Scoliosis Can Cause Chronic Back Pain
In children and adolescents scoliosis and other abnormal curvatures of the spine can be cause for concern. Scoliosis may be the result of detectable, cause and effect conditions. The list for these causative factors is long including neurologic, muscular, congenital bone anomalies, developmental and other recognizable disorders. However, the most cases of scoliosis are idiopathic with no known cause. Thankfully, most with scoliosis do not see progression of the curvature, yet for those that do disfigurement and cardiopulmonary compromise are concerns.
For years chiropractors have claimed success in the management of scoliosis. It is unclear whether the chiropractors were dealing with idiopathic curvatures or more of the curvatures that are the painful consequence of muscle spasm. In all fairness many chiropractors feel that by correcting asymmetry and keeping the spine segmentally and globally mobile, scoliosis can be influenced. Although the studies indicate that those problems might be potential factors in curve progression, it unlikely not the case. More research must be done.
Pain in the thoracic region is common with scoliosis however that is often overshadowed by the more dramatic presentations of low back pain, cervical spine pain and chronic back pain in Springfield Missouri. Disc herniations and nerve root compression is less common in the thoracic spine partly because of the restricted motion and additional stability offered by the thoracic spines direct attachment to the rib cage.
Postural imbalances are a very common source of chronic muscular fatigue that in time result in varying levels of pain. When acute pain does occur, it is typically the result of acute muscular spasm. However, at times significant trauma may result in compression fractures, typically affecting seniors with loss of bone density through osteoporosis.
Although a genetic factor has been proposed with recurrence of idiopathic curvature among relatives at 25% to 35% it is still unclear what the genetic factor is. With immediate relatives such as parents and grandparents, the incidence appears to be three or four times higher. A common thread among various theories is that the person with the curvature is receiving aberrant sensory information from the skeleton. This leads to distorted responses regarding the bodies orientation in space.
Balance is often a problem in children with idiopathic scoliosis compared with those without. Integration of sensory stimulation is critical for us to navigate in our environment. Many of our patients have significant curvatures, and although we are not necessarily focused on straightening their spine through chiropractic adjustments, these patients still receive significant benefit of pain relief and functionality.