The curvature of the spine is normal - in fact, your spine would not be aligned if there were no s-shaped curve moving from the base of the skull to the hips. The spine's curvature allows up to have good posture and bear weight properly, preventing muscle strain and chronic pain conditions.
Sometimes, though, the curvature of the can become a problem, as in the case of scoliosis. The healthy curvature of the spine is only visible from the side, but in patients with scoliosis, the curve is visible from the front or back.
The disorder's origin can be traced to neuromuscular problems or abnormalities in a small number of cases, but most people have idiopathic scoliosis, meaning the cause is not determined. Since the origin of the condition is unknown, it can be problematic to treat the symptoms, which vary from observable physical manifestations (visible curvature of the spine to the side of the head and neck being tilted to one side) to shortness of breath and chest pain. Because the spine's alignment can determine the functioning of the heart and lungs, these issues can be especially problematic, but do not often result in the patients having a great deal of pain.
Neck Pain Caused by Scoliosis and Spinal Misalignment
There are three main symptoms of neck pain: loss of mobility, stiffness, and spasms or tightness in the muscles. Apart from identifiable causes related to a disease such as arthritis, neck pain has three main causes:
- Injuries, such as a car accident or other severe strain
- Muscle strain, from one-time injury or overuse, particularly with positions rough on good postures, such as overuse of the computer or phone
- Nerve compression due to vertebral issues like herniated discs pushing on nerves
While some people who have scoliosis do not develop severe pain, some do, and it is related to both the vertebrae and the muscles involved with good posture. If the curvature of the spine is abnormal enough, it can restrict the neck's mobility, forcing the patient to hold the head in a position that can ultimately cause muscle strain. Additionally, in some cases, the alignment issues due to the curve can cause either overcompensation of the neck muscles or enough of an abnormality that there is compression of nerves. In this way, scoliosis and neck pain have much in common: they are often related to muscle strain or nerve compression problems.
Luckily, for most curvatures due to scoliosis, treatment is available and can impact both the curvature and provide relief to the pain symptoms by addressing the causes. Our doctors can address moderate scoliosis and the accompanying pain without invasive surgery using specialized rehabilitation equipment, exercise protocols, and other adjustments.
Relieving the muscle strain and restoring proper alignment can address many health issues and improve a patient's quality of life, bringing freedom from restricted movement and pain associated with scoliosis and neck pain. Simply taking medicine to block the pain only addresses the symptoms, but adjustments and rehabilitation exercises address the cause.
To learn more about the treatments we have available for scoliosis and neck pain, call our office today to schedule a free evaluation.