Giving information about the disease, Sultanoğlu said: “Deformation of the spine bones that need to be aligned on the same line for any reason and curvature of the spine more than 10 degrees to the right or left is defined as scoliosis. Scoliosis is the name of a finding, not a disease, and can occur in many diseases. Scoliosis is not just a posture disorder. It is a complex three-dimensional bony and structural impairment that also affects the spine, shoulder girdle and pelvis, popularly known as the pelvis.
Noting that the cause of scoliosis is still unclear despite the studies, Assoc. Dr. Sultanoğlu stated that in 80 percent of cases the cause could not be determined precisely and it was called idiopathic (unknown cause) scoliosis. Sultanoğlu stated that muscle disease, cerebral palsy, short legs, trauma, joint and connective tissue problems are among the other causes of scoliosis. and scoliosis. There are many common assumptions about how scoliosis develops. Contrary to popular belief, carrying a heavy school bag or other heavy objects, carrying the bag on the same shoulder, poor sleeping or standing postures, and calcium deficiency do not cause scoliosis.
“3 in 100 children have scoliosis”
Noting that the incidence of scoliosis in society varies according to ethnic and geographical characteristics, Sultanoğlu said, “Genetic transmission has been shown to be effective in the results of scientific research on scoliosis. About 30 percent of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients have a family history of scoliosis. About 1 in 3 children whose parents have scoliosis will develop scoliosis. In our country, idiopathic scoliosis in adolescents is seen on average in 2-4% of healthy children. The results of studies conducted in Turkey show that 3 out of 100 children of growing age have scoliosis; showed that 95 percent of the identified children were unaware that they nor their families had scoliosis. In childhood, idiopathic scoliosis occurs in both girls and boys. The increase in curvature usually occurs during the growth period. The most common idiopathic scoliosis occurs in children aged 10-15 years, often at the onset of puberty. Scoliosis can also occur in adults, but this formation may be the result of another disease, infection, or injury.
Emphasizing that scoliosis does not cause health problems in its early days, Assoc. Dr Tuba Erdem Sultanoğlu pointed out that it can be easily overlooked due to its low and generally painless nature. Sultanoğlu stated that it is difficult for families to notice if they are not careful, saying: “Symptoms of scoliosis are visual features such as one shoulder being higher than the other, the hip shifting right/left or the hip high on the ground. one side, and inequality in the position of the shoulder blades. Even with the arms loosely to the side, there can be more space between the arm and the body on one side. The head may not be fully centered on the pelvis. The waist can be flattened on one side; skin wrinkles may appear on one side of the waist. More weight is given to one side when walking and standing. Bending forward can result in a bulge in the back caused by the ribs. What families should do regularly is bend over with the child’s back bare, feet together, knees straight, and visually examine whether the spine is in a straight line. In this way, at the end of the checkup, if there is scoliosis, a protruding height on the right or left of the back or in the waist area will be noticeable.
“Children with puberty symptoms should be more careful”
Emphasizing that when scoliosis is suspected, it is important to consult a doctor without wasting time to prevent the progression of the disease. Particular attention should be paid to children with signs of puberty. In progressive and untreated cases, it can be associated with major health problems such as acute/chronic back and low back pain, heart and lung problems, functional limitations, depression due to cosmetic deformities, social and psychological problems and deterioration in quality of life. For these reasons, our patients and their families should not fear scoliosis; but he should be afraid of being late.
A member of the faculty of the University of Düzce stated that scoliosis is an important public health problem and noted that if scoliosis is detected early, its treatment is possible and easy for physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists. Providing information on the diagnosis of the disease, Assoc. Dr. Sultanoğlu said: “As doctors, we observe the spine naked from the front and back in suspected cases. When the patient is examined from behind and leans forward until the spine is horizontal, one side of the back may appear higher than the other. This test, called the Adams test, is a very sensitive test for scoliosis and is the most common screening test for scoliosis. Are the skin folds symmetrical and the same size? It should be checked whether the distances from the elbow and forearm to the body are equal, whether the pelvic bone remains the same, whether one side is forward and the other side is backward. When scoliosis is suspected during the examination, the diagnosis is confirmed by radiological examination of the spine X-rays. The location, extent, and direction of scoliosis are determined by x-rays of the back and sides, including the entire spine from the neck to the pelvis. The cause of scoliosis can occur due to numerical deficiencies or bony problems in the vertebrae such as semi vertebrae, combined vertebrae, attached ribs. Therefore, it is necessary to have the spine X-rays examined in detail by the treating specialist. Rarely, further radiologic studies of the spine, such as magnetic resonance imaging, are performed to distinguish other causes. The scoliosis angle is important in follow-up and treatment results are evaluated by changes in this angle.
“Scoliosis causes different effects in every person”
Assoc. underlines that idiopathic scoliosis is not a self-correcting condition. Dr. Sultanoğlu said: “Many children have mild scoliosis that does not require treatment. In such cases, children continue to grow, but these curvatures never go away. With regular exercise, this tendency can be stopped or even corrected. The natural course of scoliosis cannot be accurately predicted. An increase of 5 degrees or more on two consecutive exams indicates greater curvature. Although some factors such as age, sex and maturity are known to influence this increase, it is not known exactly at what rate progression will occur, how long it will last and at what stage it will stop. In the treatment of scoliosis, an exercise program is planned that is specific to the person and curvature. Because scoliosis causes different effects in each person. Postural exercises, flexibility, stretching exercises, strengthening exercises and breathing exercises aim to correct posture, increase flexibility, protect respiratory functions and regulate muscle tone.
It does not prevent you from exercising!
Sultanoğlu stated that scoliosis does not prevent sports and said: “The best example of this is world record holder athlete Usain Bolt, who has scoliosis. There is insufficient scientific evidence about the positive effect of sports such as swimming, gymnastics, Pilates and yoga on scoliosis. Depending on the age of the person with scoliosis, the type, location and degree of curvature, we may recommend these sports to our patients to increase and maintain spinal mobility. However, it should be remembered that these sports cannot replace regular exercise for therapeutic purposes and if there is scoliosis, support from health professionals is required.
“Let’s recognize and realize scoliosis early”‘
Sharing the knowledge that June has been declared the “Scoliosis Awareness Month” under the slogan “Let’s Recognize Scoliosis Early” around the world, Sultanoğlu said, “If parents and teachers can have information about scoliosis; The sooner we health professionals can detect scoliosis, the more effectively and quickly we can treat it. Early diagnosis of scoliosis allows us to prevent the disease with conservative treatments such as exercise or corsetry. The goal of treatment is to prevent progression of the curvature and/or reverse it at an optimal angle, and to provide aesthetic and postural correction, especially in adolescence, with early diagnosis. Not every diagnosed scoliosis patient needs surgery. In more advanced cases where exercise or corset treatment will not be sufficient, surgical intervention may be considered. Therefore, if we can treat narrow-angle scoliosis with corsets and exercise without delay, our patients’ surgeries will decrease.
“Knowing families about scoliosis will raise awareness”
“Scoliosis is a condition that is most common in childhood and can progress quickly.” said Assoc. Dr. Tuba Erdem Sultanoğlu: “The most important thing about scoliosis is early diagnosis and effective treatment. That’s why I recommend that families regularly check their children’s spines between the ages of 10 and 16 and consult a doctor immediately if in doubt. Families’ knowledge of scoliosis and sharing this information with other parents will increase awareness of this problem. Early diagnosis increases treatment success and the individual’s quality of life.”