Scoliosis Treatment Denver
Did you know that scoliosis affects up to 3% of the population? This means that nearly 9 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with this medical condition.
Depending on the severity of scoliosis, different treatment options may be recommended. At MD Pain, we take an individualized approach to effectively help our patients manage pain and correct the condition whenever possible.
Contact us to learn how MD Pain can help correct or treat scoliosis.
What Is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is characterized by an irregular curvature in the spine. This curve can be either S-shaped or C-shaped. Though most cases of scoliosis are diagnosed in children and adolescents, often the cause of the condition is unknown. In fact, this is true in 80% of cases, referred to as idiopathic scoliosis. Idiopathic scoliosis is simply another word for unknown or spontaneous.
Someone afflicted with scoliosis may have minor, barely noticeable symptoms, or their symptoms can be painful and disabling. For example, the curve may be so severe that it reduces the amount of room in the chest cavity for oxygen. As a result, someone with this type of curve may find it difficult to breathe.
Often, scoliosis can be diagnosed visually by a trained professional. The visible signs of scoliosis may include:
- The ribcage jutting out on one side
- One shoulder blade more prominent than the other
- One hip is higher than the other
- Uneven shoulders
- An uneven waist
- Leaning to one side
- Asymmetry when bending forward
- Spinal Deformity
- Patches of hair or other skin abnormalities on areas near the spine
Other more formal techniques may also be used for diagnosis, such as X-rays, spinal radiographs, CT scans, or MRI.
Because the irregular curvature tends to appear gradually, scoliosis may often go unnoticed in its early stages. It’s not uncommon for someone else, like a parent, teacher, friend, or athletic coach to notice an asymmetry or irregularity before the patient realizes anything is out of the ordinary.
Causes of Scoliosis
While most causes of scoliosis are unknown, some cases can be identified to a specific source. Causes of scoliosis include the following:
- Neuromuscular conditions, like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy
- Prior infant surgeries
- Birth defects
While both genders can have scoliosis, cases are much more prevalent in girls. The cause is thought to be the flood of hormones that females experience in the months before puberty. The culprit is the intense phase of growth in females that occurs right before puberty.
Since girls also physically mature faster than boys, the progression of an irregular curve can be noticed much faster. Height is another potential risk factor, with taller children having a slightly increased risk of developing scoliosis.
Though genetics can play a part in scoliosis, it is far from a determining factor. According to Mayo Clinic, most children diagnosed with scoliosis have no associated family history.
How Scoliosis Can Affect You
In mild cases, there may not be any complications; however, more severe cases can wreak havoc on one’s health.
For example, scoliosis can lead to breathing problems due to limited space in the chest to breathe in oxygen. Another potential complication is painful back problems. Left untreated, the back pain can become debilitating.
Depending on the severity of scoliosis and the age of the patient, treatment plans may vary. At MD Pain, we developed individualized treatment plans for each patient to provide the best possible health outcomes.
Recommended scoliosis treatment options include:
- If you feel sharp pain in your jaws, apply a cold pack to the area for about 10 to 15 minutes. Ice packs can burn your skin, so keep them wrapped in a cloth to avoid minor frostbite.
- If the pain in your jaw is dull rather than sharp, soak a washcloth in hot water and hold it against the area for about 20 minutes.
- Try taking over-the-counter pain relief medication, such as ibuprofen, if your doctor says it’s safe for you to do so.
- Practice good posture by sitting upright in your chair. Many people who work desk jobs tend to slump forward in their chairs, which can trigger back, neck pain, and TMJ pain.
- Avoid grinding your teeth. A night guard can help if you grind your teeth while asleep.
- Eat soft, easy-to-chew foods to give your jaw a chance to rest. If chewing is too painful, stick with soup or puree your food in a blender.
- Avoid hard, crunchy foods or food that requires you to open your mouth wide, such as corn on the cob.
- Cut your food into small pieces to make it easier to chew.
- Avoid chewing on pens or pencils
- Never use your teeth as tools (for example, to open soda cans or rip tags off of clothing)
If these tips don't relieve your pain, schedule a consultation with us at MD Pain to get to the root cause of your pain and address it at the source to relieve pain.
Treatment for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
If self-care doesn’t resolve your TMJ pain, other treatments are available. Non-surgical options include:
- Observation: For younger children with only minor irregularities in curvature, mere observation may be the best route. Here, a medical professional will examine the patient at regular intervals to observe whether the mild scoliosis has begun to correct itself or is getting worse.
- Braces: When a patient has not yet reached skeletal maturity, orthopedic braces can be effective in correcting the scoliosis curves of the spine by bracing just the spinal column. Recent technological advances in braces have made them more comfortable to wear while being less noticeable physically.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is a crucial component of idiopathic scoliosis treatment. Tailored exercises and stretches help improve spinal alignment, reduce abnormal curvature including lateral curvature and sideways curvature, and alleviate discomfort associated with this curvature disorder. Our scoliosis specialist works with the patient to enhance strength, flexibility, and posture, promoting a better quality of life for individuals living with scoliosis.
- Surgery: In cases of a severe deformity, surgery may be recommended for scoliosis treatment to correct the curve. Surgery could be the best route for both children and adults. In the case of an adult with a pronounced curve, other symptoms may manifest themselves, including nerve pain and a lack of control of the bladder or bowels.
If surgery is ultimately recommended, there are several approaches that could potentially be taken, including minimally invasive fusions.
In every case, we get to know our patients and perform a thorough health history to help determine a path to correct a scoliosis curve that results in maximum correction with the least invasive form of intervention.
Contact MD Pain to Discuss Scoliosis Treatment in Denver
We help patients with scoliosis improve function and mobility, eliminate spine pain, and enhance overall mobility by getting to the root cause of an irregular curve and taking steps to improve or correct it. To learn more about our approach, we invite you to call us at 720-707-3548 to schedule a new patient appointment.