Scoliosis

Scoliosis is the name given to a spine that curves sideways. It is a common condition found in up to ten percent of adolescents. It is more common in teenage girls. This is sometimes the result of other underlying problems such as unequal leg length or muscular problems. Approximately 70% of the time the cause unknown. It can cause twisting of the shoulders, hips, chest, back, and rib cage. Exercises generally do not affect the course of this disease, but may be helpful in strengthening weak muscle groups. Orthopedic braces may be needed during growth spurts. Surgery may be necessary for progressive cases.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Your caregiver may suggest exercises to strengthen your muscles. Follow their instructions. Ask your caregiver if you can participate in sports activities.

  • Bracing may be needed to try to limit the progression of the spinal curve. Wear the brace as instructed by your caregiver.

  • Follow-up appointments are important. Often mild cases of scoliosis can be kept track of by regular physical exams. However, periodic x-rays may be taken in more severe cases to follow the progress of the curvature, especially with brace treatment. Scoliosis can be corrected or improved if treated early.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have back pain that is not relieved by medications prescribed by your caregiver.

  • If there is weakness or increased muscle tone (spasticity) in your legs or any loss of bowel or bladder control.