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Scoliosis is a disease that attacks the muscles and ligaments of the spinal column, causing a sideways twisting and rotation of the spine, ribs, and pelvis. Its is a C-shaped or S-shaped curvature of the spine. An S-shaped curve is created when a secondary curve counterbalances primary abnormal curve. It severely impairs the bodies neurological, hormonal, and nutritional systems.
Scoliosis is a progressive disease. In its early stages a mild rotation and rib deformity is detected. As it progresses more vertebrae rotate, causing the ribs to crowd together on one side of the chest and to spread apart on the opposite side. The disease is usually first identified in persons 10 to 17 years old. Most cases occur in girls and become apparent during the rapid growth phase of puberty. Conditions also include shoulder unleveling, waistline discrepancies, acute headaches, shortness of breath, rib hump, chronic fatigue, and mood swings.
Obvious signs include crooked spine while bending over, fatigue, shortness of breath, uneven hemline on shirts, and an asymmetrical waistline. Less obvious signs must be detected by health professionals through early screening, or diagnosed by your physician during a comprehensive physical exam.
Most cases of scoliosis (about 80%) are classified idiopathic, meaning the causes are unknown. Scoliosis may also result from muscle paralysis. With early treatments, spinal curvature progression can be stopped and reversed using a relatively simple treatment plan based on the same principles used by orthodontists to straighten teeth. Treatment of scoliosis depends on the severity of the curvature. It may be limited to wearing a corrective back brace. If the curvature is extreme or continues to progress, it may require surgery. During this procedure a metal rob is inserted to support the spine and packed in place with bone fragments from the pelvis.
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