There are many scoliosis symptoms. They can vary depending on the severity of the condition and degree of curvature. But in most scoliosis cases, the symptoms are more or less the same. Some of these scoliosis symptoms are listed below:
- Uneven Posture – perhaps the most prominent among all of the scoliosis symptoms. The one you notice at first glance is that a person affected with scoliosis has a permanent uneven posture. This uneven posture looks like the person’s upper body or torso is perpetually leaning to one side.
- Backache or Lower back pain – due to the spinal cord being perpetually curved to one side, there is much more pressure directed to one side of your back than the other. This irregular posture of the back and abnormal stress it places on your body can cause backaches. The pain is not limited to your lower back and can sometimes radiate to adjacent body parts that are directly connected to the spine like your hip, buttocks, shoulders, and neck.
- Spine curves to one side – Of course, this is one of the most noticeable scoliosis symptoms as this is the very definition of the condition itself. But to easily know if someone has scoliosis is to look at the alignment of their spine.
- Head not centered with the rest of the body – Although not as easily noticeable as most other scoliosis symptoms, this symptom is due to the back not being in a straight position because of the curvature of the spine, the head may not be directly centered with the body. This is because the spine is connected directly to your head and is responsible for keeping it centered on your body. But with this scoliosis symptom, since the spine is curved, so is the alignment of your head.
- Tiredness in the area of your spine – A person with scoliosis usually gets tired more quickly than a person without the condition, especially when standing or sitting down for an extended period of time.
In the most severe cases of scoliosis, some other symptoms can be felt in addition to those mentioned above, such as:
- Respiratory Problems – This is one of the more severe scoliosis symptoms. A person experiencing scoliosis can experience a certain tightness in his/her lungs caused by the continuously decreasing space in his/her chest, as the curvature of the spine puts pressure on a person’s chest.
- Cardiac Problems – Another example of severe scoliosis symptoms is cardiac problems. Cardiac problems may also arise along with respiratory problems, as the heart is also found in the chest, along with the lungs.
- Constipation – This is one of the scoliosis symptoms that is rare and is only present in very severe cases. As mentioned before, there is a tightening of space in your chest, but it can also affect your stomach and the organs around it. Hence, one of the first ones to be affected is your digestive system, which can cause constipation.
- Limited mobility and range of movement – Another one of the more common scoliosis symptoms that can affect the patient. Due to the irregular curvature of the spine in your body, you may be hampered from doing any physically strenuous activity.
Other examples of scoliosis symptoms:
- Painful menstruation
- The prominence of one rib cage over the other
- The prominence of one shoulder blade over the other
After feeling any of the symptoms above, you should immediately seek the advice of a physician or a specialist on the matter. Most specialists and physicians examine people who experience scoliosis to determine if the condition has another underlying cause. So it is important to brace yourself whenever undergoing diagnostic procedures as the physician may find out another cause more severe than your present condition. However, this is not the case most of the time.
Scoliosis diagnosis almost always begins with examining your medical history and performing a physical exam. The physical exam involves but is not limited to the forward-bending test. You are instructed to bend forward at the waist and hang your arms loosely with your palms touching each other. The curvature of your spine or rotation of your spinal curve is then measured by a scoliometer.
An X-ray can then be done to confirm scoliosis diagnosis and various imaging tests such as CT scans and MRI if the physical exam yields significant and alarming data. But usually, an X-ray is enough to produce a concrete scoliosis diagnosis.
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