Scoliosis is a curvature disorder of the spine that affects about six million people in the US. Adults, teenagers, and children can be affected by this condition. The human spinal column has a number of natural curvatures that allow it to be flexible and mobile. Scoliosis is identified when the spine possesses an anomalous curvature. This condition is very seldom fatal although it can seriously affect the quality of life of the sufferer, both psychologically and physically. Massage therapy can be of use in alleviating some of the resultant back pain, insomnia, headaches, sciatica, and shallow breathing brought about by this aberrant spinal condition.
The normal aspect of the structure of the spine is its curves. When you observe the spine sideways, you would observe that a normally developed spine appears like a soft ‘S’ shape that helps balance the spine over the pelvis. Observing a normal spine from the rear will show the spine appearing vertically upright from the neck to the rump.
Scoliosis is identified when the spinal column, from a rear view, shows lateral bends. To the right of center, a scoliosis curve will develop that has an adjusting bend on the side of the left back, and vice versa. Scoliosis typically forms in the lumbar or thoracic regions of the back. A healthy spine is characterized by a less than (<) 10 degree vertical curve. When measuring the angle of the curve utilizing the spinal column at the top of the curve as the beginning, a mild scoliotic spine will measure curves of 10° and in the most severe cases, curves of up to 90°.
Causes of Scoliosis
In a majority of cases scoliosis is an idiopathic disorder, which means its origins are unknown. Research shows that girls are more affected by scoliosis than boys. In 80% of all instances, the disorder starts to develop in adolescence. Although scoliosis is also found in adults, most professionals mistakenly believe that these scoliosis diagnoses were overlooked during childhood.
Scoliosis can sometimes be due to physical stress or trauma, such as a car accident. Infantile or congenital scoliosis rarely occurs but when it does, the patient will manifest severe spinal deformities at birth. Although the following assumptions have yet to be validated, studies have shown that probable causes of scoliosis include:
Nervous system disorders
Consistent emotional or physical stress
Connective tissue disorders
Once you are diagnosed with scoliosis, your doctor will take a number of considerations before deciding what plan of Scoliosis treatment to take. These considerations may include:
The degree of the patient’s lifestyle that’s affected
The possible further progression of the curve – patients with large curves before their adolescent growth spurts tend to have a higher risk for curve progression.
The location of the curve – Based on their research, the Scoliosis Research Society believes that the lumbar curves are less likely to progress than thoracic curves
If the spine is still changing and growing
The severity of the curvature
After analyzing these variables, the following three treatment choices may include:
1. Orthopedic Bracing – For scoliosis sufferers, this is the most widely used treatment. For curves of 30-40 °, doctors usually recommend bracing. Although bracing will not lessen the degree of curvature the patient already has, it can put an end to the progression of the curve. Because a lot of curve progressions develop during the growth phase of a child, bracing is a common preventative measure from babyhood through adolescence. Braces should be worn by the patient 23 hours each day. They’re considered a replacement for non-removable full torso casts.
2. Observation – This is recommended for mild cases of scoliosis. , the only treatment warranted is routine doctor observation to make sure that the disorder has not worsened.
3. Surgery – This is designed to steady the spine. An orthopedic surgeon performs a procedure known as Bone-Fusion which involves taking tiny bone pieces from the pelvis of the patient and inserting them between the spinal column as a way to stimulate the bones to develop together in due time. Hooks, a metal rod and wire are used during the surgery and inserted to the vertebrae to maintain the straightness of the spine till the bones fuse. These things are very seldom removed since that would entail another long drawn-out surgery.
Alleviating the Symptoms of Scoliosis via Alternative Medicine
Scoliosis is deemed a deformity and the treatment mentioned above are mainly aimed at decreasing the progression of the condition. Because of the stretched musculature on one side and the diminished musculature on the opposite side, insomnia, headaches, shallow breathing, and back pain are persistent problems that a scoliosis sufferer must deal with. As a result, a wide variety of alternative therapies are used to lessen the symptoms caused by abnormal spinal curvature.
While exercise and acupuncture, among others, have been proven to improve scoliosis symptoms, a couple of massage treatment methods can also help with this deformity:
1. Chinese Deep Tissue Massage – Assisted stretching techniques, neuromuscular therapy, deep tissue work to loosen extremely tensed muscles, improve local circulation and help alleviate muscular adhesions and pain. By lengthening these tensed regions, the causal yanking on the spine can relax. Therapists should realize, though, that deep work on the overextended fascia blanketing the ribs is not a good idea.
2. Craniosacral Therapy – When restricted tissue patterns within and surrounding the spinal column, the dural tube, and adipose tissue are gently addressed, craniosacral therapy’s gentle traction, mobilization of fascia mobility and increasing mobility of the body can help restore some bit of balance to the spine.
Since scoliosis alters bone and can be much harder to fix after the age of 25, younger sufferers can achieve more stunning results. Although scoliotic patterns may be reduced for adults as well, older bodies change rather differently and slowly than with youth.
We do not recommend replacing your medical doctor’s prescription with alternative therapies. Nonetheless, massage therapy can be a major help in relieving some of scoliosis’ associated symptoms. Proper administration of Chinese deep tissue massage and craniosacral therapy can give the sufferer relief for continuously overextended muscles and fascia, thus reducing the stress on a significantly distorted spinal column.