Scoliosis Specialist Monmouth County NJ

Dr. Tom Gustafson offers postural correction for scoliosis and other therapeutic chiropractic services for spinal health at the Active Healing Center for Wellness; he serves residents of Colts Neck, New Jersey as well as the surrounding neighborhoods in Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties.

Scoliosis Q & A

by Tom Gustafson, DC

What is Scoliosis?

Excessive spinal curvature is known in the medical profession as scoliosis, the result of a spine that curves more than 10 degrees from normal. Normally slightly rounded, the upper spine can assume a “C” shape. In some cases, the lower spine curve is also exaggerated, leading to an “S-shaped” spine. Although adults can develop scoliosis, it usually appears between the age of 10 and the early teens, so screening during middle school years is common.

What Causes Scoliosis?

Scientists don’t know exactly what causes scoliosis, although congenital abnormalities, neurological and muscular disorders, infections and fractures of the spine may sometimes be contributing factors. Genetic factors are high on the list, as it tends to run in families, and having a family history of scoliosis increases individual risk. Females are more likely to develop scoliosis than males; again, no one knows why. Diet may be a factor, especially in susceptible individuals who are already predisposed to the condition.

How Does Scoliosis Affect the Body?

The spine is the primary supporting structure in the body. It is attached to other skeletal components in the same way that beams support and strengthen a building. Scoliosis may cause the spine to rotate as well as curve and affects muscles, tendons, and ligaments by putting excessive tension on these supporting structures. Although scoliosis itself is not usually painful, it can predispose to spinal arthritis, which can cause pain. Severe cases of scoliosis can even restrict breathing.

How is Scoliosis Treated?

Postural correction is the primary focus of chiropractic treatment for scoliosis; begun early, it can help promote more normal spinal growth. Exercises can strengthen muscles, improve posture and correct body mechanics that may be exacerbating the condition. Some patients with scoliosis may benefit from wearing a brace. Although it is uncommon, severe scoliosis may require spinal surgery and stabilization. However, many people function quite well with mild or even moderate scoliosis.