Scoliosis — A Crooked Spine

Scoliosis deserves our attention even when it’s only a mild case.

Scoliosis is the term used for a “crooked” spine; a spine that curves laterally (to the side) when viewing the person from behind. The spine not only curves to the side but the vertebrae involved also rotate to varying degrees, creating a corkscrew like effect.

The shoulders may be uneven (one higher, one lower), or one rotated ahead of the other one. One hip may be higher, one may be rotated ahead of the other one. There may be some combination of the two. It all depends where along the spine the deformity is, and whether more than one area of the spine is affected by scoliosis.

Scoliosis can have a major impact on life quality.

The more pronounced the deformity, the more discomfort and/or pain manifests. Moreover, there may be difficulty standing or sitting upright, or laying in bed at night comfortably. The pain/discomfort may be caused by muscle fatigue and potential irritation of the intercostal nerves that run between and along the ribs.

Furthermore, the bending and rotation of the affected vertebrae may put pressure and/or traction on the spinal nerves exiting between these vertebrae, affecting the way they carry brain messages to the body and relay messages from the body to the brain.

Scoliosis in the upper thoracic (chest) area near the neck, or in the neck, may cause headaches, mental fogginess, and affect the mood.

Scoliosis distorts the chest cavity.

Little attention is given to the fact that the space inside the rib cage (thoracic cavity) and inside the abdomen (abdominal cavity) becomes distorted as scoliosis develops and progresses.

The thoracic cavity contains the heart, lungs, esophagus, aorta, vena cava, and thymus.  If the abnormal curvature of the spine is in the upper back area (thorax), the distorted space may affect lung and heart function, as well as swallowing, and the flow of blood into and out of the heart.

Scoliosis can also alter the space in the abdomen.

The abdominal cavity contains organs, such as the stomach, pancreas, spleen, liver, small and large intestines, the kidneys and ureters, the bladder, and the reproductive organs.

Abnormal curvature of the spine in the lower back area changes the size and shape of the abdominal cavity potentially resulting in impaired digestion along with bloating and/or flatulence, difficult and/or irregular bowel movements, increased menstrual pain, a difficult pregnancy and/or birth along with a slowed recovery from birth, and bladder issues, as well as perineal discomfort or pain.  The latter may interfere with a healthy and enjoyable sex life.

Connective tissue changes maintain or exasperate scoliosis.

Whatever the source of the scoliosis (trauma, poor posture, asymmetric activities, age related weakness and joint degeneration, neuromuscular condition or connective tissue disease), the curvature of the spine is held in place by the connective tissue (fascia, ligaments, tendons, ect.) that envelops the spine and muscles, as well as every cell, organ, or other body structure.

The connective tissue congeals (shrink wraps) around the deformity in an effort to shield the body from further damage, holding the spine hostage and preventing it from straightening itself out.

Energetic unwinding of the spine, joints & muscles, a blend of craniosacral therapy, acupressure, and soft tissue work, helps the body to release the tension and distortion in the connective tissue to free the spine and all other structures held hostage by it.  This therapy is unique, very gentle and non-invasive.

Until the next natural healing perspective blog…

To Your Health