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What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis occurs when the backbone curves instead of standing straight.

A normal spine forms a relatively straight column up the center of the body. It is crucial for proper alignment. A spine affected by scoliosis will take on the shape of the letter “C” or “S.” In addition to restricting movement and height, the condition can be very painful and can trigger secondary problems, like inflammation, Degenerative Disc Disease, and foraminal stenosis.

Symptoms of Scoliosis

The most obvious symptom of scoliosis is curvature in the spine. Scoliosis often first appears during the growth spurts of a person’s teenage years. While scoliosis strikes girls and boys relatively equally, the condition tends to worsen in women in than men. Adult-onset scoliosis is usually a result of the wear-and-tear on the body that comes with age. Even if curvature is not pronounced or even invisible to the naked eye, MRIs and CT-scans can often pick it up. Other symptoms include:

    Common symptoms of Scoliosis include:
  • Changes in gait when walking
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Pain at any point in the back or neck

Prior to having a surgical procedure to treat your scoliosis, conservative measures such as physical therapy, chiropractic, and steroid injections should be attempted. If these measures do not meaningfully relieve your pain, a North American Spine procedure may be in order.

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Causes of Scoliosis

Scoliosis is typically considered an “idiopathic” disorder, meaning there is no known cause. Genetics certainly play a part, and babies born with the signs of scoliosis are “congenital” cases, but the root cause is still unknown. In general, there are two types of scoliosis: “structural” and “non-structural” scoliosis.

    Additional common Scoliosis causes include:
  • Structural scoliosis refers to a curve in the spine that is irreversibly rigid.
  • Nonstructural scoliosis refers to scoliosis that are secondary to other problems, like uneven height of the legs, muscular dystrophy, and more.

In scoliosis treatments, your physician will first seek to understand if your scoliosis is due to an underlying cause, and if that cause can be fixed. Non-invasive measures like bracing may be attempted, but some cases will require corrective, or pain-relieving, surgery.

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Christina P.

Condition: Scoliosis

Procedure: IntelliSpineSM (Lumbar)

“I feel so very blessed.”

“I inherited scoliosis and osteoarthritis from my parents and have suffered the pain and frustration from both most of my adult life… Now it basically is entirely gone and I am able to do everything I was able to do before it started… II have learned to pick up the grand babies without bending over and do less heavy lifting in general. I am able to walk consistently again and am working on getting back into much better shape at the weight I like to be. I feel so very blessed to have found this non-invasive option instead of open back surgery.”

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Some of our former patients have been kind enough to offer to speak with back and neck pain sufferers who are looking into treatment options. We encourage you to take them up on it! After we determine a treatment plan, we’ll connect you with a past patient who had a similar condition and procedure.

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