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Scoliosis in New Jersey

Back problems can be caused by a curvature of the spine, a condition known as scoliosis. At Performance Rehabilitation, we offer scoliosis treatments at our Totowa and Lafayette Township offices for the adults and children in New Jersey.

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine, which is normally vertically straight. Seen from the side, the spine normally has a slight roundness in the upper part of the back and some degree of inward curvature in the lower part of the back. Looking at someone with a normal spine from the front or back, the spine will appear straight. Someone with scoliosis will appear to have a curved spine when seen from the front or back.

What Causes Scoliosis?

There are many forms and causes of scoliosis, including the following:

  • Congenital scoliosis – is due to a bone abnormality present at the time of birth. From an embryological standpoint, it is actually amazing that the spine and spinal column should develop properly due to the extreme complexity of the process involved. Most spinal development takes place between the third and sixth week after conception. A congenital malformation is very rare, despite the opportunities for error.
  • Degenerative scoliosis – may be due to traumatic injury, previous major back surgery, bone collapse, or osteoporosis. This form is associated with degeneration of the spine and arthritis. It normally worsens as you age.
  • Neuromuscular scoliosis – is due to abnormal nerves or muscles. This type of scoliosis is often present in those who suffer from cerebral palsy or spina bifida. It can also be seen in people who suffer from various conditions that result in paralysis. This form involves a spinal curvature in children who suffer from a neurological disorder. Common types include spina bifida, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, and muscular dystrophies.
  • Idiopathic scoliosis – the most common form of scoliosis, has no discernible cause.
  • Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis-This form is the most common type and affects approximately five percent of the population. It most often develops alongside an adolescent growth spurt. This form of scoliosis is seen more often in females than in males. It is believed to be inherited.

What are the Symptoms of Scoliosis?

The most common symptoms associated with scoliosis are:

  • Shoulders being different heights
  • One shoulder blade becoming more prominent than the other.
  • A prominent raised hip
  • A head that is not directly centered over the pelvis
  • The sides of the rib cage being at different heights
  • An uneven waist
  • Changes in the texture or appearance of the skin over the spine
  • A body that leans to one side

How is Scoliosis Diagnosed?

Most cases of scoliosis are first detected during school screenings by a child’s doctor, pediatrician, screening by a school nurse, or a parent. A scoliosis diagnosis and a determination of the scoliosis type can then be made using an x-ray or bone exam to determine the magnitude of the curve.

A diagnosis of scoliosis can be made using a test such as a spinal radiograph, X-ray, MRI, or CT scan of the spine. The curve will be measured in terms of degree of curvature. Normally, a curve will be considered significant if it exceeds 25 degrees. Curvatures greater than 45 degrees are rare and are extremely severe.

How is Scoliosis Treated?

Scoliosis treatment is based upon:

  • The age of the person
  • The degree and pattern of the curvature
  • The type of scoliosis

A person with scoliosis may wear a brace to prevent scoliosis from worsening. Braces can be used when the person is still growing and has a mild curve.

Surgery may also be used to correct curves or prevent them from growing worse. The bones are fused together using a metal rod or other device that is inserted into the spine. These devices remain in the body after surgery to keep the spine straight.

Scoliosis affects adults and children, and Performance Rehabilitation, located in Totowa and Lafayette Township in New Jersey, offers the specialized treatment that scoliosis patients need. Contact us today to schedule a personal evaluation by one of our physical therapists.