Scoliosis – deformation of the spine in several planes around its axis. It occurs in any of the spine from lumbar to cervical-thoracic.
The curvature of the cervical spine is also called “high scoliosis”. This disease is much more common for women, they have it occurs 3 times more often than men. Occurs in childhood. Therefore, parents should think about the proper diagnosis and treatment as early as possible.
This will help the child to avoid problems with the neck and back in adulthood.
However, if the curvature is already present in an adult, it does not mean that the treatment is already too late: to start the correction of posture and head position need to be in any age when that was a problem and established the definitive diagnosis.
The causes of curvature in the cervical spine
There are two types of scoliosis: congenital and acquired. Congenital – associated with reproductive injuries and requires a special approach to treatment depending on the nature of the injury.
Acquired curvature is not any one specific cause. Usually it is caused from a complex of several factors.
Therefore, there are several medical theories about why it occurs:
- Hormonal changes the body during puberty. It is believed that failure of the endocrine glands affects the stability of the skeleton to stress and contributes to the development of the disease.
- Insufficiency of the muscular apparatus. It arises when the skeleton is growing faster than the muscles to support it. The spine is not getting enough support increasing load and increase its curvature.
- Incorrect load on the cervical spine. This applies mainly to the situation in which a person is sitting or lying down. However, sometimes the problem is not only in body but also in his physical activity.
- Abnormal development of bone or dysplasia contributes to the problems with the skeleton and increases the risk of scoliosis.
- Neurogenic theory. She suggests that some neurological diseases (for example, syringomyelia is a disease in which the spinal cord formed cavities) affect the condition of the skeleton.
- Injuries of the bones, can cause the impact on the spine and also provoke the development of scoliosis, in particular, cervical.
The severity of disease also varies according to the number of arcs of curvature (arc from one to three) and in severity (first through fourth stages):
- the first is from 1 to 10 degrees;
- second – from 11 to 25 degrees;
- third – from 26 to 40 degrees;
- fourth – more than 40 degrees.
Symptoms of cervical scoliosis
Symptoms curvature is divided into General and specific (unique to this pathology).
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The first two stages of the disease yet especially bright manifestations. However, on the third and fourth the severity of the spinal deformity can already be seen with the naked eye. Characterized by asymmetry in the position of the head, it can be tilted forward or to one side, right or left, you can sometimes see that the ears of the patient are at different heights relative to each other. Also evident violation of the symmetry of the contour of the shoulders, at the last stage has seen changes in the symmetry of the pelvis. In some cases, in the absence of treatment becomes apparent abnormal development of the skull bones. All these symptoms are a reason to immediately contact a doctor and begin treatment.
Most of the patients usually complain of difficulty in movement, pain when turning or tilting the head. Some patients come to the doctor with complaints solely on the aesthetic effects of curvature, especially at the primary stages of the disease.
Common symptoms include headaches, fatigue and General weakness. The patient may also experience dizziness, especially when trying to sharply tilt your head. All this occurs because of compression of blood vessels and, as a result of circulatory disorders, including in the brain.
Often with first or second degree cervical curvature people do not pay attention to the problem. As a rule, all the symptoms are written off to fatigue or overexertion. But if a man complains on headache, and neck pain at the same time, it is a striking sign of the beginning of serious problems.
In some countries the first stage of scoliosis generally is not considered a disease and does not require a doctors no interference. However, despite this, you should know about it and take action to maintain that Department in a healthy condition. Because the fact of the small anomalies is already talking about the increased risk and the possibility of deterioration.
Diagnosis of the disease
The main method of visual diagnostics is as follows: the patient is asked to bend forward and down. In this position, the doctor will be well-marked spinal deformity and displacement of individual vertebrae relative to each other.To accurately determine the degree of scoliosis and the type of a doctor based on both visual inspection and after studying the x-ray images of the patient. You should not engage in self-diagnosis: determination of the curvature is a sphere of activity only of orthopedists, and self-interference can result in the degradation, and even serious consequences for the patient.
But the main method of diagnosis of curvature in the spine especially in the cervical spine is a radiographic study. The allows you to accurately set the angle of curvature, its degree, and sometimes to find out the cause of deformation. This is done by computing the angle of Cobb. To measure, it is necessary to x-ray anterior-posterior projection to hold the two parallel neutral vertebrae straight and where they intersect, and measured this angle. According to these data it is possible to judge the severity of back problems and neck.
If these methods are insufficient, the doctor may additionally prescribe MRI of the spine.
Treatment very much depends on such factors as the severity of the disease, its form, speed of progression and, of course, the condition of the patient at start of treatment. Therefore, when a doctor makes such a diagnosis, it is better not to postpone the solution of the problem on the back burner and get to work before the pathology will come out at some point and complicate treatment.
Among the people popular so called folk remedies, breathing exercises, massage for any special techniques and psychotherapeutic practice the author’s techniques, but their effectiveness has not yet been confirmed by research.
From proven methods of treatment are two: conservative and operative.
This method of treatment is performed by the patient at home, but under the supervision of a physician. Basically it is in compliance with the correct posture and the execution of a set of specific exercises in order to increase the support of the neck muscles and align the neck part.
Conservative therapy includes such recreational activities:
- therapeutic exercises;
- classes in the pool;
- proper organization of the workplace and to sleep on a hard bed;
- the massage, therapy and chiropractic;
- electrical stimulation of the muscles;
- wearing a corset.
Compliance posture is recommended to start with proper sleep
Compliance posture is recommended to start with proper sleep. You need to change the mattress on the bed, on pillow or use a hard shield.
Outside of sleep you need to carefully observe your posture in everyday life, avoid provisions in which there is pressure on the cervical vertebrae, keep your head straight. The child should be transplanted on a chair that matches the height of the table.
The following paragraph is therapeutic exercise. The patient must learn a set of special exercises with cervical scoliosis and regularly to meet them. It is useful to combine physical education with swimming.
The doctor may also prescribe a firming therapeutic massage and electrical stimulation. This will help to improve support for the spine, activating the muscles.
Special attention should be paid to nutrition. If scoliosis is triggered by the softening of bones due to lack of mineral substances and trace elements, the increase in the intake of foods with a high content of calcium and phosphorus significantly slow down its development.
Last worth noting is the use of special orthopedic braces for the upper back and other supportive devices (including, for the neck in the event of a serious stage of deformation). They allow a person to straighten the neck, to ensure the fixation of the neck in the correct position and get a little massage effect.
But you should know what supportive devices lead to a weakening of muscles and decrease their physical activity, which is very bad when scoliotic disease of the neck. It is important to know that corsets and support the device can not be used without consultation of orthopedist, is a rather radical means of correction. To a greater extent this applies to rigid structures, which in addition to doctor’s appointments, also require compliance is essential (no more than a few hours a day), as the consequences can be intervertebral hernia.
Operative or surgical technique
Any surgery requires careful control over the condition of the patient and careful selection of methods by which the state of the spine will improve.Involved in the treatment only if conservative treatment does not give meaningful results. Most often indications to the surgical treatment appear in the last, fourth stage of scoliosis.
Surgical treatment has several options. Their choice depends on the type of pathology that need to be rectified:
- the limitation of the asymmetrical growth of the vertebrae (a resection on the convex side of part of the intervertebral disc impedes the progression of curvature);
- stabilization of the spinal deformity (spinal fusion or coalescence of several adjacent vertebrae with the purpose of their immobilization, the use of bone graft that allows to stop the movement of the vertebrae and to prevent the escalation of disease);
- correction of iskrivlennoi is a rigid frame, mounted directly on the deformed area;
- operations of a cosmetic nature do not eliminate the disease, but relieve some of its defects.
Have surgical treatments there is a lot of negative effects. In particular, in particularly complex cases, there can be complete immobility of the vertebrae, and as the most deplorable result, it is possible to allocate a threat to their complete fusion. Unfortunately, while reducing the patient becomes disabled and this is impossible to fix.
Therefore, surgical intervention is performed with caution and only under the condition that no other methods stop the deterioration. If the patient has not used all the chances to adjust their position without resorting to him, then the doctor should make every effort to resolve the problem in a conservative way.
Prevention of scoliosis the cervical should begin in early childhood. Therapeutic exercise and control of body positions, load distribution, course of specialized massage – will help to mitigate the negative effects of curvature, even if the child is predisposed to it. Particularly hard to combat a sedentary lifestyle, it can lead to weakening of muscles and the development of the disease.
The prevention of scoliosis should start with early childhood
The consequences of scoliosis
Scoliosis is a disease, the consequences of which are considerably stretched in time. This means that the complications can occur at any time. This should be considered and not to postpone visits to the podiatrist.
The most frequent complications of curvature:
- Problems with musculoskeletal disorders, stiff movements and muscle pain.
- Violation of blood circulation. Incorrect positioning of the spine in space can negatively affect blood vessels.
- Headaches. Is the most common symptom and complication of cervical scoliosis, reduces the patient’s quality of life.
Of course, it is best not to bring up the effects of curvature and time to turn to experts for treatment.
Cervical scoliosis is a very common disease of our time. Sedentary life, sleeping on a too soft surface, the absence of a positive stress on back muscles – this contributes to the emergence of diseases and disorders of the spine, and neck in particular. Cervical scoliosis would not only look ugly but also causes a lot of unpleasant man problems: headaches, dizziness, and sometimes hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in the brain. This is an exceptionally strong reason to prevent its development. Because the treatment will cost more and will take much more time than a warning.