Does Scoliosis Automatically Mean Surgery?
by Wendy on 19th December 2019
Our spines are amazing. They provide us with the ability to move, walk, and bend, and they can even cope with a certain amount of physical shock. But in order to function at its best, the spine must have the proper series of curves. We can see these from different angles.
From the rear, your spine should be straight. But sometimes, we will see a sideways curvature, or ‘S’ shape. This is called a scoliosis and happens when a section of the spine bends to one side and the body compensates, moving another section in the opposite direction to keep the head centred above the body. Around 80 percent of scoliosis cases are idiopathic, which means that the cause isn’t known, but it is likely that those cases may have hereditary factors. Idiopathic scoliosis usually becomes evident during adolescence.
Scoliosis affects around 3 percent of the population, with 10-15 being the most common age group, and there’s a greater number of girls affected than boys. An increasing number of adults have scoliosis, too, which is often linked to spinal trauma, coupled with years of neglect. This may be because the patient was unaware of the extent of the problem or didn’t know help was available.
Congenital scoliosis occurs while we are still in the womb. It’s rarer than idiopathic scoliosis and appears in 1 in 10,000 newborns. If the scoliosis has progressed beyond a 45 – 50-degree curve, surgical fusion is often recommended to straighten the spine, which involves the implantation of steel rods, hooks and screws. These are then covered with fragments of bone, to fuse the rods with the spine.
As with all major surgery, this is not a risk-free procedure. Potential problems can include infection, collapsed lungs, and back pain. There have even been instances of broken metal rods, which then require corrective surgery.
Recent studies have shown that chiropractic care is very effective in treating scoliosis. A course of adjustments can help make changes to the alignment of the spine and improve its function, which in turn can help with pain. X-rays taken before and after chiropractic treatment have shown dramatic changes, with many cases showing a significant reduction in the degree of curvature. Results have shown such an improvement in some cases that after a course of chiropractic care, surgery has been deemed unnecessary. Natural solutions are far less risky than surgical intervention, and often produce equally good —or better— results.
If you know somebody with scoliosis, please feel free to pass on our details. We’d be happy to assess them and introduce them to safe and natural chiropractic care. Just give us a call on 0161 763 1700 between the hours of 8am and 7pm, Monday to Friday, and our friendly team will be happy to help.