Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that typically develops before or during puberty. Muscular dystrophy, birth defects, and certain injuries can raise the risk for spinal curvatures, however, the exact cause is unknown. While scoliosis symptoms are typically mild, certain spinal curvatures can worsen with age and impair breathing when sideways curvatures are extreme.
Spinal curvatures can cause the shoulders and hips to appear uneven, and cause back pain, weakness, fatigue, reduced range of motion, and stiffness. While many cases of spinal curvatures remain stable, the following medical conditions can worsen the symptoms of scoliosis.
If you have celiac disease, the lining of your gastrointestinal system may become damaged and inhibit the absorption of certain nutrients such as vitamin D and calcium. These nutrients are vital to optimal bone health and if you're deficient as a result of celiac disease, you may develop low bone density.
This can cause bone thinning, weakness, and severe pain, compounding the symptoms of your curvature. Severe celiac disease may lead to significant vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which when combined with severe curvatures, may raise your risk for a spinal or vertebral fracture.
Many women develop osteoporosis during menopause. It often develops because of declining estrogen levels, however, people who smoke cigarettes, have low body weight, and who take certain medications may also develop osteoporosis. It is more common in women, and it is a progressive disease. Osteoporosis causes the bones to become brittle and weak, which can further exacerbate the symptoms of spinal disorders such as scoliosis.
If you are in menopause and have a curvature of the spine, talk to your doctor about taking hormone replacement therapy. The estrogen in your replacement medication will help slow the progression of your osteoporosis and may help strengthen your spine.
If you have a family history of breast, endometrial, or ovarian cancer, hormone replacement therapy may not be right for you because estrogen is thought to play a role in the development of these gynecological cancers. Instead, your doctor may recommend that you take vitamin D and calcium supplements and exercise more to help improve bone health.
If you have scoliosis, celiac disease, or osteoporosis, see your doctor on a regular basis so that he or she can monitor your health and track the progression of your spinal curvature. When these conditions are well-managed, you are less likely to develop severe spinal pain, impaired flexibility, gait problems, and nutritional deficiencies. Contact C D Denison to learn more.