A curved spine is often the result of a medical condition called scoliosis. There are three basic types of scoliosis, including functional, degenerative, and neuromuscular. A curved spine can also be caused by a benign spinal tumor, which may cause some people to tilt to one side due to an immense amount of pain.
There is no known cause of scoliosis, though each type is distinctly different. Functional scoliosis denotes a normal spine that is slightly curved due to another physical problem. For example, if one leg is shorter than the other, a curved spine is often the result. Likewise, any kind of muscle spasm that occurs within the back area may lead to a spine that is curved.
Degenerative scoliosis only affects older adults who are suffering from severe arthritis. As the name suggests, degenerative scoliosis cannot be reversed, and it tends to become worse as time progresses. Neuromuscular scoliosis is usually caused by a type of birth defect, which is why many younger people suffer from this ailment. This type of scoliosis frequently occurs when the bones within the spine are not formed properly.
Scoliosis symptoms include the noticeable curving of the spine, shortness of breath, back pain, and even chest pain. While shortness of breath and chest pain are rare, these symptoms can occur if the spine has become drastically curved. Still, most people do not experience any kind of pain due to a curved spine.
The only way to determine whether or not a person is suffering from scoliosis is through a complete physical examination. Upon visiting with a medical doctor, a patient will be asked to remove any items of clothing from the waist up. This way, a medical professional can examine the curvature of the spine.
If scoliosis is detected, there are a few things that can be done to help correct this ailment. Before any type of treatment can begin, however, it is crucial that the type of scoliosis a person is suffering from be noted. Since the three types of scoliosis are drastically different from one another, three completely unique treatments exist for each type.
Functional scoliosis is treated, if possible, by correcting the problem that is causing a curved spine. Neuromuscular scoliosis is often treated with the help of specialty braces and surgery, while degenerative scoliosis is treated with physical therapy sessions and minor surgery. Any person suffering from back pain, a curved spine, or any of the other symptoms listed above should seek medical attention right away.