Scoliosis

Ventura Family Chiropractic

Adam McKillican, DC

Chiropractic located in Ventura, CA

Scoliosis — an abnormal sideways spinal curvature — can be concerning for parents and children alike. Reliable care for scoliosis is available from Adam McKillican, DC, at Ventura Family Chiropractic. Located in Ventura, California, Dr. McKillican has been caring for adults and children for 20 years and provides gentle, effective care for all levels of scoliosis. To schedule a consultation, call the office or use the online tool now.

Scoliosis Q & A

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine, often seen in children and adolescents. In some cases, primary care doctors, pediatricians, and schools screen children for scoliosis around age 10.

While scoliosis may present severe symptoms related to the heart and lungs in extreme cases, it is generally a mild condition that causes general muscle and joint discomfort. If left untreated, some cases of scoliosis may worsen over time.

If you suspect you or your child have scoliosis, visit Ventura Family Chiropractic for a spine screening.

What causes scoliosis?

There are two categories of scoliosis, cases with a known cause and those without a known cause — called idiopathic scoliosis. Idiopathic scoliosis occurs in 80-85% of cases and may appear as early as age 2 or 3, but it’s typically not noticed until about age 10. Idiopathic scoliosis is typically mild, though it can progress without treatment.

Of the known causes of scoliosis, there are two types:

Congenital scoliosis

Congenital scoliosis is present from birth. It’s often the result of bony abnormalities in the spine, including vertebrae that didn’t form fully — called hemivertebrae. It may be associated with other issues related to the heart and kidneys.

Neuromuscular scoliosis

Neuromuscular scoliosis is the result of any medical condition that affects the nerves and muscles. Common conditions that cause neuromuscular scoliosis include cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and spinal cord injuries.

Dr. McKillican can determine the cause of your scoliosis based on an exam and X-rays, if needed.

How is scoliosis diagnosed?

Scoliosis is diagnosed based on a combination of factors found in your physical exam and on your X-rays. Dr. McKillican begins by taking a family medical history — as some cases of scoliosis may run in families. He’ll then perform a physical exam to analyze the curvature of your spine. You may need to wear a gown that opens at the back so Dr. McKillican can see your spine more closely.

During the exam, you bend toward your toes and rotate and bend side to side. If Dr. McKillican suspects scoliosis, he may also order an X-ray to measure the curvature of your spine. Generally, scoliosis is diagnosed when the curvature is over 10 degrees.

In some cases, it’s also possible to identify hemivertebrae or other abnormalities on X-rays. With this information, Dr. McKillican diagnoses scoliosis and determines an appropriate course of treatment.

How is scoliosis treated?

Depending on the severity of your scoliosis, your treatment may include chiropractic care, stretches, or exercises to address the curvature and maintain your range of motion. Chiropractic care can help stabilize your spine and prevent an increase in curvature, especially when combined with at-home exercises.

In severe cases or those over 30 degrees, Dr. McKillican refers you to an orthopedic specialist for additional care.

Schedule a visit to Ventura Family Chiropractic today by phone or use the online tool.