About Scoliosis & Its Causes
Scoliosis can be defined as an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine.1 Under normal circumstances when looking at an individual’s back, it looks perfectly straight. There are however instances when the back of an individual is slightly curved, meaning that the backbone of the individual is actually bent at an angle and is not straight. This angle may be minimal to quite significant, but if the curve is greater than approximately 10 degrees then that condition is termed as scoliosis.
In majority of the cases, the physicians do not find the actual cause of the condition and the condition is termed as idiopathic scoliosis. There are also cases where the cause of the scoliosis is known. In such cases, the physicians have divided the causes into two types namely structural and nonstructural.
The nonstructural causes of scoliosis may be a leg length discrepancy, muscular spasms, and conditions like appendicitis. In such cases when these conditions are treated the scoliosis of the individual is treated and cured. Where there is a structural problem with the spine, there is nothing much that can be done to treat it or reverse it.
In case if an individual has scoliosis, then there are certain activities that one must avoid for preventing any worsening of the condition.
What To Avoid When You Have Scoliosis?
Some Of The Activities That Needs To Be Avoided With Scoliosis Are:
Avoid Forward Bent Head Position: It is highly recommended that an individual with scoliosis should avoid a forward bent head position, as this puts excessive pressure on the spinal cord and actually compresses the blood vessels on the spinal cord. It may lead to gradual degeneration of the vertebra over time. Generally this posture is kept by children who are into the habit of sending text messages a lot from their phones. In cases of scoliosis, this is something that should be absolutely avoided to prevent worsening of the condition.
Avoid Contact Sports: Contact Sport in any form is something that needs to be avoided for an individual with scoliosis even though the scoliotic curve may be minimal. This is because contact sports may result in significant injury to the spine leave alone the stress that such sports put in the spine while running and jumping. Contact sports should also be avoided in individuals who have had scoliosis surgery done recently, as it may dislocate the metallic rods put in to correct the curvature of the spine.
Avoid Sleeping on Stomach: This is perhaps the worst position to sleep on in cases of scoliosis. The reason behind this being that sleeping on the stomach causes the thoracic spine to become flat and if this happens then it has a detrimental effect on the other spines with the end result being progression or worsening of the curvature or scoliosis. Also when an individual sleeps on the stomach it causes the individual to turn one’s neck which ultimately twists the spine which is also extremely detrimental in cases of scoliosis.
Avoid Thoracic Extension Exercises: Individuals who perform ballet dancing, do high jumps or gymnastics repeatedly extend the thoracic spine. This causes the vertebrae to go more into the hollow that is created by the curvature of the spine. This results in significant progression of scoliosis. Thus, it is best to avoid back bends or exercises where there is significant extension of the thoracic spine in order to prevent progression of scoliosis.
Avoid Inadequate Sleep: Studies have shown that individuals with scoliosis have depleted levels of melatonin, which results in progression of scoliosis. Thus, it becomes extremely important for an individual to have adequate sleep at night as inadequate sleep will result in less melatonin to be secreted from the body which in turn may lead to early puberty, especially in girls, which ultimately results in progression of scoliosis.
Avoid Running Long Distances: Running long distances puts excessive pressure on the spine, especially cross country running where an individual has to run on uneven terrains and up and down hills. This excessive pressure on the back results in scoliosis progression.
Avoid Trampolines: This is especially for children with scoliosis. Children absolutely love jumping on trampolines, but if they have scoliosis, then it would be potentially disastrous for a child to jump on trampolines, as it can lead to rapid progression of the curvature as every jump on the trampoline will compress the spine even more. Thus, it is highly recommended that if a child has scoliosis then one should avoid jumping on trampolines.
Avoid Lifting Heavy Objects: it is obvious that lifting heavy objects puts severe pressure on the spine and the low back. Thus, if an individual with scoliosis lifts or carries heavy objects, then it will be extremely detrimental for the spine and the back and will eventually speed up the progression of scoliosis.
Avoid Swimming Long Hours: Swimming for long hours’ everyday tends to cause flattening of the thoracic spine, which in turn increases the scoliotic curve. Avoiding this activity tends to keep all the dimensions of the spine together and prevents progression of scoliosis.
- Massage Therapy for Scoliosis: Techniques, Symptoms, Signs, Prevention
- Yoga for Scoliosis: 10 Yoga Poses To Correct Spinal Curvature
- Scoliosis: Classification, Types, Causes, Symptoms, Signs, Treatment, Brace, Surgery, Prognosis
- Can Leg Length Discrepancy Cause Scoliosis?
- What is the Success Rate for Scoliosis Surgery?
- Can You Play Sports If You Have Scoliosis?
- How Should You Sleep With Scoliosis?