Scoliosis in adolescents and teens can be corrected with proper bracing, adjustments and lead a normal life. For adult scoliosis correcting the problem is more difficult. Fortunately, cases of adult scoliosis are rare. Scoliosis cases that follow from childhood into adulthood require a comprehensive diagnosis to determine severity. Thoracolumbar scoliosis adult-onset scoliosis requires an understanding of the catalysts to develop an effective treatment plan. Chiropractors use a full range of diagnostic tools to measure the severity of adult scoliosis.
Adult scoliosis is the presentation of abnormal curvature of the spine. It can happen in the thoracic, lumbar spine, or both. This can have varying degrees of severity. Severe adult scoliosis can be apparent through visual assessment and examination. Cases that are not as obvious require utilizing diagnostic tools. These include:
X-rays will show any asymmetry that is associated with scoliosis. This asymmetry can be present in the hips or shoulder and is usually qualified by spinal misalignment.
Walking Gait Examination
Inspecting how worn out an individual’s shoe/s are and having them perform various walking tests can reveal problems with gait. In adults, this can present instability. For example, having problems with balance or fast-twitch muscle response.
These exams are general and first performed to get a baseline diagnosis for the presence of adult scoliosis. Tests look at the left and right coordination along with the sense of touch capabilities. This measures the severity of the improper spinal curvature and how much it has affected the development of an individual’s motor functions. It is also done in the context of how it’s affecting the body’s biomechanics. Following these exams are quantitative tools/techniques for measuring the severity of adult thoracolumbar scoliosis. These include:
Cobb Angle Measurement
This tool determines the maximum degree of spinal curvature variation and provides a context for severity.
King Classification Tool
This examines the vertebral alignment to determine the spinal variance in specific vertebrae from the neutral center position.
Lenke Classification Tool
This spinal exam relies on measurements of three positions and looks for flexibility.
When assessing adult scoliosis, this is important to understand and helps determine how to proceed with treatment. The body is no longer in development as an adolescent. This means bracing does not come with a one-size-fits-all approach. Chiropractic can help with the assessment modalities used to investigate adult scoliosis cases. These measurement and analyses tools are often used in combination to develop a complete picture of what is going on.
Fill Up With Prebiotics
Individuals can help their gut bacteria thrive in the digestive tract by consuming prebiotics. Prebiotics are a form of soluble fiber. The body cannot digest these prebiotics, but gut bacteria can. Recommended sources of fiber-rich prebiotics can be found in nutrient-dense foods like:
- Raw chicory
A diet with various fiber types has been shown to reduce the risk of obesity and prevent weight gain. Resistant starches like plantains, green bananas, and cooled potatoes have increased beneficial bacteria in the colon. Barley, oats, and wheat bran are insoluble high-fiber grains that are also recommended sources.
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Haenen, Daniëlle et al. “A diet high in resistant starch modulates microbiota composition, SCFA concentrations, and gene expression in pig intestine.” The Journal of nutrition vol. 143,3 (2013): 274-83. doi:10.3945/jn.112.169672
Lowe, Thomas et al. “The SRS classification for adult spinal deformity: building on the King/Moe and Lenke classification systems.” Spine vol. 31,19 Suppl (2006): S119-25. doi:10.1097/01.brs.0000232709.48446.be