Scoliosis is a deformity that affects the spine up to curl the side and fixed permanently, creating anatomical changes cannot be modified voluntarily.
Usually the curve more evident is located at ‘shoulder height (chest) or kidneys (lower back) or in an intermediate position (between the chest and loins). The deviation is often also accompanied by a twisting column of herself that involves, in addition to the spine, joints, ligaments, muscles paravertebral and, in severe cases, internal organs, such as cardio-respiratory and bowels, causing functional problems as well as aesthetic.
The causes are still unknown. They are known instead updated data of those who are “afflicted”: 7% of pupils in total (3% males and 4% of females). People who suffer from it are easily recognizable because, by observing a person standing at the front, the spine does not form a straight line but is bent laterally presents one or more times (trend to C or S). In most cases, scoliosis occurs in childhood, while in other cases is due to degenerative processes that affect the vertebrae. Then there are two different forms of this condition: the first is a mild form almost asymptomatic and, if treated early, it heals completely; the second is in a form that involves serious injury of the vertebral joints, often affects the functionality of the organs contained in the thoracic cage, hardly the symptoms subside, despite therapy.
Scoliosis is usually classified into:
- Congenital: when associated with an abnormality in the spine or ribs;
- Acquired: caused by lesions of traumatic or inflammatory or induced by lesions of neuromuscular type (poliomyelitis, multiple sclerosis, etc.);
- Idiopathic, or of unknown origin is the most common form (about 80%), the causes of which are unknown. It is assumed alterations of genetic, neuromuscular, biochemical, metabolic, developmental, organ of balance, growth, etc..
The symptoms vary from individual to individual:
- shoulders at different height;
- head in a position not directly centrally with respect to the pelvis;
- hip raised and prominent;
- coasts at different heights;
- uneven sides;
- variations in the color of the skin overlying the spine;
- inclination of the entire body toward one side;
- prominence of the coast as you lean.
Scoliosis appears in a gradual and often unnoticed. Typically, it does not cause pain, except that it is not the painful form. Although we are faced with a disease rather subtle, it can be recognized by some obvious clues in the patient’s physical:
- Shoulders at different heights;
- basin unbalanced and one or both shoulder blades prominent;
- hip raised.
In the presence of these signs, it is appropriate to resort to the doctor to see if it is postural or structural scoliosis. The doctor will examine the patient in three positions: standing, leaning forward and lying on a bed in a supine position.
For the treatment of scoliosis, the specialist must take into account the severity of the curvature of the patient, his age and other factors such as physical condition. If it is considered necessary to correct the curvature, the first option is, in general, non-surgical treatment, such as the use of an orthopedic brace.
For some patients, the degree of scoliosis is severe enough to require surgery. However, many scoliotic curves never get worse to the point of making the indispensable need for surgery. Your doctor will advise the patient the choice of treatment most suited to their conditions.