Scoliosis Prevention Methods
Although physicians haven’t identified any proven methods for scoliosis prevention, people can take several proactive steps to help guard against degenerative conditions involving the spine so that they can attempt to avoid developing scoliosis later in life. Because most cases of scoliosis — especially those that develop in adults — occur without a known cause, it can be difficult to pinpoint ways to avoid the condition altogether. However, the following suggestions can help improve a person’s overall spinal health, reducing their likelihood of developing degenerative scoliosis.
Maintaining a healthy weight, getting proper nutrition and exercising
When a person is overweight, his or her spine is more likely to sustain a higher level of damage than it would if he or she was at a healthy weight. Staying within an ideal weight range isn’t a proven method of degenerative scoliosis prevention, but it does help reduce the stress placed on the spine every day.
Regular exercise is also important. Strong neck and back muscles don’t guarantee the prevention of scoliosis in adulthood, however, strengthening and stretching exercises do provide better support for the spine, and they can also help minimize pain caused by certain degenerative spine conditions.
Finally, another lifestyle habit that can help prevent degenerative scoliosis is consuming a healthy diet with nutrients that maintain optimum bone health. This is because degenerative scoliosis can be related to osteoporosis, which is a condition that causes the bones to become brittle and weak. Consuming adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D — and as stated above, getting regular exercise — are all essential for maintaining bone health and possibly preventing adult-onset scoliosis.
Choosing low-impact activities over contact sports
Physical activity can help improve a person’s overall health, but high-impact sports such as football, hockey, gymnastics and wrestling can be detrimental in the long run. Traumatic injuries leading to spinal damage are not uncommon among athletes who participate in sports such as these, due to the highly physical nature of the activities.
Sometimes, despite a person’s attempts at degenerative scoliosis prevention, the condition still develops. If it does, a brace might help slow down the progression of the curvature, but it won’t fully prevent it from getting worse. A patient’s physician will be able to assess his or her condition and recommend the best treatment options based on the degree of the curve and the symptoms it is causing. Some patients may benefit from medications and physical therapy, while others with more severe scoliosis might eventually require surgery.
If you’ve been diagnosed with scoliosis and are considering your surgical options, Laser Spine Institute can help you determine if one of our minimally invasive procedures would be right for you. For more information about the prevention and treatment of degenerative scoliosis, contact Laser Spine Institute today.