Will I be able to reduce/eliminate my "moderate-to-severe" scoliosis by inversion therapy alone?
I own a Teeter Hangups inversion table which I've used to "cure" lower back pain I caused myself after attempting to lift a heavy jack out of the trunk of my car by myself. Thankfully -- well, amazingly, really -- the table eliminated the pain I had in only a few days. That was a few years ago. I went to a chiropractor recently for an xray and discovered a have 'moderate-to-severe' scoliosis according to my chiropractor. I've never noticed myself physically appearing lopsided, however friends do notice the sideways curvature in my spine when I bend forward. I also do notice slight imbalance when lifting, or doing upper body work.
So how can I treat my spine? Inversion Therapy alone? Should I just hang? Do stretches while I hang? Do i need to do something else? Swimming?
I'm a programmer, so the constant sitting all day doesn't help my condition at all.
Thanks in advance!
First, be sure you see a spine specialist, either neurosurgeon or an orthopedic surgeon. I don't trust chiropractors. I had my back manipulated once or twice, it always hurt worse after they were done with it. As a nurse, I've also cared for a few patients who required surgery after seeing a chiropractor because the chiropractor actually caused nerve damage.
Next, how old are you and what is the size of your curve? There are three main categories of treatment: observation, bracing, and surgery.
If the curve stays below 40 degrees and you're finished growing, it is not likely to get worse later. However, if the curve is greater than 40 degrees, it is likely to continue to get worse by 1-2 degrees each year. If this is not prevented, the you'll eventually be at risk for heart or lung problems.
In most cases, scoliosis is not painful. There are other causes of back pain, which your doctor will want to look for as well.
Talk with your spine specialist. He/she can send you for a PT evaluation if indicated. You can be placed on a PT program to strengthen your core muscles. Phase 1: education, posture, and flexibility to decrease pain. Phase 2: strength and fitness activities.
Additionally, massage and exercises, including yoga, can help strengthen core muscles and relieve back pain. You can also talk to your physician about a referral to pain clinic.
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