Scoliosis is a diagnosis referring to the lateral curvature of the spine seen most often in the thoracic or lumbar region. The lateral curvature can be accompanied by a rotational abnormality. A diagnosis can be idiopathic, secondary to a congenital deformity, secondary to pain, or secondary to degeneration.
Scoliosis can be either static (structural) or dynamic (non-structural). Static scoliosis refers to a lateral curvature that is fixed, no matter the position of the spine, and is accompanied with rotation of the vertebral bodies towards the convexity of the curve. This rotation will produce a rib prominence with forward bending referred to as a “rib hump” or a positive Adam’s sign. It causes adaptive lengthening of the intrinsic trunk muscles on the side of the concavity and adaptive shortening of the intrinsic trunk muscles on the side of the convexity. Static curvatures are genetic, congenital, or idiopathic, causing a structural change to the vertebra.
Dynamic scoliosis refers to a lateral curvature that can be reduced with forward or side-bending. A negative Adam’s sign is associated with this dianosis in which there is not a “rib hump” seen with forward bending. It can be caused by poor posture, nerve root irritation, leg-length discrepancy, muscle atrophy, or hip flexor contracture.
Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common diagnosis. It can present in infancy, childhood, or during adolescence. The main factors influencing the progression of this type include the age of diagnosis, the number of curvatures, curves with a larger magnitude, female gender, and curvatures developed before menarche.
A diagnosis of scoliosis may warrant a referral to physical therapy services. Therapy will consist of postural strengthening and analysis of any biomechanical or musculoskeletal faults influencing spinal, chest, and rib cage mobility.
If you are having back pain or have been diagnosed with scoliosis, please come see us for a free consultation to see how we can assist you in your recovery. To request an appointment, click here, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:
Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
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