Scoliosis: Back pain can come from a variety of sources and can run the gamut from irritating to debilitating. Determining the source of your pain is the first step in treating it.
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine. In an x-ray from the back, the spine curves from side to side. It is also possible to have scoliosis that curves excessively from back to front.
This condition generally arises during adolescence, during the growth spurt of puberty. Untreated, scoliosis can cause severe health issues, including rib deformities that put pressure on organs.
What is Sciatica Pain?
Sciatica refers to the pain and weakness caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is one of the large nerves that branch off the spine and control the legs.
If you suffer from a bulging or herniated disc in the lower back, the disc can press on the sciatic nerve, causing
- leg weakness or numbness
- pain in the hip or buttock
- balance and gait issues over time
Sciatic pain is often chronic and can lead to muscle spasms in the low back as the tissue around the nerve becomes inflamed.
While pseudo sciatica can cause all of these symptoms, it does not lead to calf pain. True sciatic pain impacts the leg below the knee.
Relationship Between Sciatica and Scoliosis
A curved spine will have some tight tolerances that could lead to pinched nerves. However, it is not a healthy assumption to believe that all scoliosis will eventually lead to back pain.
It is possible for someone with scoliosis to stay limber and strong for their whole life, and it is possible for someone with a properly aligned spine to develop sciatica.
However, if a scoliosis sufferer develops osteoarthritis, that inflammation can contribute to nerve impingement up and down the spine.
Unfortunately, arthritis can be the start of a downhill slide. If your back hurts, you do not feel like moving, which lowers your strength, which increases spinal compression caused by gravity.
What Are the Treatments for Sciatic Pain Caused by Scoliosis?
The first step a scoliosis sufferer must take is to find a quality chiropractor who can help them fight the curve.
Once you have someone who can assist you as you strive to reduce compression within a misaligned spine, you need to start exercising.
Work with a personal trainer to help you build healthy muscle memory. Many people who struggle with scoliosis do not know what proper alignment feels like. A personal trainer can correct your posture while you build strength.
A gentle yoga class, particularly one that keeps you off the mat for much of the time, is also helpful. Laying flat on the floor on a yoga mat can be quite uncomfortable. Try to do your floor work on a thicker mat if necessary.
Getting stronger is the best thing you can do if scoliosis is a challenge. By staying limber, you reduce compression.
By building your core muscles, you increase stability. Sciatica is not a foregone conclusion of scoliosis, and strength training can help a great deal.
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