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The Back Pain of Scoliosis

Aug 18, 2007
Back pain can come from many sources. If it occurs from early childhood, sometimes this pain can be caused by a condition of the spine called scoliosis a condition which occurs when the spine is not straight. Depending on where the curve starts, scoliosis can also deform the ribs, causing them to push the chest out in front and in back. The back pain that accompanies this condition depends on where the curve begins and how severe it is plus the age of onset.

Scoliosis usually begins at birth. Genetics plays a key role in the onset of scoliosis, although the exact source is unknown. Eighty percent of all patients diagnosed with scoliosis are considered to have inherited the condition. Eighty-eight percent of patients with scoliosis are female. The onset of scoliosis can be broken down into infantile, juvenile, adolescent and adult. Adult onset is almost always scoliosis that was not discovered or treated at an earlier time.

Whatever the reason or when it was diagnosed, the onset of scoliosis can cause extremely agonizing back pain. The amount of pain is directly related to the degree of the curve. The worse the curve the more it will tire the sufferer doing their daily routines, and the worse the pain. Often, because of the angle of the curve, there can be pressure put on the nerves and the vertebrae are compacted. This can cause very serious back pain. In extreme cases this curving can even cause paralysis or heart and lung problems.

The deciding factor on how to treat scoliosis back pain is what to do about the curve. If the curve is forty degrees or less it is harder to treat since braces do not work. Larger curves do not always benefit from braces, however, since the curve can realign itself once the braces are removed. If the curve is serious enough, surgery may be suggested. Scoliosis surgery uses pins, screws and rods to straighten the spine. These devices eliminate the back pain. For those concerned about surgery, braces and exercise are the only options left to try to correct the curve.

A scoliosis sufferer's healthcare provider will tell their patient that the key to prevent serious back pain is to ensure that the curve does not exceed fifty degrees. If the curve does exceed that limit, by the time the child reaches adulthood, they can count on a one percent increase in the curve yearly. This worsening of the curve increases the long-term pain and other issues associated with severe scoliosis curves.

Scoliosis will affect children worse if they have a large curve than if they have a smaller one. Proper diagnosis and treatment of scoliosis is not only an issue of treating pain, but of improving the quality of life for the patient throughout their lives. It is wise to investigate early and become active in treatments that can correct, even to some degree, the curve. This is the only hope to lessen the pain of scoliosis.
About the Author
Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Back Pain.
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