4 Overlooked Scoliosis Relief Tips
Scoliosis is the term used to describe an abnormal curvature of the spine. It occurs most frequently in children and teens. Scoliosis is an idiopathic condition, meaning that there is no precise reason as to why it occurs. While in a majority of cases treatment is not needed, scoliosis can cause back and neck discomfort as well as aches and pain throughout the course of the sufferer’s life. There are several different avenues for scoliosis pain relief, but here is a list of several overlooked pain relief tips.
Yoga, Pilates, and Other Core and Flexibility Programs
Yoga and Pilates focus on breathing, balance, strength and posture. Those with scoliosis often feel “imbalanced” due to their spine curvature and experience tight or tense muscles. With yoga and Pilates, the goal is to create structural alignment and balance by stretching and strengthening muscles in specific poses. Individuals with scoliosis who have practiced yoga or Pilates have noted better posture, sense of balance, and less pain.
A skilled physical therapist can show you ways to work on spinal balance, keep your joints limber and strengthen your core muscle groups. As your posture improves, you are likely to notice some pain relief. Working on your core muscles also helps support your lower back and spine. If you go the physical therapy route, try to go through your routine every day. A little soreness at the beginning is normal, but if you suffer severe pain while exercising, stop immediately and consult with your physician.
Nerve Blocks and Prolotherapy Injections
When restorative and exercise therapies fail to control spinal pain, doctors need to look into further treatments. Nerve blocks and Prolotherapy injections are two examples that can provide quite a bit of relief.
With nerve blocks numbing medicine is used to block, or quite down, pain receptors that communicate with the brain. These anesthetic injections may also be accompanied by steroids to reduce inflammation. These injections can be quite effective and provide long lasting relief, especially if there is associated nerve irritation.
Unlike nerve blocks, prolotherapy injections are intended to relieve pain by regenerating tissue. This can be especially important for scoliosis patients as the abnormal curvature of the spine makes the supporting structures that help hold it together more susceptible to wear and tear. For example, ligaments are like thick packaging tape that connect bone to bone. Prolotherapy injections jump start your body’s wound healing cascade to grow, or proliferate, more ligament.
It is amazing how a few simple changes can treat pain so effectively. If you’re overweight, for instance, dropping just a few pounds can take pressure off your back. Adequate nutrition and maintaining a healthier diet is also beneficial for your spine and supporting structures. For instance, avoiding sugar, chemical additives, and eating naturally occurring anti-inflammatory substances like ginger and tumeric can help ease the inflammation in your back. Try incorporating more whole foods such as raw fruits and vegetables into your diet as whole foods provide the best source of spinal nutrition.
Another overlooked lifestyle is to eliminate smoking. Researchers have found over and over again that smokers tend to experience more spinal pain than non-smokers. Why add to your burden? Just don’t smoke.
While not everyone with scoliosis experiences back pain or discomfort, many do. Rather than relying on narcotics and opiates to cover up pain, there are plenty of other safe and effective methods that can ease spinal discomfort. Measures like restorative therapy, structured exercise, nerve blocks, prolotherapy, and making healthy lifestyle changes can help you feel better and treat your pain when you need it most.
For more information on pain relief for scoliosis, or to book a consultation with Dr. Schwartz, please call 864-235-1834.