Scoliosis Pain Relief
Source: Overtime Pain Relief
What is ScoliosisDefinition: Scoliosis is medical condition which causes the misalignment and/or rotation of the vertebrae of the spinal column resulting in deformity of the spinal column and compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots.
Overview: Scoliosis, a potentially crippling disease, affecting over 2% of the American population, may involve any portion of the spinal column, including the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (upper back), and the lumbar spine (lower back). The thoracic and lumbar spine is more commonly involved. Scoliosis may be a result of a congenital deformity from birth, or may be idiopathic, which means the cause is unknown. Scoliosis is usually diagnosed in preadolescent children and is much more prevalent in young girls. Some cases of scoliosis may be so severe that the development or function of other vital organs may be affected resulting in heart, lung, liver, or kidney failure. Some idiopathic forms of scoliosis may be acquired after an acute injury or progressive deterioration of the spinal vertebral column over time from degenerative disc disease or degenerative joint disease of the spine. Acquired scoliosis may be a result of an acute vertebral fracture, or osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) of the joints or the spine (facet joints), which cause spinal vertebrae to become deformed, rotated or misaligned.
Scoliosis may become so severe that the vertebrae can slip off of the vertebral body below, a condition called spondylolisthesis. Whatever the cause of scoliosis, the result is a gradual crowding of the spinal cord or the nerve roots in the spinal canal. The spinal cord or nerve roots may become compressed resulting in severe damage to these critical structures of the central nervous system. The result may be severe pain, numbness of the upper or lower extremities, loss of muscle strength of the upper or lower extremities, loss of sexual function, even bowel or urinary incontinence, and severe deformity of the neck, upper back, or lower back. These changes may occur suddenly after an acute injury or gradually, as in the case of degenerative joint or degenerative disc disease. Coexisting medical conditions such as spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, degenerative joint disease, intervertebral disc herniation, spondylolisthesis, or osteoporosis may exacerbate the effects of scoliosis.
Scoliosis TreatmentAs with most diseases of the spinal column, there is no cure for scoliosis. Bracing is considered necessary in some cases of preadolescent scoliosis to prevent progression of the disease. The standard treatments for pain due to scoliosis are over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription narcotic and non-narcotic medication, rest, physical therapy, steroid injections, and traction. As most patients who suffer with scoliosis pain soon realize, these treatments are usually not sufficient and many, especially the oral medications, are associated with serious side effects such as sedation, nausea, constipation, and even addiction. Extended use of some over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen may even result in stomach ulcers, kidney failure, heart failure, and liver failure. Many sufferers with scoliosis pain often search for alternative solutions to the usual over-the-counter and prescription medications. Surgery may be required when the excruciating pain does not resolve or when severe nerve damage is evident. However, even with the best surgeon, surgery is not always successful and in many cases, the patient’s condition worsens.
Sudden severe pain, especially in the chest, arms, or head, pain associated with fever, numbness or weakness, or pain in any area of the body that does not resolve after a couple of weeks, should always be evaluated by a physician to be certain that other medical conditions, including heart disease, stroke, infections, or even cancer is not the underlying cause of pain.