The Link Between Scoliosis And Other Health Issues

Although scoliosis normally is diagnosed in childhood or early puberty, it can develop in adulthood too. It is an abnormal curvature of your backbone or spine which runs down your back. Everyone has a small amount of curve, but if you have scoliosis, your spine curves to the left or to the right, making it look like the letter C or S. There are several health issues associated with having scoliosis. Let’s review the link between scoliosis and other health issues.

Doctor evaluating woman with scoliosis.

How Is Scoliosis Diagnosed?

Many times scoliosis is diagnosed by a simple test in school. Other times parents notice uneven shoulders and take their child to the pediatrician. The doctor will have them bend forward, and it becomes easier to see a bend in the backbone where it should be straight.

An X-ray can confirm it is scoliosis. An X-ray is valuable because many times it can show the curve is worse than is visible to the eye.

Symptoms And Complications Of Scoliosis

The main symptoms of scoliosis include a visible curve in the back, the shoulder, waist or hips look uneven, and the ribs protrude out farther on one side than the other. Children with scoliosis will suffer from low back pain, numbness or pain in the legs, and fatigue.

Besides a visual deformity like the shoulders looking rounded and misaligned, and the chest appearing sunken, it can cause many other symptoms and health issues.

Some complications include the following:

  • Breathing problems
  • Low self esteem
  • Persistent pain with wear and tear on the spinal bones
  • Spinal infection post surgery
  • Spinal or nerve damage from an uncorrected cure
  • Leakage of spinal fluid

Health Issues Associated With Scoliosis

There are a number of health problems which can stem from scoliosis.

Osteoporosis and Arthritis

Someone with scoliosis is likely to develop osteoporosis as they get older. If an adult develops scoliosis, it is usually caused by osteoporosis. Children are likely to develop arthritis later in life, and with weakened bones, they are vulnerable to spinal fracture.

Neuromuscular Diseases

Scoliosis can be due to neuromuscular diseases like cerebral palsy, spina bifida, or spinal muscular atrophy. This kind of scoliosis can affect breathing and lung development and lead to balance and mobility problems.

Congenital Problems

Genetics causes incomplete formation of the vertebrae or the spine not separating properly during fetal development. As a result, the spine is unstable and does not grow correctly on one side. As the child grows, it can become worse. This congenital type of scoliosis may lead to kidney, bladder and nerve issues because the organs become squeezed together by the abnormal growth of the spine.

Scoliosis Due To Syndromes

Scoliosis can be due to several syndromes caused either by congenital and/or genetic reasons. The symptoms vary.

Contact Texas Spine Associates at (972) 987-0969 if you suspect your child has symptoms of scoliosis. We can help with diagnosis and treatment options. You can also request an appointment with a board-certified spine specialist through our secure online form. We have 9 spine clinics throughout the Dallas area including in Arlington, Cleburne, Fort Worth, Flower Mound, Granbury, Irving, North Irving, Southlake, and Weatherford.