How Scoliosis Affected Patients Can Improve Their Quality Of Life
For those who are unaware, scoliosis is a condition in which there is a sideways curvature of the spine. It usually occurs when a child hits a growth spurt just before puberty. While the authentic causes behind scoliosis are still unknown, physicians classify it as both structural (idiopathic) and non-structural (functional).
The National Scoliosis Foundation in the U.S. reports that scoliosis affects 2 to 3% of the population, which amounts to approx. 6 million people.
Research work done by pediatric scoliosis specialists from the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has been a resource to identify genetic links of the disease. They have been able to find a gene (CDH-7) responsible for one kind of scoliosis. The molecular work has provided researchers a stepping stones to unravel the cause of the disease. And it has also helped organizations such as the Scoliosis Research Society to highlight that scoliosis can impact the quality of life because of the limited activity, pain, reduced respiratory function and diminished self-esteem among other related factors.
So what are the remedial measures that can be taken for an improved state of living for scoliosis patients?
Since there is no full cure available for the disease as of now, scientists have approved methods such as bracing and surgery to control the disease. Different brace designs are available and their purpose is to control the curvature in the body.
Researchers in Texas have developed innovative close fitting braces that are invisible under the clothes and help with the social context of the disease. The braces are effective because scoliosis patients have a hard time breathing due to the contours in their ribs, and braces hold them in place.
As is the case with other bone and muscular deforming diseases, physical therapy is an option. However, it doesn’t work on all types of scoliosis. So physicians and researchers also recommend other solutions.
One such solution is chiropractic manipulation, in which the bone structure of the body is adjusted in a manner that the curvature doesn’t aggravate. This is different from physical therapy in the sense that the kind of muscle/bone manipulation targeted here wouldn’t be done for any other disease.
Other alternate methods include electrical stimulation of muscles and biofeedback. Since the disease affects bones, muscles and connecting nerves at the same time, stimulation helps to reduce the pain. Biofeedback allows the physician to find out which areas of the body need a targeted therapy.
Yoga therapies have been tried by different naturalists, who focus mostly on Chakra therapy. The exercise starts with visualization and meditation of each chakra starting at the end of the spine and moving upwards. Then, inflating the inner body, and relaxing stronger structures help in the breathing problems associated with scoliosis. Thai yoga massage is considered to be successful in the case of scoliosis patients.
Another related natural remedy is fortifying the diet with minerals (calcium and manganese), vitamins (B6, C, D and tryptophan) and green vegetables. This helps in catering to the weak bone density problem. Consumption of milk from goat and quality meat also caters to the nutritional requirements.
Using herbs such as meadowsweet, white willow, Jamaica dogwood and turmeric can reduce the inflammation based reaction and are good for acute pain relief.
Similarly, oil based therapy using oils such as angelica and balsam fir are helpful for the respiratory issues. Birch oil helps in improving the bone function and is recommended. Spruce helps against the pain caused by scoliosis.
The research and remedies mentioned above are an ideal resource for not only staying updated on the latest treatments, but also opting for measures that improve quality of life.