degrees, may have no option but to opt for surgery.
The aim of such a surgery is to alleviate and prevent the extent of further damage inflicted in organs, such as heart and lungs. It also helps in rectifying the deformity caused by this spine condition. Spinal fusion surgery is a complex surgical technique in which the affected spine is straightened via the use of surgical hooks, rods or wires. In short, stabilization and fusion of the spine is performed during the 4-8 hour surgical procedure. Some of the potential risks that may be seen after this surgery are post surgical infection, displacement of the rod and nerve damage. In rare cases, the bone may not heal at all, making another surgery unavoidable.
Other than bracing and exercises, Postural training may also work as an effective treatment option for scoliosis. Postural training teaches the patient to keep and maintain correct posture whilst performing daily activities. Research proves that this treatment results in improvement of body alignment.
Exercises alone may not resolve the spine disorder, but it certainly helps in realignment of the spine. Also, regular exercise may aid in strengthening the muscles which provide support to the back.Some of the exercises you must practice (after seeking your health care provider’s approval) are spinal twisting exercises, stretches that target the muscles of the arms and legs, as well as side stretch. Perform exercises; for example leg extension using a stability ball, which prove useful, for strenghtening the back and corrects the posture too.
You must understand that weight lifting is not advisable for people with scoliosis as it may put excessive pressure on the back leading to intensification of pain.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.