What is scoliosis and what are its signs?

Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth period before puberty (during the “stretch”). Although it can occur due to conditions such as infantile cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of most cases of scoliosis is unknown and is called “idiopathic scoliosis.” It can be inherited, but most children with it have no family history. About 3% of teens have scoliosis.

Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but some spinal deformities continue to worsen as children grow older. Severe scoliosis can be disabling. A very severe curvature of the spine reduces the space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly. Signs of scoliosis of the spine

Signs of scoliosis can be:

  • Shoulders at different height
  • Curvature of the spine
  • Prominence of one shoulder blade over the other
  • Waists at different heights

If the curvature worsens, the spine can also rotate or twist, in addition to hunching from side to side. This makes the ribs on one side stick out more than the other.

When and why does it appear?

There are three types depending on the age of onset:

  • Infantile scoliosis: in children 3 years and younger.
  • Juvenile scoliosis: in children 4 to 10 years old.
  • Adolescent scoliosis: in children 11 to 18 years old.

There are two types of scoliosis depending on its cause:

  • Congenital scoliosis: it occurs at birth. It occurs when the baby’s ribs or vertebrae do not form properly. It represents 10% of the cases.
  • Neuromuscular scoliosis: it is caused by a problem in the nervous system that affects the muscles. These problems can include cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and polio.

In principle, scoliosis does not cause pain, but it predisposes you to suffer back pain. In moderate and severe cases, it can cause respiratory problems.Scoliosis treatment methods and prevention

How is the degree of scoliosis I have diagnosed?

The first thing we need to diagnose scoliosis is an X-ray of the spine. With it, the specialist doctor will tell us the degree of scoliosis according to the angle formed by the terminal vertebrae of each curve, which are identified because they are the ones at each end of the curve closest to the center that have less rotation.

When this angle is less than 20º, it means that the curvature is slight. When the angle measures between 25º and 40º, the curvature is moderate. We are talking about a case of severe scoliosis when the curvature is greater than 50º.

Which is the treatment?

It is very important to diagnose scoliosis early and start a Physiotherapy treatment as soon as possible to slow its progress and even get to correct it, partially or totally, thus avoiding surgical treatment.

When treating scoliosis, the severity of the curve, the age of the patient, and other factors, such as physical condition, will be taken into account. If the curve needs to be corrected, the first option is generally a non-surgical treatment, such as wearing a corset.

Surgery will be required in the most severe cases, but it is not the most common. Surgery is performed to correct curves greater than 45 degrees in a mature spine, or curves that have not responded to the use of the corset.

From Physiotherapy we offer several types of treatments, which will be combined with orthopedic treatment (corset) in some cases:

  • Global Postural Reeducation (RPG): it is a very effective treatment for scoliosis. It consists of performing certain stretching postures of the whole body. The treatment is gentle, progressive, and active.

  • Myofascial induction: it is a combination of sustained pressures, specific positioning and very gentle stretching. With this treatment restrictions of the muscular fascia are eliminated and thus the altered corporal function is balanced.

  • Manual therapy: a set of manual methods on bone, muscle, nervous and visceral tissues to balance and normalize body changes.

  • Klapp method: series of postures and movements in quadrupeds.

  • Classic physiotherapy: stretching and exercises with the aim of making the spine more flexible and stronger, mobilization exercises to maintain, recover and improve joint movement capacity, especially in the spine, trunk and shoulder girdle.
  • Respiratory physiotherapy: in some cases it is necessary to carry out this type of treatment to seek expansion of the concave side and introduce postural awareness with the greatest possible active straightening, to avoid postures that aggravate scoliosis in everyday life.

Exercise in the pool is also very beneficial, as it improves chest breathing and reduces back pain, promotes circulation, strengthens muscles, improves psychomotor development and, in addition, also improves mood. It is important that, if you do not know how to swim well, the exercises in the pool are guided by a professional who knows what your scoliosis is like and which exercises are the most beneficial for your back, since there are times that if we do not master the technique we can do bad things and not getting the benefits we expect from the sport.

Physiotherapy is an essential procedure for the treatment of scoliosis, with long-term well-established methods and with very satisfactory results regardless of its etiology or severity, in combination with postural education, the use of orthoses, and in some cases surgery.

If you are in this situation or a family member of yours, you can go to our Virginia Moreno physiotherapy center or we give the facility to move to your home for the comfort and recovery of the patient in Segovia and province.

We have a team of physiotherapists, in Segovia, at Virginia Moreno Physiotherapy, who can facilitate your recovery and we individualize your treatment to ensure that you are recovered in the shortest possible time.

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[…] What can physical therapy do for your scoliosis? […]


[…] In adults, the disease does not progress. There is only age-related subsidence of already curved vertebrae. Therefore, at a later stage of the disease, they are diagnosed: wedge-shaped vertebrae, curved vertebral arches and processes, a large degree of curvature. These age features are taken into account when choosing an operation.What can physical therapy do for your scoliosis? […]

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