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Debunking The Most Common Myths About Scoliosis

by Stephen Silva

Scoliosis is a spinal condition where there is an abnormal curvature to the spine. The severity of scoliosis curvature can vary greatly; for some, the condition is readily apparent to the naked eye, whereas less severe cases may require X-rays to diagnose. Either way, there are a lot of myths and misunderstandings floating around when it comes to scoliosis. By understanding the truth behind these myths, it's possible to gain a better informed understanding of this spinal condition.

Myth 1: Scoliosis is Just a Cosmetic Issue

One of the most dangerous myths surrounding scoliosis is that it's really just a cosmetic issue and not inherently dangerous to one's health. Unfortunately, this isn't true. A curved spine can be dangerous and affect a person's health and quality of living. Depending on the severity of the curve, somebody with scoliosis could suffer from persistent back pain and even damage to the internal organs. In reality, it's both a cosmetic and health issue.

Myth 2: Surgery is the Only Treatment for Scoliosis

Another common myth about scoliosis is that the only viable treatment is through invasive spinal surgery. Fortunately, there are actually a lot of different treatments for scoliosis that may be effective in straightening the spine and reducing symptoms. For instance, in children who are still growing/developing, wearing a spinal brace can help to prevent further curvature of the spine and reduce the possibility of needing surgery down the road. 

Myth 3: Scoliosis is a Preventable Condition

Unfortunately, there is no proven way to prevent scoliosis, as it is mostly determined by genetics. There are myths out there that wearing heavy backpacks to school or carrying large loads on one's back can result in scoliosis in a developing child, but this has never been clinically proven. As far as today's medical professionals know, there is nothing that can be done to prevent scoliosis.

Myth 4: Scoliosis Always Requires Immediate Treatment

Finally, it's also important to realize that not all cases of scoliosis require immediate treatment. In instances of a very slight spinal curve, most doctors will prefer to take a "wait and see" approach, where they will re-evaluate the curvature of the spine every so often to see if the curvature is progressing. Still, even once a child stops growing at adulthood, it's important to keep an eye on the condition, as it can worsen even after the body is done growing.

To learn more, contact a company like Southwest Florida Neurosurgical Associates