Put your hands together, straighten your arms, and bend over.
Most of us did what the school nurse directed. She was checking for scoliosis.
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that develops in early childhood, shows an elevated "growth pattern" at about 11 - 12 years old. It is more prevalent in girls than in boys and progresses faster in girls than boys.
It is the most common spinal condition in children and adolescents occurring in approximately 3 percent of the population, about 7 million people. Scoliosis is diagnosed when the spine curves more than 10 degrees which is confirmed by an x-ray.
Most scoliosis in children is idiopathic - cause unknown. Current thinking is the origin could be one of the following:
- Muscle imbalance
- Unequal bone growth
- Birth defect (other symptoms also present)
There are other medical and disease-related causes for scoliosis. It is NOT genetic, nor is it contagious.
Scoliosis is graded:
Mild - 10 to 25 degrees of lateral curve. There is a 23% chance of progression of the curve.
Moderate - 26 to 40 degrees. There is a 60% chance of progression of the curve.
Severe - 41 degrees and above. There is a 90% chance of progression of the curve.
Scoliosis, when in the moderate and severe grade, most often we find another compensatory curve, causing an "S" shape to the spine.
Scoliosis Is Not Just For Kids
It is estimated about 20% of all adults have scoliosis and that number jumps to about 66% in people over 60. Let's do the math: 66% of 330,000,000 equals 198,000,000 people! Sounds to me like this should be a medical emergency!
If you were not diagnosed with scoliosis as a child, how do you get it as an adult? In one word: Acquired.
Years of poor postural habits, minor and major injuries, misalignment of the spine, arthritis, osteoporosis, bad knees, feet, and hips can cause the spine to shift from plumb to crooked. Most of which (other than major injury and auto-immune arthritis) is preventable.
Left to it's own, scoliosis progresses. Of course, there is pain involved but when the angle of the curve is greater than 40%, call in the surgeons! This is the tipping point where the spine begins to impinge the organs (heart, lungs, liver, stomach) at which point it becomes life threatening.
Is there a cure for scoliosis?
Yes and No.
For mild scoliosis - observe to check for progression. Exercise, as in ballet for girls, martial arts for boys. PurePosture can be very helpful, overseen by a physician.
For moderate scoliosis - bracing and exercise. Careful monitoring of any signs of progression. PurePosture can be very helpful, overseen by a physician.
For severe scoliosis - bracing and surgical consideration. Recently two new therapies have become more recognized in treatment. They are The Clear Scoliosis Institute and the Schroth Method Exercises for Scoliosis. Both hold great promise for adolescent scoliosis.
Because scoliosis in adults is acquired by lifestyle rather than congenital, changes to your daily activity can make significant improvement and, in some cases, reverse the progression of scoliosis.
Here is how PurePosture can help. In the spine, there is as a coupling motion, whenever you have one motion of the spine, you have an equal and opposite motion somewhere else. Biomechanics prove when there is lateral bending (scoliosis), rotation of the vertebra also occurs.
Scoliosis has an apex (the vertebra farthest out of alignment) and this vertebra, and the adjacent vertebra, are in lateral flexion because of rotation. If forces are applied to de-rotate that vertebra, it will straighten out the spine and bring it into alignment.
Once the spine is aligned, muscles can be developed to hold the alignment. This will stop the progression of scoliosis, allow for freedom of motion and healing of the area.
Bonus, by using PurePosture you will stand up taller, reduce, or eliminate pain completely so you can get on with your life.