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Scoliosis: it is a problem for all ages, from young teens to our elderly population.

Posted in Scoliosis on Jan 22, 2021

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Scoliosis: it is a problem for all ages, from young teens to our elderly population.

I am Dr. Zach Shaw with the Upper Cervical Spine Center. In our office, we see a lot of patients with this condition called scoliosis. So, what is scoliosis? Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature in the spine when looking side to side, rather than being perfectly straight. These abnormal curves cause problems because they pinch on certain nerves that go to vital organs. Scoliosis also causes abnormal muscle contractions, which can cause pain throughout the body. This is a common condition that can be very, very detrimental.

Unfortunately, the medical approach to scoliosis is not very promising. They start off with bracing, attempting to bring the spine back to normal. Rarely does this help. Eventually, scoliosis gets worse and worse, to the point where medicine recommends surgery. Surgery entails a big scar down your back and iron rods going through your spine, and, unfortunately, it does not have the best long-term results.

Why do those with scoliosis come to us? We get to the cause of their scoliosis. We locate the cause, correct the cause, and scoliosis eventually goes away. We have found that almost 100% of the time, the cause of scoliosis is a misalignment in the top of the neck. A misalignment of the top bone in the neck throws the head off-center. When that happens, the brain is not level, so the brain tells the spine to compensate in order to balance the head. What these compensations look like overtime is a dropped shoulder, a raised hip, tight hamstrings, and a short leg, with abnormal curves in the spine (scoliosis).

When we catch this in adulthood, usually the patient has shoulder pain, hip pain, knee pain, and/or foot pain. We start correcting the misaligned bone and that pain usually goes away. However, if scoliosis starts in the pre-pubescent years, or 11, 12, or 13 years old, we must remove the misalignment urgently because once the child goes through puberty, they grow very rapidly, and scoliosis gets rapidly worse. This is called childhood scoliosis. If it is not corrected at a young age, you see these people with “hunchbacks,” or with a severe antalgic lean.

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Hopefully, now you realize that it is imperative to get our kids into an upper cervical doctor, so we can see if they present with scoliosis or its precursors. We can check the entire spine, see if scoliosis is starting to form, and correct the cause at the top of the neck before it gets any worse. If you are an adult with scoliosis, we can take care of you as well.

If you or a loved one suffer from scoliosis, whether you are 13 years old, or 113 years old, please, call our office at (704) 588-5560. We will be happy to do a consultation completely free of charge. If we find a problem, we will perform an exam, take some x-rays, and see exactly what is going on with your spine to see if it's an upper cervical issue and something we can help you with. If you are not in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, give our office a call anyway, and I promise we will find an upper cervical doctor as close to you as possible. I hope you enjoyed this talk and I hope you have a wonderful day.