In Malaysia, scoliosis occurs in 3 out of 100 persons. It occurs more severely in female than in male, with a ratio of 6:1.
Scoliosis is often left unnoticed at a young age and progress at a later age with symptoms.
WHAT IS SCOLIOSIS?
It is an abnormal three-dimensional curve in the spine. The angle of curve varies from small to big, but an angle of 10 degrees or more is the cut off.
It can occur anywhere along the spine, but the most common regions are at the level of the chest (thoracic) and the lower back (lumbar).
YOU MAY EXPERIENCE…
- Back ache – 23% of people with scoliosis experiences this.
- Ache in the neck, shoulder or buttock.
- Restricted motion along the spine.
- In severe cases, respiratory or cardiac problems.
- Painful menstruation in females
WHAT CAUSES IT?
The most common type of scoliosis is known as Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (makes up 80% cases of scoliosis). It usually occurs between the ages 10 to 18 years old.
The term idiopathic means that the cause is unknown. Other causes include:
- Degenerative disc/joint disease (most common in adults)
- Neuromuscular conditions
- Certain inherited and congenital diseases
*Contrary to popular belief, scoliosis isn’t caused by carrying heavy backpacks, bad posture or playing sports.
*Scoliosis is not typically painful. If you experience pain, consult a doctor to rule out a condition known as osteoid osteoma.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR YOU?
Treatment usually depends on location, severity & cause.
Mild scoliosis usually do not require treatment. Although, regular check-ups are crucial to monitor the progression.
In mild to moderate scoliosis, treatment options are:
- Physical therapy which includes Leander Flexion Distraction Therapy, spinal adjustments, scoliosis stretching & strengthening exercises and ergonomic advices.
- Back brace
*In severe scoliosis, spinal fusion surgery may be required.