Scoliosis is an unusual lateral curvature of the spine, in which the curve is often S or C-shaped. Sometimes the curvature is temporary, which can be caused by muscle spasms, inflammation, or a different leg length.
Congenital defects or other diseases can cause temporary curvature of the spine. There are also cases where the curvature worsens over time and can cause back pain or difficulty breathing which may require intervention. Scoliosis is more likely to occur in late childhood and early adolescence when children are growing rapidly.
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It can run in families and is more common in girls than boys. Side slopes and uneven shoulders and hips are some of the symptoms. Curvature may also be accompanied by lordosis, an abnormal anterior curvature. In more than 80% of cases, the cause of the distortion is unknown and is considered to be of the idiopathic type.
Chiropractors use spinal manipulative therapy in combination with other types of adjunct therapy, including Pilates, stretching and massage, therapeutic exercises, orthopedic appliances, and passive physical therapy methods such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation.
Various forms of chiropractic care combined with exercise are recommended when treating patients with scoliosis. A clinical study showed that the combined use of spinal manipulation and neuromuscular rehabilitation could reduce scoliosis distortion by 17 degrees over a 4 to 6 week period.