Cause of Scoliosis in Teenagers (Idiopathic Scoliosis)

Idiopathic Scoliosis

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. Scoliosis can get worse with late diagnosis and left untreated which may cause pain and complications in adults. Finding it at a young age allows any scoliosis curves to be corrected as a child continues to grow. Atypical spine curvature known as adolescent idiopathic scoliosis first arises in late childhood or adolescence. Instead of growing straight, the spine develops an extended "S" or "C"-shaped side-to-side curve.

Symptoms of idiopathic scoliosis in kids and teenagers?

Some of the of idiopathic scoliosis include uneven shoulders, visible uneven waistline, the difference in hip height. In most cases, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis has neither pain or neurological signs. Since the heart and lung are not pressed against by the curve of the spine, AIS does not exhibit symptoms like shortness of breath. Patients who develop scoliosis throughout adolescence may experience back pain, usually in the low back. Despite being frequently linked to scoliosis, it is usually believed that the curvature does not cause pain. In general, low back pain is frequent among teenagers. Due to participation in several activities without having strong core abdominal and back muscles, as well as hamstring flexibility, many teenagers get back pain.

What is the different type of Idiopathic Scoliosis? 

There are three types of idiopathic scoliosis: 

1. Infantile idiopathic scoliosis Children with infantile idiopathic scoliosis are diagnosed between the ages of birth and three. Less than 1% of all pediatric cases involve infantile scoliosis. 

2. Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis It is diagnosed in children between 3 to 9 years old of age. 

3. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is diagnosed in children between the ages of 10 and 18 years old. This category includes around 80% of all pediatric cases of idiopathic scoliosis. 

What is the cause of Scoliosis? Scoliosis typically has no known cause. The degradation of the spinal discs, which can arise from osteoporosis, arthritis, or a hereditary condition that frequently runs in families, can also cause scoliosis. Idiopathic scoliosis in adolescents most likely originates from a confluence of hereditary and environmental factors. According to studies, spinal curvature may be caused by hormonal issues, improper bone or muscle growth, nervous system anomalies, or other additional variables. 

How to know if I have Scoliosis? 

(Diagnosis & Treatments) Observe your posture from back to top-down: 

  • Head is not centred on the body 
  • Uneven shoulders (either one is in front of the other or one’s higher than the other) 
  • Uneven shoulder blades: one is more prominent or higher 
  • Uneven waist angle: the gap between the arm to the trunk is wider on one side 
  • One hip is more prominent than the other or the hips are not levelled 
  • Spine line is not straight 

The severity of your child's spine curve, its location, pattern, and progression, as well as their age, all affect how they should be treated for idiopathic scoliosis. Simple observation serves as the first line of defence in many situations. Regular medical visits are usually used to monitor children with moderate scoliosis, defined as a curvature of fewer than 25 degrees, to ensure that the curve does not worsen. Regular medical visits are usually used to monitor children with moderate scoliosis, defined as a curvature of less than 25 degrees, to ensure that the curve does not worsen.

Bracing is frequently used to treat children with mild scoliosis, which has a bend between 25 and 45 degrees. As the youngster grows, the brace helps keep the spine in a straighter position. This can either mitigate the curve's severity or help to partially rectify it. The child will likely require surgery if the curve worsens in spite of bracing. Surgery is frequently required for kids with severe scoliosis, defined as a bend larger than 45 degrees. A spinal fusion is the most common surgical treatment. During this treatment, the surgeon adjusts the spinal curve and stabilizes the spine in a straight posture while the fusion cures and solidifies using metal rods, hooks, screws, and wires. 

Does Scoliosis cause back pain?

The curvature of the spine itself does not cause pain, as the body adapts to the way the spine grows; • However, because the muscles and soft tissues (ligaments, joint capsule etc.) grow unevenly on the sides of the spine, the imbalance of them may cause pain; • Secondly, over time, in order to achieve certain movements in everyday activities, the body develops compensatory faulty posture and muscle imbalance that leads to pain. 

Exercising (With Scoliosis)

Yes, one can typically engage in any type of exercise; however, due to Scoliosis, some activities will be more difficult to do and others will be restricted due to a lack of flexibility or muscle control. Exercises do not have any negative effects on the curve; If the exercises that did not hurt before are now making you hurt, please dial back on the intensity of exercises for a few days. Exercise endurance can occasionally be affected by reduced lung capacities, but this is rare in idiopathic scoliosis. A doctor or physiotherapist may need to be consulted if the pain does not go away. 

Long Term Care

Idiopathic scoliosis is not a life-threatening disorder. The majority of kids and teenagers with idiopathic scoliosis can anticipate leading normal, active lives. The outlook for your child is greatly influenced by both their age and the type and degree of their scoliosis. In order to reduce the long-term implications of scoliosis, early identification and treatment are crucial.

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