When the spine grows abnormally and becomes rotated, curving sideways in the shape of an “S” or “C”, this is known as scoliosis. It usually makes its appearance known during younger years as a child or teenager. There is not typically any pain or difficulty with breathing and 80 percent of cases are not attributed to a cause, which is also known as idiopathic scoliosis. Other types of scoliosis include congenital, neurological and degenerative. Congenital scoliosis is apparent at birth when vertebrae may be incomplete or do not divide correctly. Neurological scoliosis occurs when nerve abnormalities affect the spine usually by way of disorders such as spina bifida, cerebral palsy or a spinal cord injury. This happens because muscles are sometimes damaged and do not support the spine properly, causing the back to curve. Degenerative scoliosis affects adults and happens with age as the discs and joints in the lower back begin to wear.

Signs/Symptoms Of


view of male back with spine graphic indicating pain

To diagnose scoliosis, a doctor may ask you to bend at the waist at a 90 degree angle with arms extended towards the floor and knees straight to assess the spinal curve. A scoliometer may also be used to measure the angle of trunk rotation (ATR). An x-ray or MRI may also be completed in the effort to rule out tumors and gain an official diagnosis. Growth spurts tend to be the harbinger of scoliosis, usually showing up around ages 10-15 years old. Family genetics can be a defining factor so if one child has the condition, it is best to check the others as well.

Causes Of


The cause of scoliosis is often indeterminable and ruled out by exclusion. Nonstructural scoliosis indicates the spine is normal but appears curved. This can be because one leg is longer than the other, muscle spasms or inflammation such as appendicitis. Often when these root issues are solved, the curvature dissipates as well. Structural scoliosis indicates the spinal curve cannot be reversed. This can be because of cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, birth defects, infections, tumors or other genetic conditions such as Marfan syndrome or Down syndrome.

Treatment For


Thankfully, 90% of scoliosis diagnosis’s can be treated without surgical intervention. If not addressed, Scoliosis can result in breathing difficultly, uneven hips and chronic back and neck pain.  Chiropractic care is one of the leading treatments for Scoliosis.  Dr. Kenyon has extensive knowledge of musculoskeletal conditions and will tailor a customized treatment plan to properly suite the needs of any patient who is suffering from Scoliosis.

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