Scoliosis is a spinal deformity characterized by lateral (side-to-side) curvature of the spine. As opposed to a normal spine, which appears straight when viewed from the front or back, the spine of a person with scoliosis resembles an S-shaped curve. The spine not only curves but also rotates. Although scoliosis affects people of all ages, the condition usually appears in children and between the ages of 10 and 15. Although boys and girls develop scoliosis with equal frequency, girls have a higher risk for developing progressive curvature that requires treatment. Some of the visual signs of scoliosis are uneven walk, unequal shoulder or hip height, or a rib cage that protrudes to the right or left when the person bends over. In most cases, the specific cause for the condition is unknown, but some of the known causes include congenital (birth) defects, neurologic disorders, and genetic conditions.
How NUCCA Treatment Can Help
The normal curves of the spine position the head over the pelvis and help to distribute the weight evenly during movement. In a person with scoliosis, the spine is grossly out of alignment with the head.
Management options must take into account the degree, location, and cause of the deformity, the age of the patient, and the needs and wishes of the patient and family. Scoliosis is a condition that can limit activity, cause pain, compromise heart and lung function, and lower self-esteem. Although the goal of treatment is to prevent progression and lessen the deformity, the NUCCA approach takes into account the whole person.
NUCCA has been found to be very effective in the treatment of scoliosis. By realigning the upper cervical spine and positioning the head directly over the pelvis, a reduction of the curvature of the spine can occur. Treatment of scoliosis in adult and postsurgical patients can be more difficult than patients recently diagnosed.
National Scoliosis Foundation Web site. Available at: http://www.scoliosis.org. Accessed February 7, 2005.
Neuwirth M, Osborn K. The Scoliosis Handbook. Henry Holt & Co.: New York , NY , 1996.
Scoliosis Research Society Web site. Available at: http://www.srs.org. Accessed February 13, 2005.
- National Scoliosis Foundation
Patient-led nonprofit organization helping children, parents, adults, and healthcare providers understand the complexities of spinal deformities such as scoliosis.
- Scoliosis Association, Inc.
International organization dedicated to providing support and information.
- Scoliosis Research Society
Nonprofit organization dedicated to the education, research, and treatment of spinal deformity.
- Scoliosis World
Clearinghouse for information about scoliosis.