The spinal curvature caused by scoliosis causes a number of problems for the patient suffering from the disease. While a large majority of scoliosis cases are minor, patients which suffer from a more advanced form of the disease may need to take extreme measures. Over the years, people have adopted different approaches towards treating the illness and its symptoms. Such methods involve medication, surgery, and even natural methods. If you or someone you know is suffering from scoliosis, then it’s best to be familiar with the different treatment options available and their possible side-effects, before making an informed decision. Here are some of the most commonly used treatments.
Scoliosis is a disease which expands rapidly. The illness is quick to damage the spine, and the spinal curvature can continue to increase at an alarming rate. Scoliosis curves can rarely be corrected except by surgery, which is a daunting option for some. However, bracing has proven to stop the progression of the curvature. Bracing is the invasive coating of the spinal cord, which holds the spine in a fixed position. In this treatment, corrective forces are used to apply pressure on the outer part of the curve, as well as to lessen load on the inner curve. This can prevent the patient’s condition from worsening, albeit the brace may make life uncomfortable for the person. Some victims find it difficult to sleep with the brace, and further experience some restrictions in their mobility.
Research has shown that some advanced exercise techniques, such as certain forms of yoga, can improve the condition of scoliosis patients. Basic exercises, such as stretching techniques, act as temporarily pain-relievers for people suffering from the disease. However, these exercises don’t provide long-term relief. Fortunately, there are advanced exercises which aim to correct the interaction between the brain and spinal curve, prompting the curve to assume its proper shape. This can be accomplished through a series of poses and exercises which govern the patient’s body’s response to certain stimuli, which ‘trains’ the spine to grow properly. It’s best to consult an expert, and take advice from your physician, before attempting such exercises. This is because certain exercises could further degenerate the spine, and thus a professional opinion is necessary.
Spinal injections are a temporary treatment for scoliosis patients. The disease tends to pressurize the victim’s nerves, which causes the patient pain and sometimes even numbness. To counter this, people suffering from the disease can opt for steroid injections to provide temporarily relief. Local anaesthesia can also be administered to reduce the pain. However, the comfort offered by these injections is not long-term, and the effects will wear off after a couple of months.
The last resort and most extreme method for treating scoliosis is surgery. The reason surgery is put off until no other options remain is simply because it is a high-risk treatment. If the surgery isn’t successful, patients can suffer nerve-damage, chronic pain and infection. Sometimes, the victim may even face permanent disability if the surgery goes terribly wrong. Thus, patients are advised only to proceed with surgery if their scoliosis becomes life-threatening.
There are 3 main types of surgery to treat the disease; fusion, fusionless, and growing systems. Fusion surgery is the most effective method of surgery. It involves the spinal fusion of two or more adjacent vertebrae, which forms a single-bone that can no longer move. Modern advances have led to the use of tools such as rods, hooks and sometimes even wires, which have increased the efficiency of the surgery and the patient’s recovery time. A drawback to fusion surgery is that it limits the patient’s spine mobility. However, it has a history of successfully treating scoliosis.