Common Degenerative Scoliosis Symptoms
Typical signs and symptoms of degenerative scoliosis include:
- Pain comes on gradually. Back pain from degenerative scoliosis does not start suddenly. Rather, it slowly worsens over time and tends to be associated with activity. The initial pain can begin as a dull ache or stiffness, and it is usually located in the low back or less commonly in the mid back.
- Pain is worse in the morning. The pain tends to be more intense first thing in the morning, then it improves after the person gets up and starts moving around for the day. However, the pain can worsen again toward the end of the day or after vigorous or strenuous activities.
- Sitting feels better than standing/walking. The facet joints generate much of the pain, and they have more loading in the standing position. Sitting takes the stress and weight off these joints.
- Postural changes. Due to progressing curvature and degeneration of the spine, the shoulders and/or hips might become uneven, and a person can become shorter.
Prolotherapy Injections For Atlantoaxial Instability In Developing Scoliosis
In 2015, Caring Medical published findings in the European Journal of Preventive Medicine investigating the role of Prolotherapy in the reduction of pain and symptoms associated with increased cervical intervertebral motion, structural deformity, and irritation of nerve roots. We concluded that statistically significant reductions in pain and functionality, indicating the safety and viability of Prolotherapy for cervical spine instability.
A continuation of this discussion can be found in these articles on our website:
Knee Pain In Scoliosis Patients
In most cases, scoliosis patients report back pain. However, the curve of the spine can cause your nerves to become squished, which can lead to pain in other body parts.
Because scoliosis causes the back to curve, it causes misalignment in the body. Patients will often put more weight on one side of the body. This causes joints to wear down. As a result, a patient may have pain in one or both knees.
In addition to knee pain, some patients also experience additional pain in the legs. Because scoliosis affects posture, the condition can cause muscles to tighten and become fatigued easily. This can create muscle cramps and pain in the legs.
Some patients report shooting pain that starts in the lower back and shoots down to the buttocks and legs and the backs of the knees. This pain is called sciatica. Though sciatica is not a disorder commonly caused by a scoliosis, the two conditions can occur together.
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Correct Posture For The Neck
When it comes to the neck, the most ideal posture whether youre standing or sitting down is to have the ears aligned to the position of the shoulders so that your head is directly resting on it. The shoulders must be set on the back with the chest wide and open.
This is usually the most natural and neutral position for the head, neck, and shoulders that do not cause any stress on the neck muscles. You know you have the right posture when you dont feel the weight of your head as it balances on the spine.
On the other hand, when you keep your head slightly slanted forward than your shoulders, then you could feel more stress and tension around your neck. This incorrect posture can lead to a musculoskeletal distortion that you might initially not notice until it becomes bothersome and unbearable.
Cervical Scoliosis Is More Than The Curvature Of The Cervical Spine And Angles
Many of the patients we see talk about Cobb angles and other degrees of curvature to their cervical spine, first and foremost. For some, this is the way they were taught to speak about their scoliosis by their doctors. While the problems of curvature are at the root cause of these peoples problems, one thing that is not discussed initially is what is scoliosis doing to them or you?
Often, after we hear about the amount of curvature, a patient will finally tell us about the symptoms they are having:
I have a lot of headaches, problems with memory, hearing issues and sometimes it is difficult for me to speak. I have also developed TMJ and wear a night splint. Nothing has really helped me. Eventually or sooner I will get surgery to correct the scoliosis. It has risks but it is hard to live with this.
My neck is tight and is spasm all the time. It gets difficult to turn my head one way or the other. I was sent to physical therapy and given a series of exercises to perform. Really not helping, I have various massage devices, rubber balls, tennis balls, that help a little, I do some yoga. Sometimes I think I am wasting my time and I should ask for surgery.
I am on a waiting list for surgery. I have a pinched nerve in my neck that is causing me significant pain in my left arm and into my left hand and fingers. If I could get the surgery today I would, is there anything else I can do?
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Finding The Cause Of Your Neck Pain
Finding the cause of neck pain begins with a complete history and physical examination. After the history and physical exam, your doctor will have a good idea of the cause of your pain. To make sure of the exact cause of your neck pain, your doctor can use several diagnostic tests. These tests are used to find the cause of your pain, not to make your pain better. Regular X-rays taken in the doctors office are usually a first step in looking into any neck problem and will help determine if more tests are needed.
When To See A Gp
See a GP if you think you or your child has scoliosis. It’s unlikely that there’s anything seriously wrong, but it’s best to get it checked out.
The GP will examine your back and can refer you to a hospital doctor for help with diagnosis if they suspect scoliosis.
An X-ray of your back will be carried out in hospital to check whether your spine is curved and how severe the curve is.
If you’re diagnosed with scoliosis, you should see a specialist to discuss treatment options.
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What Exactly Does A Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractor Do
Blair Upper Cervical doctors are specially trained to locate spinal misalignments in the upper cervical spine and correct them. Spinal misalignment is located by running a battery of neurological tests that locate the spinal segments that have been injured and misaligned by a prior neck injury.
Once located, precision imaging in the form of digital x-ray or cone-beam computed tomography is used to precisely determine which joint has misaligned and the angulation of the misaligned joint.
Each persons anatomy is different and therefore imaging is used to uncover the blueprint to be used to correct each patients individual misalignment pattern. Once this information is gleaned, a gentle, light correction is made without twisting, popping, or pulling.
The patient is then monitored overtime to ensure that the correction is holding. If the testing indicates the need for another correction, then it is performed. However, the goal of Blair Upper Cervical Care is for the patient to stay in adjustment.
It isnt the correction that produces healing. It is the removal of nerve irritation and the adjustment holding in its normal position that allows the body to function better and proceed through a healing process.
If you are outside of the Los Angeles area you can call either of these two numbers and we would be happy to find you a Blair upper cervical doctor in your area.
Surprise #: If You Are Diagnosed With Scoliosis You Probably Wont Need Surgery
When diagnosed with scoliosis, many people fear the onlycourse of action will be major surgery.
Only a small portion of people with scoliosis require major reconstructive surgery, says spine surgeon Douglas Orr, MD. Many people with scoliosis can manage their symptoms just fine without any type of surgery.
In many cases, treatment for scoliosis is aimed at relieving symptoms rather than fixing the curve in the spine.
Adult scoliosis patients are initially treated as we would treat a patient with a straight spine who has back pain.
Treatment might include physical therapy to strengthen and stabilize the spine. It might also include anti-inflammatory medications or epidural injections to relieve pain.
People who cant get pain relief from medications or physical therapy might need spinal decompression surgery.
If youre considering surgery for scoliosis, talk to your surgeon and find out how many spinal deformity procedures he or she performs each year, Dr. Orr says. You want to make sure your surgery is done by someone who specializes in these types of procedures.
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Sample Scoliosis Exercises For Pain
Many people write to me asking for exercises that they can do immediately at home to address their pain. I am usually hesitant to provide these because effective treatment requires professional diagnosis and a customized treatment plan. There is simply no one-size-fits-all approach to treating scoliosis pain.
With all of that said, I have outlined three common exercises that I use with my patients in the treatment of scoliosis pain. These will give you a sense for the types of exercises that you will be prescribed should you become a patient.
Its very important that these exercises be done in a way that is consistent with the shape and direction of the scoliosis curve and underlying spinal condition. If you have any uncertainty at all about your specific condition and the mapping of these exercises, DO NOT use these exercises. Contact us or another scoliosis expert to guide you.
Myth #: Scoliosis Is Only A Cosmetic Disorder
Coming from the same line of thought that brings people to believe scoliosis is not painful, there is a myth that scoliosis is merely cosmetic. We could spend days detailing every possible part of the body and mind scoliosis can affect. But for the sake of brevity, lets say that your spinal curve affects a lot more than your physical appearance. Scoliosis side effects, which may include pain, discomfort, headaches, trouble breathing and problems sleeping, can be a major impediment to your daily life. It is also important to recognize that there can be emotional scoliosis side effects, which are just as real as the physical ones.
It can be tough to wade through the many myths and working theories around scoliosis side effects. We hope this helped to clarify some of the misinformation, and if nothing else, give you some validation for any pain or discomfort you may be dealing with.
Do you experience any scoliosis side effects? Have you found any confusing misinformation around them? Wed love to hear from you in the comments.
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What Are Scoliosis Symptoms And Signs
The most common symptom of scoliosis is an abnormal curve of the spine. Often this is a mild change and may be first noticed by a friend or family member or physician doing routine screening of children for school or sports. The change in the curve of the spine typically occurs very slowly so it is easy to miss until it becomes a more severe physical deformity. It can also be found on a routine school screening examination for scoliosis. Those affected may notice that their clothes do not fit as they did previously, they may notice an uneven waist, or that pant legs are longer on one side than the other.
Scoliosis may cause the head to appear off center, leaning to one side or notice one hip or shoulder to be higher than the opposite side. Someone may have a more obvious curve on one side of the rib cage on their back from twisting of the vertebrae and ribs. If the scoliosis is more severe, it can make it more difficult for the heart and lungs to work properly. This can cause shortness of breath and chest pain.
In most cases, scoliosis is not painful, but there are certain types of scoliosis than can cause back pain, rib pain, neck pain, muscle spasms, and abdominal pain. Additionally, there are other causes of these nonspecific pains, which a doctor will want to look for as well to rule out other diseases.
Adult Scoliosis Can Be A Pain In The Back And Legs
Just like the padding in our knees wears downover time, so can the cushioning in our spines. In some adults, this can resultin a side-to-side curvature of the spine a condition called adultdegenerative scoliosis.
Adult scoliosis is different from idiopathicscoliosis, which typically affects children and teens. Idiopathic scoliosis candevelop without an apparent cause and accounts for approximately 80% of scoliosiscases in the U.S.
Adult degenerative scoliosis is awear-and-tear breakdown of the spinal discs and joints that results in shiftingand twisting of the vertebrae. As the degeneration progresses, the spine canbecome more out of balance, resulting in back and leg pain. As adults livelonger, more active lives, were seeing an increase in cases of adult scoliosis.
According to The Burden of MusculoskeletalDiseases in the United States, approximately 5.88 million adults in the U.S. have adultscoliosis, though some estimates suggest that number could be as high as 141million because rates of the disease are not well reported.
Adult degenerative scoliosis is a wear-and-tear breakdown of the spinal discs and joints that results in shifting and twisting of the vertebrae. As the degeneration progresses, the spine can become more out of balance, resulting in back and leg pain. As adults live longer, more active lives, were seeing an increase in cases of adult scoliosis.
Carlos Bagley, M.D.
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Treatment For Scoliosis Neck Pain
Considering that scoliosis in the neck can be debilitating and hinder the patients ability to move or even go about their daily routine due to intense headaches, finding the right treatment can be potentially life-altering.
There exist several treatments that can help mitigate and control symptoms.
To help manage the pain, some patients turn to a variety of pain medications like NSAIDs . While these wont totally alleviate symptoms nor restore motion, they can at least help manage the pain.
As mentioned above, posture can be an area that is greatly impacted due to scoliosis. As such, posture training can be a great help to patients. Not only does it help you seem more natural in your stance, but can also help provide relief to the strained muscles that result from unnatural postures.
Certain activities are more likely to cause you pain if you have scoliosis due to how they affect the spine. Its often best to identify when your pain flares up the most severely and avoid the activities that cause that increased pain.
Maintaining a healthy weight can be a great help in managing symptoms caused by scoliosis.
A variety of exercises can help you develop your muscles to correct for the added pressure put on by scoliosis. These exercises can be undertaken on your own, but are often much more effective when done under the direction of a physical therapist.
Simple Back Pain Relief
Scoliosis or curvature of the spine can cause upper back pain. It can also cause pain in your mid-back and other parts of your body. But, you may not have to have it!
Scoliosis can very often be helped by a muscle specialist. But there are different types of practitioners.
Is your therapist a doctor? Massage therapist? Physio- or physical therapist? Different therapists have different training and different ideas. They may or may not agree with what I say. They may or may not know much about muscles!
Scoliosis can have a few different causes but muscle imbalance is the most common.
Shall I tell you about the scoliosis I used to have?
I had a lot of intense, deep muscle therapy as well as movement to the bones of my head and I only have a small amount of scoliosis left. Whats left is not enough to bother me.
And it certainly wont put me in a wheelchair like it did my aunt!
I wear arch supports in my shoes to help keep me balanced because I had one flat arch. That may have been a result of the scoliosis or perhaps it helped cause it. Its easy to wear arch supports
I do stretches to help maintain the corrections. Its easy to do stretches when you understand which way to stretch.
Heres how I used to be:
If I would lay on my back before I started treatment and place my two hands toward the ceiling and together, my right fingers were over 1 closer to the ceiling than my left fingers. I thought I had one long arm but I was wrong. I was just twisted so much.
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Jaw Pain Neck Pain Headaches And Scoliosis
In this article, we will discuss a patient who has been under long term upper cervical corrective care. Generally speaking, our current mainstream health care system is mechanistic and instead of viewing the body holistically it compartmentalizes the body and views multiple health issues as separate entities. Holistic approaches to health view the body as a system, rather than treating symptoms its goal is to restore normal function in the body so it can repair itself.
In Holly’s case, she suffered from several different symptoms and conditions, scoliosis, jaw pain, neck pain, and headaches. Anyone who has suffered with multiple pain areas in the body knows that it steals away your enjoyment of life.
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Chronic pain takes you away from the present moment and keeps you focused on suffering instead of living. If most people knew of a natural, drug-free approach to keep themselves free of the pain they would all choose that option rather than taking medications that not only don’t fix the cause but often have other side effects and that are harmful to the body.