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June is Scoliosis Awareness Month

Scoliosis is estimated to effect approximately 2-3% of the population in the US which equals about about 7 million people. It is the most common spine related, musculoskeletal condition and remains the most unpredictable. There are different types of scoliosis: congenital, musculoskeletal, degenerative, or adolescent idiopathic. According to medical experts about 80% of the cases fall into the idiopathic category meaning the cause is unknown. Scoliosis is an exaggerated or abnormal curvature of the spine and can sometimes lead to a variety of other health complications such as lung and heart problems.

Typically, scoliosis will start to become evident between the ages of 10-15 occurring in both males and females equally but is predicted to progress more rapidly in females. Although scoliosis can run in families, there is no genetic component to it or one specific gene trait that causes it. Symptoms associated with scoliosis can vary person to person and may not directly correlate to the severity of the abnormal curvature. Usually there are several factors affecting if and when a person with scoliosis becomes symptomatic and to what extent.

June serves as Scoliosis Awareness month to bring awareness to the importance of early detection in successful treatment and management of scoliosis. This is why schools started to screen for scoliosis in THE 1960'S. Orthopedist G. Dean MacEwen, MD, first championed state school screening programs in Delaware and some states still perform routine school screenings and some do not. So, early detection also involves parents knowing what to look for in their kids: uneven shoulders, uneven hips, leaning slightly to one side, more prominent shoulder blade, or rib bulges on one side.

Conventional treatment options include observation and monitoring, bracing, and surgery. Alternative methods include chiropractic care, physical therapy, exercise, and yoga. But chiropractic actually plays a vital role in early detection, conservative treatment, and chronic management of scoliosis in children and adults. All licensed chiropractors are trained to identify and screen for scoliosis as well as perform successful treatment in most cases. If a scoliosis case is severe or simply not responding to conservative treatments, a referral to a specialist may be made. The CLEAR (Chiropractic Leadership, Educational Advancement, and Research) Institute's mission is to implement an effective chiropractic system to help people with scoliosis through spinal rehabilitation and research whose providers have additional and more specific training on the treatment of scoliosis. Other healthcare providers may include physical therapists, occupational therapists, and orthopedists.

From the desk of Dr. Lisette Miller Kondrad. Dr. Miller is a licensed Chiropractic Physician and Board Certified Acupuncture Provider who has been in clinical practice for 7 years. She has helped hundreds of patients via Chiropractic care and Acupuncture. Click here to contact Clark Road Chiropractic Center with any questions or to schedule your appointment!

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