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A bent or curved spine
A bent or curved spine

Health Care

A bent or curved spine? It could be some disorder!

A bent or curved spine may look casual but, it can be something serious to note. This disease is called Scoliosis. This term originates from Greek, meaning curved or bent. The spine, otherwise called the backbone, is the central part of the nervous system. It is also the reason for your good body posture. The spine aids you to sit, bend, stand and walk. Scoliosis is a lateral or sideways curvature of the spine. In this case, the spine is in the ‘C’ or ‘S’ alphabet structure. One with this condition should immediately visit the scoliosis clinic in Melbourne. This abnormal curvature can cause bad posture and irritate all the nerves in the spine. The pressure in the spine disk, frontal joints and, muscular tissue due to this curvature causes severe pain.

There are many types of Scoliosis. The most common type is adolescent idiopathic Scoliosis. It starts just before a person attains puberty. Its causes have no origin and are often unknown. They are more common in girls than boys. In Australia, 1 in 15 girls develops Scoliosis at the age of 9 to 14 years, usually before puberty.  In some cases, the disease is mild and does not require treatments. But, some curved spines can get worse if left untreated.

Signs & symptoms

  • Abnormal posture or a visibly curved spine
  • Unevenness in the shoulders, spine or pelvis
  • One prominent shoulder blade
  • Uneven hip
  • One side of the back seems to be prominent while bending.
  • Severe lower back pain
  • Stiffness with fatigue
  • Head not centred to the body.

Scoliosis may sometimes cause other disorders like

These are some causes of Scoliosis for which you will have to visit a scoliosis clinic in Melbourne.

  • Backaches: People who had been left untreated during their childhood may have chronic back pains, especially if their curves are larger.
  • Breathing trouble: Breathing problems indicate the severity of the disease. Here the rib cage pushes against the lungs creating breathing difficulty.
  • Appearance: It worsens the posture and creates a humpy back. The waist looks shifted and trunked on the side.

Diagnosis

You need to go to the Scoliosis clinic in Melbourne once you start to see an abnormal figure or someone else tells you about it.

Initially, the first diagnosis is a physical examination. Then X-ray, MRI, spinal radiography or CT scan for further confirmation. After confirmation, the measurement of the curvature is by the Cobb method. A curve is notable if it is greater than 30 degrees. While if it is 45 to 50 degrees, it could be severe.

The Adam’s Forward Bend Test is a standard examination done by paediatricians to find Scoliosis in children. The patient has to lean forward with their feet and bend 90 degrees at the waist. It is an easy way to detect any curvature in the spine. But, this cannot find the degree of severity or the type. For a positive and accurate diagnosis, one can go for radiographic screenings.

Why do doctors recommend early diagnosis?

Most Scoliosis has no origin or known causes, so treating them becomes complex. “Early diagnosis is the key,” says many doctors from scoliosis clinics in Melbourne. Parents should take their children for regular checkups to find out about this disorder and treat it earlier. This prevents more enormous curve formations.

How is it treated?

  • If the spine curve is less than 25 degrees, you can get treated without surgeries. Usually, one can go for treatments like bracing, physical therapy with vitamin D supplements. Wearing the braces would not reverse the curve but would prevent it from becoming worse. One can customize these braces according to their body.
  • If the curve is worse, the doctor would suggest surgery. There are surgery options like spinal fusion, expanding rod and vertebral tethering.

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