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January 15, 2020

Our Guide to Hyperkyphosis – 3 Ways It Affects You & How It Is Treated

If you, or anyone else you see, are dealing with a hunched, slouched, or stooped back, you are most likely experiencing hyperkyphosis. Hyperkyphosis, also known as kyphosis, is the curving of the spine, causing you to look like that. While it is typically common in older folks, know that young people can also be affected by this condition. 

That said, you may be wondering if hyperkyphosis can cause actual harm to the body other than just being something that’s aesthetically unpleasing. Unfortunately, hyperkyphosis can actually harm many aspects of your body. 

In this article, we’ll talk about three ways hyperkyphosis affects you and how it is treated.

Effects of Hyperkyphosis

While there are many effects of hyperkyphosis, here are three basic ones you can experience: 

1. Your breathing becomes weakened

Over time, hyperkyphosis will get worse if left untreated. There will also be an increase in difficulty in breathing, which is it warps and changes some parts of your skeleton. One of these parts that can easily be affected is the rib. When the rib warps, it leaves less space for the lungs to expand, meaning that you will have a harder time trying to get enough oxygen throughout the body. 

2. Your internal organs become inefficient

Another aspect of your body hyperkyphosis can have a detrimental effect on is your digestive system. If you’re dealing with hyperkyphosis, these organs can be squashed together, hampering the food’s ability to move through your system. In other words, hyperkyphosis can cause you to digest inefficiently. It can even cause you to experience acid reflux, also known as heartburn. It is when your stomach acid travels back up your food pipe, causing that burning sensation. 

3. Your bodily functions become impaired

Hyperkyphosis can also cause the nerves of your spine to compress, which can lead to several problems in your body. For example, you can start experiencing persistent aches, weakness in certain parts of the body, and even loss of bladder control. Fortunately, these symptoms will only occur in severe cases of hyperkyphosis. Although you are experiencing it moderately, it is best that you do not leave it untreated to stop it from becoming worse. 

Treating Hyperkyphosis

1. Pain medication

In treating hyperkyphosis, pain management is a central part of it. Because of this, you will have to take painkillers to relieve your body of any aches and pains that are caused by the curved spine. In cases when standard painkillers aren’t enough, you might be prescribed with other stronger alternatives. 

2. Bracing

Bracing is usually done while your body is growing. If you’re under 16 years old and are experiencing hyperkyphosis, bracing helps by ensuring that the curve doesn’t worsen. In most cases, the brace will be worn until the spine stops growing.

3. Surgery

If your spine’s curvature hampers your daily activities, you might have to opt for surgery (spinal fusion). As the name suggests, spinal fusion involves fusing the vertebrae to counteract the curve of the spine. Know that the whole operation can take up to eight hours, and a back brace will have to be worn post-surgery to allow the spine to heal. 

If you’re experiencing this unfortunate disease, it is highly recommended that you act immediately. Keep in mind that any delay will only leave you worse, and, in some cases, might even cause you to opt for more expensive treatments because of the worsened condition of your body and spine. 

If you’re looking for a scoliosis chiropractor in NYC, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

January 8, 2020

3 Exercises You Can Utilize to Help Address Scoliosis – What to Know

Scoliosis, the curving of the spine, can cause a myriad of problems to anyone that has it. From pain to discomfort, these issues can be a cause of trouble trying to get through the day. Even so, there are various methods that can help a person deal with scoliosis.

Scoliosis exercise is one of the best ways to help relieve any pain and discomfort the individual is experiencing. These kinds of exercises aim to stretch the spinal muscles and improve flexibility to ease the spine from any pressure. In other words, exercising can address pain and discomfort due to scoliosis.

With that said, here are three exercises you can utilize to help address scoliosis:

1. Yoga

Many people have been hooked to yoga for various health reasons. Some yoga practitioners use it to care for scoliosis. They do so by modifying certain poses and stretches to realign and stretch the spine, as well as fix posture. 

It is also vital that anyone participating in yoga to alleviate scoliosis take up exercises that help strengthen the leg and abdomen to relieve pain and discomfort. In doing so, the task of realigning the spine and reducing the curvature becomes much more comfortable and painless.

2. Swimming

Swimming is one of the most common methods of exercising when it comes to scoliosis treatment. That’s because while swimming, the waters in the pool take a lot of pressure away from the spine. It also helps change the center of gravity experienced by the individual, helping to relieve muscle tension along with tightness almost instantaneously.

When it comes to swimming in the body of water, this exercise will only be effective if the person can do so with proper form. Otherwise, the issue of scoliosis can become more apparent. For those who aren’t confident in their ability to swim in the right form, let alone swim, simple water aerobics can prove beneficial.

3. Stretches

Simple stretching exercises can all work in reducing the pain and discomfort one experiences when dealing with scoliosis. It helps add to the flexibility, reduces the tension in the muscles, and, as an added benefit, isn’t hard to do.

While participating in different stretching exercises, it is also vital that one always ensures that there is minimal rotation in the posterior. Only that way can the spine begin to align and balance properly. Exercises such as the chair twist also help in realigning the spine. 

To do the chair twist, sit on the chair with feet planted on the floor. With the ankles and knees together, place the hands behind the chair and breathe in slowly to stretch the spine. While slowly breathing out, rotate the trunk, pulling on the chair to rotate further. Hold this position for several inhales and exhales before repeating with the other turn.

By doing such a routine like the above one several times each day, the pain experienced from scoliosis can be relieved.

There are plenty of exercises to help alleviate any pain and discomfort experienced due to scoliosis. However, keep in mind that these stretches and exercises should not be considered a treatment. Instead, it should be thought of as a therapy added in conjunction with conventional medical treatments.

If you are looking for a scoliosis chiropractor in NYC, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

December 25, 2019

The Benefits of Swimming for People with Scoliosis – What to Know

Scoliosis is a kind of medical condition wherein a person’s spine curves sideways either in a C-shape or S-shape. About three percent of people suffer from this, mostly those between the age of ten and 20. 

Scoliosis may range from mild cases causing a few minor problems to severe cases that potentially require bracing,  surgery, or breathing difficulties. Scoliosis should not be confused with bad posture, although it is one of the most visible side effects of this condition. 

People who have scoliosis need to seek medical treatment as soon as possible since this condition worsens with age. Through early diagnosis and intervention, the chances of correcting the spine or at least lessening the curvature are higher.

Exercise as a Treatment for Scoliosis

One of the many misconceptions surrounding scoliosis is that a person suffering from this condition should not exercise. Yes, exercising can be a pain for those with such conditions, but given the right kind of exercise, it can actually strengthen the muscles around the spine. That said, it can be an excellent treatment option for scoliosis. 

Olympians, like Usain Bolt, and professional athletes, like Jessica Ashwood, both succeeded in sports while managing their scoliosis. While having this condition may pose extra considerations and challenges, it should not limit what a person can do. You need to check with your physical therapist or orthopedist to determine if your case will allow you to play certain kinds of sports.

Swimming with Scoliosis

Swimming has long been recommended as a preferred exercise for people suffering from scoliosis. For centuries, water was considered one of the best therapeutic options. Most therapies recommend swimming for patients with back problems because there is less pressure on the spine as water gives buoyancy. Water also provides resistance, which works out your muscles the same way as weights and gym machines provide without adding extreme pressure on your spine. 

Another reason swimming is good for scoliosis is that it generally strengthens the core muscles on the whole back. So, even if swimming will not ideally target the muscles around the spine’s curvature, it will help strengthen the back and minimize the pain caused by muscle imbalance. Continued swimming will ultimately boost muscle flexibility and endurance, helping people with scoliosis in their regular physical activities even off the water.

Swimming Eases Breathing Difficulties

For people with severe scoliosis, swimming can be a challenge. In general, scoliosis changes the shape of the torso and may put pressure on the lungs, resulting in difficulty in breathing. At first, swimming may prove to be incredibly difficult for those with severe cases since it could lower their stamina while swimming. However, over time, it will strengthen their lungs and help them with proper breathing techniques, which are beneficial when managing breathing difficulties.

Check with your Therapist for the Best Possible Treatment

Despite the fact that swimming is good for people with scoliosis, the shape of your spine remains the same. Treatments may be needed to help prevent the worsening of the condition of further curvature of the spine. Keep in mind that if you have back problems related to your condition, swimming may or may not alleviate the discomfort. Talk with your physical therapist or doctor to learn about how swimming can benefit you.

If you are looking to know more about the benefits of swimming for people with scoliosis, get in touch with our scoliosis chiropractor in NYC today to see how we can help.

December 18, 2019

6 Fascinating Facts About Adult Scoliosis – What to Know

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine, which results in the shape of a letter S when viewed sideways. Although it usually occurs during childhood until teenaged years, adult scoliosis is not uncommon. It may occur in both males and females, but it is more common with the latter. The cause of scoliosis in children, however, remains to be unknown.

Causes of Adult Scoliosis
  1. Arthritis – from degenerative discs, resulting in the loss of alignment of the vertebrae.
  2. Osteoporosis an abnormality in the bone density, making bones porous, resulting in the disfigurement of the spine.
  3. Aging joints when you age, your joints lose their cartilage and, when combined with a fracture, may cause deformity.

Here are several facts that you need to know about adult scoliosis:

1. The cause of scoliosis is unknown

Most types of scoliosis are idiopathic, which simply means it has undetermined causes. It may be congenital, which means that it existed in the womb. Cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy may also cause scoliosis, though some researchers believe that scoliosis can be genetic.

2. People with scoliosis can play sports

Physical activities are actually encouraged for people with scoliosis. However, sports that put much pressure on your lower back, such as gymnastics or weight lifting, are strongly discouraged. Low-impact sports, like swimming and cycling, are recommended instead. Did you know that Usain Bolt, a popular sprinter, also has scoliosis? In keeping his back and core strong, it helps him manage his scoliosis and do better in his sport.

3. People with scoliosis won’t need surgery

Adult scoliosis is usually treated to relieve the pain, which can be treated by chiropractors and physical therapists. Physical therapy aims to strengthen and stabilize the spine. Chiropractic care, on the other hand, improves posture and prevents further degeneration of the spine. Pain relievers are also a part of the treatment for adults with scoliosis. Only those patients whose pain is not relieved from medications or physical therapy may need spinal decompression surgery.

4. Smoke provokes the symptoms and pain of adult scoliosis

The harmful and adverse effects of smoking on your respiratory system are widely known. Smoking side effects, however, are not limited to merely that. Studies show that continued smoking can cause several complications to your neck and back, as well. If you quit smoking, you can help reduce the symptoms related to severe disorders that strike your neck or back, including complications from adult scoliosis.

5. People with scoliosis can still exercise

If a person with scoliosis is overweight, exercising to lose the extra pounds can alleviate the pain experienced with scoliosis. The more active the patient is, the less pain is felt, and some may not experience pain at all.

Patients with scoliosis are recommended to do some of the following exercises:

  • Pelvic tilts
  • Arm and leg raises
  • The cat camel yoga pose
  • The bird dog yoga pose
  • Lattissimus dorsi stretch
  • Abdominal press
  • Practice good posture
6. Minor health issues can arise from scoliosis

For severe cases of scoliosis, you may experience lung and heart damage, severe pain, and nerve damage. Know that early detection of scoliosis is crucial to prevent serious complications. 

If you are looking for a scoliosis chiropractor in NYC, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

December 11, 2019

The Best Stretches & Exercises You Need for Scoliosis – Our Guide

Scoliosis is a spine condition that affects roughly around 2% to 3% of the population, making it relatively common among adolescents. It is defined by the S- or C-shaped curve in the spine due to a variety of reasons such as genetics, uneven pelvic position, or past spinal surgeries. 

Once it progresses, scoliosis can lead to neurological complications, arthritis, and heart problems when the condition is left unattended. Patients will need surgery for moderate to severe cases, while back braces can correct mild scoliosis. 

In either level, exercises and stretches are excellent methods of keeping the back strong and encouraging better flexibility down the line. 

Stretches and Exercises for Scoliosis

The effectiveness of the exercises largely depends on the location of the spinal curve, that’s why there are different regimens created for specific conditions. People struggling with lumbar scoliosis, for instance, need stretches that emphasize the lower back. Meanwhile, those with thoracic scoliosis must focus on shoulder exercises. 

1. Pelvic Tilts

This type of exercise highlights the lower back and aims to stretch the muscles in that area along with the hips. You can easily achieve pelvic tilts at home by doing the following easy-to-follow steps: 

Step #1: Lay down with your back on the floor, with your feet flat and knees bent. 

Step #2: While tightening your back toward the floor, be sure to tighten your stomach muscles along the way. 

Step #3: Try to breathe normally while holding the position for five seconds. 

Step #4: Release. 

Step #5: Do two rounds of 10 sets. 

2. Cat Camel 

The first exercise aims to stretch the muscles. Cat-camel, on the other hand, provides pain relief and helps encourage flexibility in the spine. You can do the cat-camel pose through the steps below: 

Step #1: Lay with your knees and hands on the floor while your back is level. Make sure your head and neck are comfortable first. 

Step #2: Draw the abdominal muscles in and arch your back up. Breathe deeply throughout the process. 

Step #3: Exhale and release the abdominal muscles. The back will drop back to its level position, while the belly falls comfortably. While doing so, lift your head toward the ceiling. 

Step #4: Do two sets of 10. 

3. Bird-Dog 

The bird-dog is a yoga-inspired exercise that aims to re-align your spine. You can do this exercise through the following: 

Step #1: Start with your hands and knees on the floor. Keep your back straight. 

Step #2: Move one arm forward and keep it straight, as if you are reaching out. Meanwhile, extend the opposite leg straight back. 

Step #3: Hold the position for five seconds and regularize your breathing while doing so. 

Step #4: Repeat the process with the opposite arm and leg. 

Step #5: Do 10 to 15 repetitions on each side. 

In Conclusion

Various types of exercises achieve different results for your scoliosis. While the guide above aims to provide relief to your back and strengthen your muscles, it’s best to consult with a doctor to check the best programs that specifically target your condition. After all, the most suitable exercise regimen should be tailor-made to the type and severity of scoliosis.