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Can Chiropractors Help With Scoliosis?

The spine is made up of a stack of rectangular-shaped building blocks called vertebrae. When viewed from behind, the spine normally appears straight. With scoliosis, however, the spine is curved — often appearing like an S or C — with rotation of the vertebrae. This curvature gives the appearance that the person is leaning to one side.
During your initial consultation, your chiropractor will conduct a thorough history, physical examination and postural analysis. Your chiropractor may send you off for an x-ray to determine the degree and severity of the curve, and to determine the likelihood of progression of the curve in teens or pre-teens. Depending on the severity of the curve, your chiropractor will discuss your best option to maintain mobility and flexibility in your spine and to prevent worsening of the condition.

You may be surprised that many adults suffer from chronic back/neck achiness without being aware of the possibility of scoliosis. One of the most common symptoms chiropractors see with scoliosis patients are the imbalances of the muscles surrounding and attaching to the spine. Due to the curved nature of a scoliotic spine, certain muscles may be weaker or tighter that might be contributing to the general discomfort in one’s spine.
Chiropractors may help with these imbalances through restoring mobility and flexibility of your joints. Spinal manipulation or soft tissue mobilization techniques may be used to achieve that.
There are many types of scoliosis – meaning there are many different ways of helping it. Rehabilitation exercises and stretches may also be helpful to help your own body hold itself in the proper aligned position.

How Can You Detect Scoliosis At Home?
A general test you can perform at home to detect the possibility of scoliosis is the Adam’s test. This test can be a screening tool for people who have a family history of scoliosis. This is especially important as an early detection on growing kids/teenagers where growth spurts can accentuate the curve of the spine quicker than an adult that has reached spinal maturity. Adam’s forward bend test (best performed with thin clothing or with spine visible):

  1. With knees straight and feet together, get the patient to bend forward at the waist until the back comes in the horizontal plane.
  2. Examiner looks from behind along the horizontal plane. You will be looking for any signs of scoliosis such as spinal asymmetry, unlevel shoulder blades, unlevel hips, the head that does not line up with the pelvis or a rib hump.

You will also want to pay attention to the following signs:

  • Difference in shoulder height
  • Difference in shoulder blade position or height
  • The head isn’t centered with the rest of the body
  • Difference in hip position or height
  • When standing straight, difference in the way the arms hang beside the body
  • Asymmetry or prominence in the ribs seen from the front or back

If you are concerned that you might have scoliosis, reach out to the team at The Melbourne Chiropractor 9302 1023.