Monthly Archives: August 2015

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Scoliosis, a condition characterized by an abnormal curvature of the spine, can be a scary and confusing diagnosis. The severity of scoliosis can vary greatly, but with proper treatment, most patients can live a normal life. Usain Bolt, Kurt Cobain, Elizabeth Taylor, Shailene Woodley, Yo Yo Ma, and Sarah Michelle Gellar are among the many scoliosis survivors who’ve had successful careers despite their diagnosis. Read on for more on scoliosis symptoms, causes, and treatments.


Symptoms of scoliosis most often appear in puberty, which is why screenings are mandatory in many public schools. Some signs to watch for include:

  • Legs may be different lengths
  • Asymmetrical rib cage
  • Shoulders at different heights
  • One shoulder blade and/or hip being more prominent
  • Head not centered directly above the pelvis
  • Back pain
  • Heart and lung issues (in very severe cases)

In some cases, infants may have symptoms as well. These include:

  • Bulge on one side of the chest
  • Odd posture, such as laying curled and favoring one side.

Causes and Risk Factors

Signs of scoliosis usually appear just before puberty, and are more common in those who have a relative with the condition. Women are more likely to experience more severe symptoms.

Most cases of scoliosis are idiopathic, meaning they have no known cause. However, scoliosis can be caused by neuromuscular conditions, like cerebral palsy, uneven leg lengths, and abnormal fetal development.


Most children diagnosed with scoliosis don’t require treatment, as the curvature corrects itself naturally as they grow. Some others may need a back brace for a short time. Yoga and other stretching exercises may be prescribed to help with pain or to encourage healthy development. Only in rare cases is surgery required.  

Although intervention is rarely necessary, it’s extremely important to get regular checkups to prevent the condition from developing into something more serious. Untreated scoliosis that does not correct itself can lead to severe heart, lung, spine, and pelvis damage.

Concerned for your child, or worried you may have an undiagnosed case of scoliosis? Request an appointment for a screening a treatment plan.

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Spine-Saving Back To School Bags

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Whether you’re heading back to school or to the office, chances are you’ve got some extra baggage on your back weighing you down. Laptops, planners, smart-phones, bottled water, cosmetics–it adds up fast and takes a real toll on your back. We’re not just talking one time aches and pains–all that stress, every day, can contribute to more significant injuries or conditions down the line. Here, our tips for minimizing your risk.

Think Small

Go with the smallest bag or purse possible to avoid the “goldfish effect” of gathering more stuff to fill extra space. If you like to have lots of “just in case” supplies, take a new approach. Instead of keeping those supplies in your back, get backups that stay in your office or locker. One big culprit to look out for? Keychains, which, when loaded up with assorted baubles, old cards, tchochkes, etc., can weigh several pounds. Make sure any old keys are off, along with anything else that can possibly go.

Backpacks: No Longer Just for Kids

Backpacks are the best bet for your back. Worn correctly, they disperse weight over a wider and more symmetrical area than messengers or other styles. For more conservative looks, try browsing the reviews here. Something like these simple, clean looking Knomo styles work for men and women in more formal business environments.

Wide Load

If you just can’t go with a backpack, then at least make sure to find something with wide straps that will distribute weight as evenly as possible.

Switch It Up/Break It Up

Another must if you go for a messenger bag or other asymmetrical style: switch shoulders regularly on your commute, and/or break things up into two small bags when possible.

Still struggling, or worried years of lugging too much around have caught up? Contact our office to request an appointment with our spine care experts.

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