Scoliosis can range from mild to severe. Patients with the most severe cases of scoliosis often need to undergo surgery in order to maintain or restore their mobility. However, those with mild to moderate cases can often get by with more conservative treatments and therapies. One of those treatments can be chiropractic care. It won't correct the curvature of the spine or heal scoliosis, but it can help patients manage scoliosis and its symptoms, and perhaps also keep it from worsening. Here's a look at the more specific ways that chiropractic care can help scoliosis patients.
Alleviating tension within the spine.
Because a scoliosis patient's spine is curved abnormally, some of the vertebrae — and also the discs between them — can become abnormally compressed. This can reduce the patient's range of motion, place excess pressure on various nerves, and also lead to worsening back pain. A chiropractor can manipulate the vertebrae ever so slightly to create more space between the ones that have become compressed. In doing so, they can alleviate this tension and pressure.
Most chiropractors will use a special tool called an activator to make these adjustments, especially in a scoliosis patient. This tool looks like a little plunger. It applies a quick burst of pressure in just the right spot to move the vertebrae. You may hear a cracking noise, similar to that made when you crack your knuckles, as the chiropractor makes their adjustments.
Reducing pressure on muscles.
With your spine curved abnormally, the muscles on the far side of the curvature tend to be under more strain than usual. This can contribute to back pain, and in some patients, it even causes muscle cramping and aches. A chiropractic adjustment can help alleviate this excess strain on muscles, which can help keep the patient more comfortable. You may have an easier time sleeping, remaining physically active, and stretching after an adjustment.
Keeping the neck in alignment.
Over time, some patients with scoliosis start holding their neck and head to one side in an effort to over-correct for the torsion in their spine. This can cause neck pain, headaches, and even eye strain. A chiropractor can realign the vertebrae in the neck to help correct this torsion and strain. With regular adjustments, you may be less apt to hold your neck sideways, and if you do hold it in this position, it should not be as painful.
If you have been diagnosed with scoliosis, consider seeing a chiropractor. The treatments they offer can be really helpful. Contact a local chiropractic center, such as Bee Caves Scoliosis & Chiropractic Center, to learn more.