Scoliosis is a common condition in which the curvature of the spine becomes progressively more abnormal. This condition affects patients of all ages and causes a variety of symptoms. If you think you may have scoliosis, Dr. Franklin Gilbert and Dr. Todd Herold can confirm the diagnosis and offer effective treatment. To make an appointment with Dr. Gilbert or Dr. Herold, please contact Central Park West Wellness in the Upper West Side neighborhood of New York.
Scoliosis Q & A
Central Park West Wellness
What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of your spine. You may have this condition if your spine bends to the right or left when observed from behind. The severity of scoliosis may be mild, moderate, or severe. It also tends to worsen over time.
Scoliosis can be anatomical, which means it’s caused by a congenital anomaly of one or more vertebrae in the spine, causing the spine to bend sideways. In other cases, scoliosis is functional, which means the spine has begun to bend as the result of imbalances in the spine or the body’s other structures. Functional scoliosis occurs as these structures lose their proper alignment with ongoing stress.
Children are more likely to have anatomical scoliosis, while adults often present with functional scoliosis.
What are the complications of scoliosis?
Some patients with scoliosis may not notice any symptoms, especially if the condition is mild. However, if you have scoliosis you may experience a wide range of complications, including:
- Chronic fatigue
- Mood swings
- Knee pain
- Hip pain
- Leg pain
- Menstrual cycle disturbances
- Digestive problems
- Back pain
- Shortness of breath
What treatments are available?
In rare cases in which scoliosis is severe, surgical treatment may be necessary. However, in most cases, scoliosis responds well to chiropractic care.
At Central Park West Wellness, the chiropractors uses The Pettibon System, which is a conservative approach to dealing with scoliosis. The goal of treatment is to first free the spine from its chronic abnormal positioning and then balance and strengthen the supportive and postural muscles so they can hold the spine in a more erect positioning. If you have problems with forward head posture that worsens your scoliosis, your chiropractor addresses these issues as well during treatment.
What makes chiropractic care better for scoliosis?
With the exception of the rare cases in which surgery is necessary, most patients with scoliosis get more benefit from chiropractic care than they do from conventional medicine. Conventional medicine doesn’t address the underlying causes of scoliosis. Instead, it simply tries to cover up the symptoms. In addition, chiropractic care tends to be safer and more affordable than conventional approaches.
More on Scoliosis
When observing the spine from behind, scoliosis is a term that refers to a right or left bend of the spinal column. Scoliosis can range in severity from mild to moderate to severe. Scoliosis is a progressive curvature of the spine. It can affect people of all ages; not only children and adolescents but also adults. Scoliosis can cause headaches, shortness of breath, back pain, digestive problems, menstrual-cycle disturbances, leg, hip and knee pain, chronic fatigue and mood swings. More rarely, a scoliosis must be treated with surgery, but most often they can be reduced, or corrected through conservative means utilizing the Pettibon(Chiropractic) System for spine and posture rehabilitation. Scoliosis can be either anatomical, meaning that it is caused by a congenital anomaly (mis-shaping) of one or more vertebrae in the spine, causing the spine to bend sideways. Or, a scoliosis can be classified as functional, meaning that the spine has begun to bend as the result of imbalances in the spine or the body’s other structures that may have lost their proper alignment over time due to, physically repeated, or long-standing stresses, postures or misalignments of the vertebral column. The key to lessening or correcting scoliosis is to first free the spine from its chronic positioning, and then balance and strengthen the supportive and postural muscles so they can hold the spine in a more erect
positioning. Too often overlooked, forward head posture must be reduced or corrected, and normal shock absorbing curves restored in the neck and lower back if scoliosis is to be ameliorated. The Pettibon System’s chief goals are to restore these shock absorbing neck and low back curves, as well as to improve forward head posture, and balance the supportive postural muscles of the whole spine. The effect of these three aspects of the protocol will often be to reduce the scoliosis.