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Health News of Sunday, 28 February 2021

Source: Pear Emefa, Contributor

What to know about Scoliosis (hunchback)

Scoliosis is a disorder that causes an abnormal curvature of the spine, this occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. It is said to be two times more common in girls than in boys and can be seen at any age but mostly in those above 10years.

Scoliosis patients develop additional curves on either side of the body, and the bones of the spine twist on each other, forming a C or an S-shaped.

According to research, most cases are mild with few symptoms, and with severe cases been painful and disabling, it can also reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly.

Scoliosis is said not to be a disease but caused by a disease but from an unknown cause during adolescence or spinal degeneration during adulthood.

Research suggests that we have two types of scoliosis which are Structural and Non-structural Scoliosis.

Structural scoliosis is said to be the most common type of scoliosis which involves spinal rotation and the curvature of the spine. It affects the spine’s structure and is considered permanent unless the spine receives treatment. This type of scoliosis is typically considered more serious because it does not straighten out on its own and can potentially result in more spinal deformity.

Non-structural scoliosis, also known as functional scoliosis, results from a temporal cause and only with a curvature of the spine (no spinal rotation), with the spine’s structure still normal. A person with non-structural scoliosis if bend forward or lay down, the curvature is likely to go away while held in that position.

Structural scoliosis is said to have several types such as Idiopathic scoliosis, Degenerative scoliosis, Neuromuscular scoliosis, and Congenital scoliosis. Idiopathic scoliosis is said to be the type present in adolescents but can start from childhood or infancy. Degenerative scoliosis occurs in adults, later in life as the joints in the spine degenerate.

Neuromuscular scoliosis is also said to develop in individuals who cannot walk due to a neuromuscular condition such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy.

Congenital Scoliosis is said to develop in utero and is present in infancy and can be a result of malformations in the vertebrae or other causes. In most cases, the spinal curve must be corrected surgically.

It is said that scoliosis is caused by some factors such as cerebral palsy; a group of nervous system disorders that affect movement, learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking. It is also caused by a muscular genetic abnormality; a group of genetic disorders that result in muscle weakness. And it is also caused by birth defects that affect an infant's spinal bones. Spinal injuries or infections are also said to be a cause of scoliosis.

Symptoms

The most common scoliosis occurs in adolescents between ages 10 to 18 and the symptoms include

The head may appear a bit off the centre

The ribs on each side may be slightly different heights

One hip may be more prominent than the other

The clothes may not hang evenly

One shoulder or shoulder blade may be higher than the other

The person may lean to one side

The legs may be slightly different lengths

Scoliosis in older adults sometimes may cause very painful back pain.

Infants symptoms include:

A swell on one side of the chest

Consistently lying with the body curved to one side

In severe cases, problems with the heart and lungs, leading to shortness of breath and chest pain

Infants if not treated early, can be more at risk of problems later in life, such as impaired heart and lung function.

Treatment

In most cases, childhood and adolescent scoliosis is mild and does not need treatment. With a curve of 10 to 25 degrees, a doctor will usually recommend check-ups about at 3, 6, or 12-month intervals to check whether the condition is changing.

But for a 25 to 40-degree curve, a doctor may recommend bracing, and if the curve is greater than this, and the skeleton is still immature, a doctor may recommend surgery.

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