Sclerosis is defined as a twisting or curving of the spinal column that can involve multiple locations of the spine, including the middle (thoracic) and lower spine. In most cases, sclerosis becomes evident in childhood and seems to afflict more girls than boys. Understanding the signs and symptoms of scoliosis, as well as causes and potential treatments for the condition, may help prevent complications such as lung and heart issues.
For many individuals diagnosed with scoliosis, a cause may be undetermined. However, it is known that heredity or family genetics often have an influence on who develops the condition and who doesn't. To date, scoliosis cannot be prevented, but knowing your family history or predisposition for the condition might encourage an individual to take proactive steps to help prevent severe or life-threatening complications.
Cause: Current Medical Conditions
Some people already diagnosed with injuries or damage to the central nervous system are at a higher risk to develop scoliosis. Such nervous system conditions that may initiate scoliosis include but are not limited to muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy.
Cause: Congential Defects
Others diagnosed with scoliosis are often born with spinal defects. One of the most common factors in such defects is uneven leg length at birth.
Various treatments are available depending on the severity of the condition and the age of the child diagnosed. Some mild defects caused by scoliosis don't require any treatment while some children may have to wear a back brace to help straighten the spinal column as the child grows. Other individuals experiencing severe curvatures may undergo surgery to help straighten the spine and improve back function and movement.
If not addressed, increased curvature of the spine may result in undue pressure placed on the heart and lungs, severe back pain and, in some cases, loss of bone strength. While the causes of scoliosis are not fully understood at this time, patients may take proactive steps to help prevent complications, including regular medical checkups and routine X-rays.