April 2, 2017

Back Pain


脊椎側彎 (Scoliosis) is a medical disorder that causes the spine or backbone to curve to the side. The curve angle may range from small, large or somewhere in between but one that measures more than 10 degrees is considered as scoliosis. “C” or “S” are the letters that doctors use to describe the curve. The most noticeable characteristic of a person with scoliosis is the manner in which they stand which can be a light lean or an uneven look of the shoulders or hips. For more tips and guidelines about scoliosis visit

What causes scoliosis?

Idiopathic is the term doctors use to describe scoliosis without a known cause which occurs in as many as 80% of patients. Family history and genetics is believed to be a risk factor for this idiopathic scoliosis. However, some kinds of scoliosis do have clear causes, and they are divided into two types; structural and non-structural.

In nonstructural scoliosis, the spine looks curved, but it works normally. This happens for a number of reasons such as in the situation where a person’s leg is longer than the other, inflammations like appendicitis and muscle spasms. When these problems get treated, this type of scoliosis usually goes away. Structural scoliosis is whereby the curve of the spine is rigid and cannot be reversed. This type of scoliosis is normally caused by, birth defects, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, genetic conditions like Down syndrome and Marfan syndrome, infections and tumors.

Congenital scoliosis begins during the development of a baby’s back during pregnancy. In this situation, the doctors can detect it during birth or in some cases; they can go undetected until later during the teen years. Scoliosis diagnosed during teen years can continue into adulthood. Degenerative scoliosis affects adults, and it usually develops in the lower back as joints and disks of the spine wear out with age.

Can scoliosis be prevented?

Scoliosis cannot be prevented, but there treatment options work at preventing it from progressing any further once it is diagnosed.

What are the treatment options for scoliosis?

Treatment depends on the curve, age and physical condition of the patient and other factors. Non-surgical treatment options such as bracing are usually the first line of defense if the curve needs correction or to prevent the curve from growing further. However, a lot of people suffer from scoliosis that is so severe it requires surgery. Surgery is also the second option when non-surgical treatments fail.

Is scoliosis in traditional Chinese medicine?

Traditional Chinese medicine has a branch known as Tui na which means push and grasp that is used to help remove blockages as well as harmonize the beneficial flow of life force throughout the body. This therapy uses a combination of massages, body manipulations and acupressure which has proven effective in healing disturbances in bone and muscle alignments such as scoliosis. Tui na advocates believe that spinal deformity cases like scoliosis are idiopathic, but people who seldom exercise or those who have an incorrect posture are more prone to this problem. Tui na treatment helps relax the muscles and joints, relieve aches and back pains, and stimulate blood circulation. Patients with scoliosis who have used this treatment show a significant improvement over a period of several months thus it is very helpful.