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Cause of Scoliosis Most Overlooked

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Cause of Scoliosis Most Overlooked

The term scoliosis usually conjures up images of horrific spinal pain and difficulty standing up straight. But what is scoliosis really and what causes it?  Scoliosis refers to the lateral curvatures that can be present along the spinal column. Some scolioses are caused by congenital abnormalities in bone growth but with the majority of cases of scoliosis, the cause is listed as unknown. Most people recognize that cases of scoliosis involve a breakdown in the musculoskeletal system leading to abnormal curvatures in the spine. What is often misunderstood is the actual cause of that breakdown.

Accidents or injuries to the spine can be the culprit. More specifically birth trauma is a common, often overlooked initial injury to the spine which can set the stage for scoliosis. With an increase in utilization of interventions like vacuum suction, forceps, and C-sections, increased stress is placed on infant necks during the birthing process. Trauma damages the soft tissue that normally holds the spine in the proper alignment. This damage causes a global shift in the alignment of the spine known as an atlas subluxation complex.  When this atlas subluxation complex occurs it creates postural imbalances throughout the entire body. Shoulders, legs, and hips become unlevel leading to compensations throughout the spine. The body starts to also make changes in order to stabilize the spine and protect the brain and spinal cord. If the subluxation is not corrected, these changes can further progress into arthritis aka degenerative disc disease. This can put irritation on the nerves that the spine is designed to normally protect, causing the pain in the back, neck, and head often associated with scoliosis.

When the initial trauma occurs during birth, the body has to try to grow and develop while also making those changes to protect itself – two processes that normally should not have to compete. So when the spine makes compensation to fight gravity and the bones are growing/developing at the same time, the compensations can progress into the larger lateral curvatures of scoliosis. This is why it is vital to have all infants checked for subluxation especially following difficult or traumatic births. Upper Cervical Chiropractors are trained to specifically detect the atlas subluxation complex even in infants. Once detected, a specific and gentle adjustment can be performed to remove the subluxation. As the subluxation is corrected, the spine no longer has to compensate and the proper alignment is restored. This prevents lateral curvatures from developing and can reduce ones already present. The sooner the alignment is corrected, the less likely that severe scoliosis will develop.


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Lauren Dodds, D.C.
Lauren Dodds, D.C.
Dr. Lauren Dodds is a NUCCA chiropractor and owner at the Upper Cervical Chiropractic Group in Alexandria, VA. She gets to practice with her husband and business partner, Dr. Jake. Lauren has been working towards living and promoting the chiropractic lifestyle since a sports injury as a high school freshman left her sidelined from life. While trying to get healthy again, she has experienced many health care approaches and techniques. But since receiving upper cervical chiropractic care herself and realizing the potential of true health, she has been dedicated to providing a better health care to her community in the form of NUCCA chiropractic. When not taking care of people, Lauren enjoys cooking and baking, exploring new places in the DMV, and relaxing by the water with a good book. Connect with her and the Upper Cervical Chiropractic Group by using the social buttons below!
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