When your spine curves to the side rather than running straight down the middle, you may have Scoliosis—a condition that can be debilitating.
The angle of the curve of your back could be barely noticeable, very noticeable, or somewhere in between. Doctors consider any curve which measures more than 10 degrees to be scoliosis, and often use the letters “C” and “S” to more accurately describe the curve of the backbone. Those with Scoliosis may lean a little, or their hips or shoulders could look uneven. In the majority of cases, doctors don’t know the exact reason for the Scoliosis, therefore they call it “idiopathic.”
Causes of Scoliosis
Sometimes there is a clear cause for Scoliosis—either non-structural or structural. When Scoliosis is considered non-structural, the spine has a curved look to it, however it works normally. This can happen when one leg is longer, could be due to muscle spasms, or could even be caused by inflammation elsewhere in the body. When these issues are treated, the Scoliosis usually goes away. Structural Scoliosis cannot be reversed because the curve in the spine is rigid. There are also congenital conditions which cause Scoliosis, such as:
- Birth defects
- Muscular dystrophy
- Cerebral palsy
- Marfan Syndrome
- Down Syndrome
In congenital cases of Scoliosis, the disorder develops prior to birth. While this type of Scoliosis may be detected when the baby is born, it may not be discovered until the child is in his or her teens. Genetics, and a family history of Scoliosis can also be risk factors for the condition.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Scoliosis
Symptoms of Scoliosis include back pain, as well as:
- Uneven shoulders
- Uneven waist
- Clothes that do not fit well
- An appearance of the head being off center
- Shortness of breath in later stages
- Chest pain in later stages
- Rib pain or abdominal pain
- One hip that is higher than the other
- One shoulder blade which appears to be more prominent than the other
A diagnosis of Scoliosis may include a thorough family and medical history, questions regarding pain or weakness as well as other medical problems, a physical exam in which the spinal curve is looked at by the doctor from the back, front and side, as well as while you are touching your toes. X-rays of the back may be taken, with measurements from those x-rays to determine how large the curve is. MRIs and CT scans may also be used to diagnose Scoliosis.
Treatments for Scoliosis Pain
Your Scoliosis will be evaluated by an interventional pain management specialist at Seattle Pain, who will develop a comprehensive pain management treatment program to help you get back to your life. The Seattle Pain traditional and non-traditional treatments which may be employed on your behalf, include:
- The use of back braces
- Muscle relaxants
- Prescription pain medications
Are you suffering from chronic pain caused by scoliosis?
Contact Our Seattle Interventional Pain Management Specialists
We understand that the pain caused by scoliosis can be difficult to treat. At Seattle Pain, our primary goal is to relieve your pain and improve your quality of life. We believe in treating the whole patient – and not just the injury. You do not have to live in pain. Call us today at 253-944-1289 or complete a contact form today.