Best Pain Management Tips For Scoliosis Patients

The spine-damaging disease, scoliosis, can prove to be a life-time problem for some patients. Although most cases of the disease are minor, some patients suffer from chronic pain, primarily in the back and hips. The frequency of the pain can be either regular or occasional, depending on the patient’s condition.. The degree of the pain also varies from patient to patient. While some patients experience short, harsh bursts of pain, others suffer from lesser amounts, for longer periods of time. Fortunately, there are many modern treatments available which can be used to ease the suffering of scoliosis victims. Here are some of the most effective methods for treating the pain.

Exercise

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Exercise can be an effective means of suppressing pain caused by scoliosis. However, there are specific exercise techniques for this purpose; other forms may cause further pain. Be sure to consult your physician before taking up any exercise regime. Basic stretches which involve the hips and back are quick and easy methods to deal with pain induced by the disease.

Simple exercises, such as stretches, can provide temporary relief from the pain. For long-term pain suppression treatments, patients should look into more advanced exercises, which focus on correcting the interaction between the brain and the spinal chord’s development. Yoga tactics have proven to be an effective way of achieving this. This is because yoga exercises aim to strengthen the muscle around the spine, lessening the stress on the spine itself. Moreover, various yoga positions also help correct the shape of the spine itself. Pilates is another popular form of exercise which scoliosis patients use to cope with pain, as it too strengthens core-muscles and relieves the spine from stress.

Using Physical Means

More often than not, pain that patients are suffering from in the back or hips can be reduced by physically warming the patient’s body. Applying a hot-water bottle on the affected area or sitting by a heater, can help soothe the pain temporarily. This is because pain caused by the disease is often due to muscle spasms and tightening. Ligaments become relaxed when warmed, which can help alleviate the pain.

Nutrition

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Through controlling diet and food-intake, nutrition is believed to be another means for managing pain caused by scoliosis. To achieve this, there are two main approaches a patient should take towards their food.  First, they should know which foods to avoid; and second, they should know which foods have positive effects.

Foods which aim to help patients deal with chronic pain do so by reducing inflammation inside the body. One of the best dietary approaches towards reducing inflammation involves restricting food-intake to fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon. Even in the modern era, fruits and vegetables are used around the world to reduce back pain. Some of these include carrots, cherries, beets, grapes, watermelon and pomegranate. Cherries in particular contain powerful anti-oxidants, known as anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammation properties and also release pain-suppressing enzymes, similar to aspirin. Research over the years has found that cherries reduce muscle pain and lower inflammation by up to 25%.

Some foods are believed to increase inflammation of the body, and these should be avoided at all costs when dealing with pain induced by scoliosis. The main offenders here are processed foods, fast foods, hydrogenated fats and saturated fats.

Medication

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Scoliosis patients may resort to using pain-killers to suppress their suffering. Over the counter pain medication, like aspirin, are popular choices for victims wishing to calm their back-pain. However, patients suffering from high levels of chronic pain should consult their doctors or physicians for a professional subscription. While medication is not a permanent solution to the pain, it can be necessary to temporarily provide a patient with relief.

How Do Cold Weather Conditions Affect Scoliosis?

As the summers are coming to an end and autumn is approaching, the weather is getting cooler. Most people suffering from joint pains, arthritis and scoliosis usually complain that their pain amplifies during cold weather. Although no precise scientific study or research provides satisfying evidence regarding the correlation between scoliosis pain and weather changes, the chronic pain experiences narrated by scoliosis patients during cold weather can be a result of tissue contractions. With the departure of warm weather, the muscles and ligaments do not remain loose and warm, instead the tissues contract making movement more painful.

Understanding Scoliosis

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To understand why scoliosis go through this and to suggest possible measures to avoid chronic pain, one must have a clear understanding of scoliosis. Although, it appears to be related to the bones, Scoliosis is a condition which is both neurological and muscular.

A person suffering from scoliosis will have an abnormal curve in the spine usually in a S or C shape. It is more common in people in the 9-15 age brackets, females and those who have a family history for scoliosis. Most of the times there is no known cause of it and treatment depends on the severity of the condition.

Scoliosis And Chronic Pain

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As the spine is abnormally curved in this condition, the body weight is unevenly distributed. This means that one side of the spine bears more stress than the other, resulting in pain. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence indicating that this pain become intensified during cold weather.

How To Cope With Scoliosis Pain In Cold Weather

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As the pain may become unbearable for many, they must take measures to cope with it beforehand. The key is staying warm during this time. There are several heat therapies one can take or electric blankets one can get as a precaution. This will help in improving the blood circulation in the body and will also relax the tissues that cause the pain. Below is a list of things one can do.

  • Hot water baths

This is a relaxing way to ease pain. Swimming in a hot tub or even soaking yourself in a hot bath tub at least three times during a week is an effective way to avoid scoliosis pain during winter. It helps in relaxing muscle tissue and brings relief to inflamed areas of your back

  • Hot Packs

A great idea to immediately deal with chronic scoliosis pain is to use a hot pack. If you do not have a hot pack available, you can also use a warm towel or some other kind of heating pad as a substitute. You must apply it to the painful region for about twenty minutes to relieve any pain due to cold weather. Nowadays, you can even get heat wraps. They are a more effective option as their effect lasts usually for eight hours.

  • Epsom salt baths

This is an excellent way to find relief. You can add two cups of Epsom salt to your bath and stay in there for at least fifteen minutes; remember that the water must not be too hot. Epsom salt is actually a natural mineral containing both sulfate and magnesium. These ingredients have a lot of benefits for your health including reduction in inflammation and removal of toxins from your body. They also help in maintaining proper muscle and never functions.

It might get hard to try the aforementioned things when you are suffering from scoliosis pain and you may prefer to stay inside. However, it is for your own betterment that you exercise and continue staying active to avoid any chronic pain during cold weather.

How To Identify Early Signs of Scoliosis in Children

Scoliosis is a spinal-disorder in which the patient’s spine, or backbone, suffers from a sideways curvature. The disease affects approximately 3% of the population. In young children, scoliosis can be difficult to identify early on, as their spinal cord isn’t fully developed. The types of this disease include congenital, neuromuscular, syndromic and idiopathic.  In the case of idiopathic scoliosis, the cause of the disease is unknown.  If caught in the early stages, scoliosis can be treated effectively. However, a large number of cases aren’t spotted until the spine is curved significantly, at which point the disease becomes much harder to treat. In many cases, however, the spinal curve is not advanced enough for the disease to be a cause of alarm at all. Thus, it’s important to know how to identify scoliosis in your child in its earlier stages, and here are some tips on how to accomplish that.                                                            

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Spotting The Disease

It’s important not to mistake your child’s poor-posture for scoliosis. The disease, which involves sideways curving of the spine, may cause your child’s bone-structure to seem uneven. For example, one shoulder might seem taller than the other, or one hip could be arched higher than the other. Scoliosis can even be spotted by noting an uneven arrangement of the ribs, where one side of the cage may be curved upwards. In some severe cases, the patient’s entire body may appear to be leaning sideways. If you notice any such disorder in your child’s structure, it’s worth taking a few tests and eventually visiting a doctor.

The Adam’s Forward Bend Test

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One of the most popular exams used by doctors and nurses to identify scoliosis, the Adam’s Forward Bend Test can also be performed by a parent to check for the disease in their child. In this test, the patient is asked to bend forward in a diving position, as if they were touching their toes. From this position, the examiner can determine whether the patient has any unevenness in their spine or bone-structure. If a problem is identified, or suspected, further tests may be taken. It’s best to consult a doctor and take professional help if you believe your child could be suffering from the disease, as they can recommend you proper treatments.

Scoliometer And How To Use It

If you suspect your child has scoliosis, a scoliometer can be used to check for the severity of the disease. Although it’s best used by a professional, concerned parents can also check their child’s spine with a scoliometer. The patient should assume the position which exposes the deformity best, by bending forward until their shoulders are level with their hips. The scoliometer should then be placed on the deformity at a right-angle to the body, and then read with the marking residing at the curve’s center. If the reading is of seven degrees or more, parents should consult a professional immediately.

X-Rays and Professional Help

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If you’re convinced that your child is suffering from scoliosis, visit a doctor immediately. Your doctor may then perform a series of physical tests, to gain an understanding of the extent of the spinal curve. Your physician may determine the condition of the spine by feeling it and comparing the prominence of the muscles from different angles. Furthermore, the professional may have your child perform basic movements, such as flexion and spinal rotation, to see how well the patient performs. Finally, the doctor will order image-testing in the form of X-rays and MRI to observe exactly how far the spine is affected by the scoliosis. This is necessary for your physician to gain a complete understanding of the patient’s situation, before devising a treatment plan.

Scoliosis in Teens

 

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) is the most common type of scoliosis seen in children between ages 10 to 15 years old. In fact, 3 out 100 adolescents suffer from AIS. People with scoliosis may have a back that curves to the side like an “S” or “C”. Mild curves generally do not cause problems to the patient. However, for severe curves, it can be very visible and can cause discomfort for the patient. Some can even affect the breathing, heart, joints, and spine.

Aside from the physical discomfort, severe scoliosis can have psychological effects, affecting confidence and esteem.  Emotional pain leads to substance abuse, and studies show that girls with scoliosis are 3x more likely to drink than those without, and boys with scoliosis consume 94% more alcohol than their normal peers. Hence, they would need help for an addiction aside from their physical health concerns.

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Helping your teen cope with their disease

Medical diseases affect millions on a daily basis and children are not exempt from this either. When a child would get ill or sick, parents find that it’s hard to know how to deal with it, especially when they have done their best to protect their child. In truth, when teens face a disease, whether it’s a fairly minor one or a life-changing disease, it’s a scary time. They still don’t know how to cope with it and so this is the time for the parents to step up and help them deal with their situation. To find out more about how you can help your teen cope with their disease, read on—you might find some useful suggestions.

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Diseases prone to women only

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