What Is Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a condition affecting your spine, and is defined as a curvature of the spine of more than 10 degrees. The curvature can lead to an “S” or “C” shape in the spine, depending on the location and degree of the curve. Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) is a common form, occurring between the ages of 10 and 18 at the beginning of puberty or during a growth spurt. Idiopathic means that the condition does not have a known cause, but a genetic link is suspected. While most cases may remain small and cause no problems as well as requiring no treatment, some of the cases may become severe, meaning the curvature develops past 45 degrees. The Scoliscore test can be used at the diagnosis of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis to determine if the curvature is likely to become a severe case of scoliosis.

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

Symptoms of AIS may include some back pain, a difference in leg length, asymmetrical shoulders (particularly when bending forward), a curvature of the spine to the left or right, or a misalignment in the torso between the ribs and the hips. The condition is normally painless for the patient, and the organs will remain unharmed. Diagnosis involves measuring the degree of the curvature and possibly x-rays. Treatment depends on the degree of the curvature and how much more growth the patient is expected to have. For mild cases, core-strengthening exercises or inpatient rehabilitation may be used, while braces and surgery may be chosen for more serious progressions.

The Scoliscore Test

The use of the Scoliscore test can help doctors plan out the treatment plan for specific scoliosis cases. The test looks at the DNA in the patient’s saliva to determine how likely they will be to develop a severe case of AIS. Along with the current angle of curvature of the spine, the doctor can better determine if the case may need more involved treatments such as braces or surgery. As of now, the test is only being used for Caucasian males and females with signs of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis with a curvature of higher than 10 degrees.

 

Back Pain from Scoliosis: How I Deal With It

When I was in high school, I distinctly remember excitedly going with my friend to her Tae Kwon Do class on weekends.  It was a sport I was only too keen on getting into, but that’s all it ever was- and will be, I’m afraid- a dream.  It was also in high school when I was diagnosed with having scoliosis. Maybe my world shattered a bit, when I heard the news.  But I was okay.  All I knew was that my spine was curved, and that there were certain things I couldn’t do.  No biggie.

As I got older though, I started experiencing some back pain.  It’s never anything excruciating, but it bothers me somewhat.  I notice that it attacks whenever I sit or stand for long periods of time, or after I bend my body the wrong way.  It’s a real party-spoiler, make no mistake about it!

Sometimes, I wear a removable back support under my clothes.  It gives me the posture of a New York runway model.  It helps push my shoulders back and keeps my posture in check.  It helps alleviate the pain and boost my confidence as well.

At work, I put a pillow between my back and the back of the chair to keep me comfy.  Occasionally, I also get up and move about.

As for bedtime, I find that a pillow which supports my neck helps relieve me of any pain from scoliosis.  A friend gave me one of those special pillows which follow the natural curve of the neck.  It’s been the answer to those sleepless nights, as I finally got that neck support I needed.

I realize that scoliosis will be with me for the rest of my life, but with proper care, I should be fine.  Things could be worse.

Fast forward to today, that same friend from way back is now heavily into yoga, and is encouraging me to join her.  I’m a bit hesitant though, thinking that those pretzel-esque poses will do more harm to my spine than good.  But we’ll see.  I just might consider yoga.  I hear it does help ease scoliosis…

 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.