The spine supports the body and determines body posture. In normal people, the spine is straight, running from the top of the neck down to the lower back. However, some people have a spine curved sideways, known as scoliosis. This is a condition that presents with an uneven posture. One-shoulder blade and hip appear higher than the other. The shoulders and waistline generally appear uneven.
Pain is common for adult-onset scoliosis. This is because the curvature puts pressure on the spinal discs and the nerves they house. Since scoliosis has no cure, you can take some measures to avoid the progression of the condition.
1. Attend all therapy sessions
Several therapies can manage scoliosis; chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage therapy. You can opt for one or a combination of either of the therapies. Each of them is known to improve the quality of life of scoliosis patients in different ways. Chiropractic therapy aims at adjusting and manipulating the alignment of the spine.
Acupuncture therapy relies on pressure points on the body to induce endorphin release that relieves scoliosis pain. Massage therapy stretches the spine to increase its blood circulation and flexibility. All these therapies need several sessions a week for effective management of the condition.
2. Get comfortable furniture
The furniture around your house can contribute to worsening or lessening of symptoms. Your bed and chairs should provide maximum comfort and support for your back. Get a recliner chair because it puts little stress on your spine compared to ordinary right-angled chairs. The firmness of your mattress also matters; get a medium-firm mattress if you do not have one. This relieves pressure on the spine and supports the alignment of the spine.
3. Get a bracing
Your seating and sleeping positions are important when managing scoliosis. Avoid a slouching posture that can worsen the condition. Since keeping an upright posture when you have scoliosis can be challenging, a brace can help you maintain the right posture. The brace is worn on top of the clothes either full time or at night only. Depending on the type of brace you get, it can also reduce the progression of the condition by gently applying pressure on the spine.
4. Wear comfortable shoes
Scoliosis limits activities like jogging and walking. This is because these activities compress your backbone, aggravating the condition. You should generally avoid shoes or sneakers with a high heel.
Also, avoid completely flat shoes. The best shoes for scoliosis should preferably have a one and a half inches heel. Such shoes adequately support the arch and provide cushioning. Additionally, buy shoes an inch larger than your feet’s size to avoid scrunching the toes and ensure maximum comfort.
5. Add scoliosis exercises to your routine
You can adopt plenty of scoliosis exercises to relieve symptoms of scoliosis and avoid worsening of the condition. Upward and downward dog and slip stance or step down with one-arm spread are some of the best scoliosis exercises.
However, these are meant for people with mild scoliosis. The severity of your scoliosis determines the types of activities you can engage in. This is because some exercises put too much pressure on your spine.
6. Take pain medications
Scoliosis pain is chronic and can be unbearable without medications. Some medications that can provide pain relief include ibuprofen and acetaminophen. You may need to take the medications for a long time since the condition cannot be permanently cured. Therefore, settle for medications that are safe for your health.
Although every medication has some side effects, a medication like ibuprofen is bad for people with peptic ulcers. This is because it worsens the condition by further irritating the stomach lining.
7. Consider surgery
Surgery is the last resort to managing scoliosis pain when other methods fail. One (Phoenix) spinal fusion surgery is effective in relieving scoliosis pain is anterior lumbar interbody fusion. It is minimally invasive since the surgeon makes a small cut on your front body to access the spine while the back muscles remain intact.
The surgeon then removes any damaged disc and replaces it with an implant to align the spine’s curvature and fill the removed disc space. This surgery is an excellent management option for scoliosis, but you need to consult a surgeon on whether you are eligible for the surgery.
With the above seven tips, people with scoliosis can comfortably live with the condition. The tips help manage the condition to avoid progression. You should also get regular spine examinations to monitor for any changes in the spine’s curvature. An increase in the curvature implies that you are not managing the condition properly.