Myths and Facts About Scoliosis

Scoliosis is the term for a sideways curving of the spine that for children may happen during a prepubescent growth spurt (though it can also affect adults). It is the most common spinal deformity among children, affecting over 4 million people in the United States. It can be caused by neuromuscular conditions like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, as well as birth defects, and spinal injuries. 

If you or your child is dealing with scoliosis and you live in the Grand Island, Nebraska area, you’re in luck. Timothy Dunagan, DC, and Brian Dunagan,DC, at Grand Island Chiropractic Center have years of experience dealing with back conditions like scoliosis. If you’re confused about what scoliosis is or how it works, we can help give you the facts you need.

Let’s go over the most common myths about scoliosis as well as what’s actually true.

Myth: Scoliosis can be prevented

This condition tends to run in families due to heredity, and also has numerous hormonal and genetic factors. However, many cases tend to be idiopathic, meaning doctors don’t always know what causes scoliosis. So, with no control over many known factors, and in many cases not even knowing what causes it, scoliosis is impossible to prevent. If you or your child are highly active, you’ll be happy to know no amount of activity or lifting is likely to cause it.

Myth: Scoliosis will lead to deformities

Scoliosis is actually often dealt with without a brace or surgery, as the curving of the spine can be minor. An anterior/ posterior (AP) chest X-ray is done to determine whether the spine is curved enough to be considered scoliosis (it needs to be curved more than 10°), and you might come in not knowing you or your child even have it. Severe deformity can happen, but it is the exception as opposed to the rule.

Myth: Scoliosis limits your life

Since many cases of scoliosis are minor, they are frequently treated with nonsurgical methods like a brace. A brace won’t cure or reverse the condition, but it will keep your spine from curving further. And even if you have to wear one for a while, minor cases won’t automatically keep you from participating in sports or normal life activities after using the brace. Even if you need surgery, once everything heals, you can get back to your everyday life.

Myth: Surgery for scoliosis is dangerous

Older spinal fusion procedures required more large incisions and longer healing times. However, modern methods like the anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) surgery use small incisions and decrease the healing time for you or your child. This fundamental change in how surgeries are done helps you heal faster and get back to enjoying life to its fullest. While any surgery entails some risk, surgical treatments for this condition are safe and effective.

So if you’re dealing with scoliosis and need relief, call our office or book an appointment online today.

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