Scoliosis is a rather uncommon deformity in which the spine tends to curve sideways. In affected individuals, it often occurs just before adolescence. However, it can also affect kids and adults alike. Some people are born with the condition. While it may not be curable and tends to last for a lifetime, scoliosis can be managed easily if treatment is sought as soon as it is noticed to prevent painful and disabling effects. In some cases, surgery may be required as part of treatment.
For starters, the spine is composed of vertebrae, small bones that interlock with and are stacked on top of each other into a multi-joint elongated structure. These multiple joints give it a “natural curve” that makes your back flexible enough to bend and move. With scoliosis, the spine’s curve is a bit extreme, forming an “S” or “C” shape.
The condition can easily be detected through medical diagnosis, but considering the several visual symptoms it portrays, one may be able to tell whether or not they have scoliosis. Since it can get worse over time and may lead to health problems such as back pain, it is highly important to seek treatment as soon as you find out you have scoliosis. But how exactly do you know you have scoliosis? Here are a few pointers you might find helpful.
Get a Medical Diagnosis
As earlier mentioned, a medical diagnosis is the surest way to tell whether you have scoliosis or not. This means visiting an orthopedic physician, who will check for physical signs and symptoms such as visible curvature, pushed-out ribs, an imbalance in shoulder height, and abnormal posture, among others. In some cases, radiographic imaging such as X-rays and CT-scan may be required. Upon confirming that you have scoliosis, your physician will then recommend the best treatment option, which may include surgery, exercise, medication, physiotherapy, and scoliosis bracing. Being the most common treatment options these days, you can click here to learn more about the WCR scoliosis bracing. These are often combined with brace clothing as well as alignment wall grids.
You Have Abnormal Posture
As the scoliosis curve progresses, and the spine shapes abnormally, various parts of the body may be affected. For instance, the shoulder height may be uneven, and one hip may stick out more than the other. The entire body may also tend to lean on the side, and in some people, one leg is shorter than the other, causing limping while walking. When in a bent position, the ribs may stick out more than normal. In addition to an apparent curved back, these characteristics could be an indicator of scoliosis.
Your Clothes Fit Poorly
With the subtle postures mentioned above, chances are that the individual’s clothes may not fit them as they should. Possible areas to look out for include the sleeves, pant legs, and the neckline. For example, one pant leg may fit well while the other one appears loose and hanging, which creates an uneven look when one is walking.
Frequent Back Pain and Strain
90% of the time, people overlook back pain, especially after performing strenuous tasks. If, however, back pain becomes more frequent, it should sound an alarm. With scoliosis, patients usually don’t feel the curve as it is being formed. The symptoms could be mild enough not to warrant medical attention. Since the condition is associated with pressure and strain on the spinal nerves, back pain is often a symptom of scoliosis. It is sometimes accompanied by numbness and weakness in the back as well as the lower limbs. Some people may also experience neck pain, rib pain, muscle spasms, and even abdominal pain.
Many people experience backache after sitting, standing, or working for long hours. However, it may also occur as a result of the strain and pressure associated with the formation of the curvature. As the curve takes shape, it gets even harder for the muscles to remain balanced and in place. This also has an impact on the chest, restricting the ability to breathe properly, which can lead to chronic fatigue in affected individuals. If you’re experiencing unexplained fatigue alongside back pain and posture issues, it could be a sign of scoliosis. It warrants seeking medical attention ASAP.
Family History and Genetics
If someone in your family has suffered from scoliosis and you start experiencing some of the above symptoms, you may want to seek medical advice. Genetic predisposition is also a risk factor of scoliosis. Early detection can make a whole difference in the treatment journey of the condition.
It may not have a cure, but scoliosis is for sure treatable. Early treatment can help prevent complications and permanent deformities. The above are a few ways to know if you have scoliosis.