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The scoop on scoliosis


 
Have you ever had to go to the doctor and bend over while a nurse runs her fingers down your spine? She’s looking to see if you’re developing a curvature of the spine, or scoliosis.

 

What is scoliosis?

Your spine is supposed to gently curve straight down the back, but sometimes it curves from side to side, making it difficult to balance or move properly. While no one knows for sure what causes one girl to get scoliosis and another girl to be A-OK, it’s a fairly common condition.

 

While a small curve isn’t cause for concern, a more defined “S” or “C” curve in your spine could probably use correction.

 

What can be done to treat it?

If your physician thinks you might need treatment for a curved spine, he’ll probably refer you to a doctor called an orthopedist. Orthopedists specialize in the skeletal system. Minor curves might just need to be watched to make sure they don’t become a problem. Your doc will probably take X-rays to keep track of it. If the curve is more pronounced, you might need a back brace or series of braces to help straighten your spine, or surgery.

 

According to kidshealth.org, 1 in 5 teens with scoliosis require a back brace to treat their condition

 

Do I have to have surgery?
Only your doctor can tell you if you need surgery or treatment for your scoliosis. If you know you have a curve in your backbone and you think it’s getting worse, make an appointment with your doctor so you can get it checked out. But don’t worry, babe. Scoliosis is a very common ailment, and while it can be super uncomfortable sometimes, chances are you’ll be just fine.
 
 

BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 6/26/2011 8:00:00 AM

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