The human spine naturally follows a long, gentle, front-to-back S-curve. Occasionally, however, it may also display an unnatural side-to-side curvature. This abnormal curvature is called scoliosis.
Scoliosis can occur for numerous reasons. Many sufferers are simply born with it, either due to a genetic issue or as part of some larger congenital syndrome. Spinal injuries, infections, or degeneration can cause scoliosis to appear later in life. Other cases have no identifiable cause.
If you seek scoliosis treatment in Lawrence KS, it’s probably because you’ve noticed some telltale symptoms of the disorder. While most cases of scoliosis are relatively mild, you may notice irregularities in your posture and musculoskeletal symmetry. For example, one hip or shoulder may sit higher than the other, your arms may appear uneven in length, or one shoulder blade or set of ribs may stick out prominently.
Untreated scoliosis may grow more severe. If this happens, you may experience chronic back pain, increasing deformity, and heart or lung damage.
Scoliosis may take different forms depending on its location in the spinal column, the direction of the curvature, and the effects it may produce. The following four conditions represent the most common configurations.
Thoracic scoliosis: Thoracic scoliosis affects the thoracic region of the spinal column. The thoracic spine consists of the vertebrae from the collarbone through the rib cage. This condition, which may affect rib cage development, typically makes one shoulder appear higher than the other.
Thoracolumbar scoliosis: In thoracolumbar scoliosis, the abnormal curvature occurs in an area overlapping the lower thoracic spine (at the base of the rib cage) and the upper lumbar spine immediately beneath it. This condition, which mainly develops in females, usually features a curve toward the right-hand side of the body.
Lumbar scoliosis: A curvature in the lower part of the spinal column that doesn’t involve any part of the thoracic spine is called lumbar scoliosis. This type of scoliosis can alter the apparent hip alignment. It can be present from birth, or it can develop alongside age-related joint degeneration.
Double curve scoliosis: Double curve scoliosis involves two different abnormal curves, one higher up the spinal column and the other lower down, with each portion of the spine curving in a different direction. It is also called S-shaped scoliosis.
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