When my mother underwent chemotherapy, we spent a lot of time visiting the phlebotomy lab for blood testing. I was always impressed by how easily the phlebotomist was able to find and puncture a vein to draw blood on the first try. I knew there had to be a method to it, and was astounded by how effortless and painless they made the process. It led me to research a lot about blood tests, from drawing to the actual screening. I've created this site to share what I've learned in the hopes of teaching others. The more you understand, the more control you can have over your own health care.
Characterized by an abnormal curvature of the spine, scoliosis can wreak havoc on a person's life. Not only does this abnormal curvature affect a person's ability to walk and move easily, but it can also affect their appearance and self-esteem. Fortunately, help is available if you or a loved one is living with scoliosis. Of course, proper understanding of this disorder is smart. This guide will help you learn the truth about a few common scoliosis myths.
Myth: Scoliosis Is Rare
One common myth most people believe is that scoliosis is a rare disorder. In reality, the disorder is actually quite common. Recent reports have shown 2 to 3 percent of the population, which equals about 6 to 9 million people in the United States, are affected by scoliosis. As this is actually more common than you may have thought, you, an immediate family member, another loved one, or a friend may have scoliosis.
Myth: Backpacks Cause Scoliosis
Another myth about scoliosis is regarding its causes. Many people believe wearing heavy backpacks, which place enormous amounts of stress on the shoulder and back, cause scoliosis, especially since most people diagnosed with the disorder are school-aged children. Although it can cause back pain and poor posture, wearing heavy backpacks does not cause scoliosis.
Determining the exact cause of a patient's scoliosis can be difficult. Many doctors believe the abnormal curvature of the spine stems from a birth defect or a neuromuscular disorder, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. An injury to the spine/back may also lead to scoliosis.
Myth: Surgery Is the Only Treatment
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with scoliosis, you may be wondering what is best in terms of treatment. There are surgical procedures that can straighten the spine. These surgeries are most likely effective, but many people fear about their invasive nature. Thankfully, there are other treatment options available. Spinal manipulation or bracing can be effective options for improving posture and preventing further changes to your spine.
For children who are still growing, surgery is not the best solution. Braces will be recommended to these younger patients. Close-fitting braces can be worn under the clothes so they do not limit your normal activities. Although they do not cure scoliosis, braces can prevent further movement, ensuring the spine does not curve any more.
Physical therapy may be used, as well, if the curvature of your spine is affecting your ability to move comfortably.
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