I’m sure most of us know or have heard of 'SCOLIOSIS’ but for those of you where this word is foreign, scoliosis is a term used when your spine is not straight or is curved to the side.
Now that we know what scoliosis means, did you know that there are different types/causes of scoliosis? Rather than bombarding your brains with too much information, we will discuss the two most common types of scoliosis; Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis and Degenerative Scoliosis.
1. Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis is by far the most common form of scoliosis affecting children between the ages of 10 to 18 years old. Unfortunately, we still have no idea what the single cause is however we know sometimes this form of scoliosis can be correlated with lower back pain.
Not all children with scoliosis will have pain/symptoms so these are some of the signs to look out for:
1.One shoulder is higher than the other
2.One hip is higher than the other
3.Their head will not look centred with the body
4.When bending forward, a hump is obvious
2. Degenerative Scoliosis
Degenerative Scoliosis or also known as Adult Onset Scoliosis; is a type of spinal deformity that progresses overtime when we are adults. Therefore, people who don’t have a history of adolescent scoliosis can develop it from spinal degeneration (wear and tear of the spinal bones), Osteoporosis (loss of bone density) or Osteomalacia (softening of bones).
Unlike Adolescent Scoliosis, there is usually no obvious physical deformity. You are likely to experience more back pain (probable to be from the degenerative spine) and numbness/tingling down the arms/legs that initiates patients to have it checked by a health practitioner.
A QUICK ASSESSMENT (ADAM's SIGN)
If you are questioning whether you or your child may have scoliosis, this is a simple test to perform and identify it at home:
1.Start with the person in a standing position.
2.Have the person bend forward from the waist until the back is in a horizontal plane.
3.Keep the feet together, knees extended and arms at the side.
If a rib hump is visible while the person is bending forward, it is an indication of scoliosis.
Physical examination is just the initial testing for scoliosis. Ideally an X-ray is required to have a better idea of the severity/degree of the deformity. Moral of the story is if you aren't sure; have it checked out by a professional!
Written By Iris Tan
B.App Sc (Chiropractic) M.Clin Chiropractic
- Picture 1: PubMed Central Figure 1, Copyright https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2532872/figure/f1-pch12771/
- Picture 2: Medline Plus https://medlineplus.gov/ency/images/ency/fullsize/19465.jpg