This month is National Scoliosis Awareness Month. It’s good to recognize this painful disease, as many who have it, don’t usually talk about it. The condition is very serious and affects many activities of daily living. Most people are aware of scoliosis being diagnosed in a patient when they are teenagers. Some may have had surgery with rods or wires. This is very painful and life-changing, not always in a positive way. For those who have not had surgery, their disease does progress as the curve worsens over time. Many adults with scoliosis are living in pain every day. And although the curve cannot be brought back to normal, there are things that can be done to slow the progression down. Many have progressed quicker than others and as they age it becomes quite worse. In this article I will be talking about the accelerated changes in postmenopausal progression in women with adult scoliosis. These serious changes generally shorten the healthy life expectancy of those patients.
There have been many studies done on this subject. They have found that the most change occurs from age 65 to about 80. Therefore, more pain is prevalent during those ages as well. Surgery is generally not an option at that age. These patients are left using pain medication, receiving injections, and trying different therapies just to live with the pain. The rapid progression of the spinal curvature attributes to weakness and damage of the surrounding muscles and tissue. In many cases, the patient’s doctors are unable to help, other than just trying to temporarily relieve the pain. The patient becomes frustrated, and generally gives up, therefore living in constant pain and being compromised with balance issues and possible issues due to frequent falls.
Non-invasive therapies include massage, exercises, and specific stretch techniques done by a specialist. It is very important to stretch not only the muscles, but the fascia connective tissue around the spine. If that tissue is not properly stretched regularly, it will expedite the curvature changes. The protocols in my office for scoliosis include prescription stretch sessions to slow this down. In most cases, the vertebrae become compressed in order to accommodate these serious curves in the spine. Specific decompression of those levels is important to help maintain and slow the progression down. As a certified Cox Technic physician since 1995, I have worked with adult scoliosis to help patients not only reduce their pain, but also affect that progression in the spine.
There is a special prescription scoliosis brace that helps many patients get through their day with much less pain and dysfunction. These braces are covered by Medicare, as Medicare promotes the benefit of prescription scoliosis bracing. This helps patients stay off serious pain medication and further damaging their bodies as a result. These prescription braces are designed, and custom fitted in my office, to take the pressure off decompressed portions of the spinal curvature. Patients report that when wearing the brace, their pain is greatly diminished or even gone. This also helps patients to breathe easier and deeper. This is especially important now with respiratory viruses that may be life-threatening.
Physical pain is only part of the symptoms of scoliosis. Respiratory, cardiac, and other systems may be compromised due to the severity of the spinal curvature. Any method that may slow down the progression is important to the patient’s longevity.
My specific protocols of prescription bracing, exercise, Cox Technic, and specific stretching help scoliosis patients finally find relief. If you or anyone you know suffers from adult scoliosis, please call my office for a complimentary consultation that I offer to my readers.
For any questions regarding my articles, please contact me at DrLeisa@CaringPainRelief.com or call my office for an appointment.
Leisa-Marie Grgula, D.C.
Accurate Care Medical Wellness Center
18261 N. Pima Rd. Suite # 115
Scottsdale, AZ 85255