Why is scoliosis bad
In scoliosis, the spine deviates from its natural double S shape. As a rule, this is a growth deformity that turns into a multidimensional one Curvature of the spine comes. Scoliosis is called a growth deformity because it is a disease that occurs during a person's growth in childhood or adolescence, occurs.
What is scoliosis and how does it develop?
The term scoliosis is derived from the Greek word skolios = crooked. It is a disease of the spine in which it is bent to the side and individual vertebrae are twisted.
In scoliosis, single or multiple vertebrae or vertebral bodies as well as the corresponding intervertebral discs, ligaments and joints are like that twistedthat they no longer have their natural shape. The deformation of the individual vertebral bodies is called torsion or torquing in technical terms. As the scoliosis progresses, the affected spinal column stiffens.
This lateral curvature of the spine reduces mobility. Scoliosis cannot be compensated for by good posture, it is chronic. This means that it remains permanent and, without appropriate therapy and treatment, increases with age.
How common is scoliosis?
No precise information can be given about the frequency of the disease, as not all doctors use the same evaluation criteria. As a rule, one speaks of scoliosis from a curvature angle of 10 °. Mild scolioses are much more common. Scolioses with an angle of curvature> 10 ° are given as approx. 2%.
Form and function of the spine
The healthy spine optimally fulfills its function as a supporting and moving organ of the body. In the frontal view, the spine is straight and the individual vertebrae are built on one another without twisting. In the side view, the spine shows a double S-shape instead. This special S-shape allows the spine to absorb vibrations and strains when walking upright. In addition to this normal curvature of the spine, however, scoliosis can also occur, in which the spine deviates from its natural shape.
Causes of Scoliosis
With regard to the causes, it is essential to distinguish between the idiopathic and the secondary Scoliosis can be differentiated.
Causes of Idiopathic Scoliosis
The causes of the idiopathic form are not exactly known to this day. About 90% of all scoliosis cases can be counted towards this species. One tries to explain this form of the disease with an uneven growth of the back muscles and the vertebrae. She kicks more common in girls on and most often before and during puberty. Girls are affected seven to eight times more often than boys. It is assumed that so-called chromosomal markers are responsible for the development of the idiopathic form of the disease.
Depending on when the scoliosis occurs or is diagnosed, a distinction is made between infant, infantile, juvenile and adolescent scoliosis according to the age group.
Causes of Secondary Scoliosis
Do the secondary scolioses about 10% this disease. They arise in Follow another underlying disease. These diseases can be, for example, congenital malformations of the vertebral bodies. Other diseases that are responsible for the development of the secondary form of the disease can, for example Muscle and nerve disorders (neuromyopathic scoliosis such as muscle wasting or paralysis), connective tissue (e.g. Marfan's syndrome) and metabolism.
Symptoms of Scoliosis
The twisting of the vertebrae is characteristic of the disease. This creates a so-called rib hump in the thoracic spine area as the ribs protrude backwards. Instead, on the opposite side, the rib cage flattens, creating what is known as a valley of the ribs. The typical curvature of the spine can be seen when looking at the back, depending on its severity recognize with the naked eye.
Minor deviations from the axis are very common and usually cannot be seen with the naked eye. Even a slight curvature of the spine is not necessarily visible from the outside. In severe forms of scoliosis, which can be seen without further examinations, one shoulder, for example, hangs lower than the other and the pelvis is crooked. In this case, one shoulder blade also protrudes a little further than the other. Furthermore, a one-sided rib hump and a lumbar bulge can also form.
The disease can occur in babies, but they usually occur typical symptoms of idiopathic scoliosis, however between the ages of ten and twelve on.
First of all, scoliosis does not cause pain in those affected. Until the age of around 30, the disease rarely has any further effects or consequences. Over time, however, the deformity can worsen and the spine wears out due to the curvature. Therefore, if left untreated, scoliosis can lead to considerable discomfort as you get older. These complaints consist, for example, in a pathological shortening of the trunk, which can also strain the internal organs.
Since minimal or mild scoliosis usually does not cause any symptoms until the age of around 30, it often goes undetected or is diagnosed only by chance. Often it is the parents who discover the curvature of the spine in their children.
The diagnosis can usually be made by a physical examination be asked. If there is any uncertainty about the extent of the curvature, an X-ray image can provide information about the severity of the disease.
Since most of the cases are idiopathic scolioses and these occur in children and adolescents, i.e. in people whose spine is still growing, the deformity can worsen in a very short time. For this reason, it is very important that scoliosis is detected as early as possible so that appropriate therapies can be applied. With an early diagnosis and specific treatment, the chances of recovery are relatively good if the curvature of the spine is not too pronounced.
Due to the possible rapid anatomical changes in the spine, patients or their parents should also take mild scoliosis seriously and have them checked regularly by a specialist. The earlier the disease is diagnosed, the sooner appropriate treatment measures can be started. However, the earlier scoliosis occurs, the worse the prognosis. This means that there is more time for progressive incorrect growth in the child's growth phase.
Treatment of scoliosis
Therapy for scoliosis is only possible as long as the affected patient is still growing. Corresponding treatment measures can be used depending on the severity and extent of the curvature. As a rule, therapy is necessary if the spine is curved more than 20 degrees. In most cases, the attending physician will prescribe one Physiotherapeutic therapy over the years.
The scoliosis should be checked regularly by a doctor, if necessary by means of x-rays. Depending on the severity of the disease is one X-ray check once a year recommendable. If scoliosis is left untreated, it can lead to a progressive curvature of the spine. In this context, one speaks of a so-called Progression of up to 7 ° within twelve months.
In the case of mild scoliosis, special physiotherapy under supervision is usually sufficient. Depending on the age of the patient and the severity of the curvature, an individually adapted corset can also be helpful to straighten the spine. However, many children and adolescents refuse to wear a so-called orthosis on their body. However, a study showed that young patients with appropriate psychological support are more likely to accept wearing an orthosis.
Surgery should only be considered if the patient has severe scoliosis and symptoms such as back pain.
The exact cause of the idiopathic form is still unknown today. In addition, this form usually occurs in childhood. Because of this there is no measures to prevent idiopathic scoliosis.
Contrary to what was previously assumed, scoliosis does not result from poor posture or one-sided carrying of a school bag. It is therefore all the more important that the curvature is recognized, treated and controlled at an early stage. The prognosis is relatively good if the disease is recognized and treated at an early stage. What is important here is the consistent and disciplined therapy. As a rule, it involves physiotherapy exercises and the additional wearing of a corset. In the case of a very pronounced deformity of the spine, which, for example, can also impair lung function and require an operation, the treatment or the operation should be carried out at a very young age, if possible. The younger the patient, the easier it is to straighten the crooked spine.
Therapy for scoliosis is advisable above all because it worsens if left untreated. For this reason, it is very important that parents support their children with therapy.
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