how to tell if you have scoliosis

How to Tell If You Have Scoliosis on Your Own

Do you have lower back pain like there’s no tomorrow?

If the answer is yes, you might have scoliosis. That’s right – adults have scoliosis too.

And 80% of the time, doctors don’t actually know what causes scoliosis. 3 out of the 4 types usually make themselves known between infancy and young adult age.

Neuromuscular scoliosis is caused by neuromuscular disorders. And Idiopathic scoliosis’ cause is unknown.

Congenital scoliosis develops inside the womb although often times it isn’t diagnosed until children are older. 

Their vertebrae become more and more curved over time due to tiny bones not developing properly to begin with.

But you’re a functioning adult! Could scoliosis have been hiding in your vertebrae all this time?

Yes. Or, you might have degenerative scoliosis, which, unfortunately, is a result of aging as your bones and your spine wear out over time.

Don’t fret – there are solutions and treatment that may be able to help. But first, find how to tell if you have scoliosis symptoms.

Here’s How to Tell If You Have Scoliosis

Do you recognize any of these signs? Pinpoint any symptoms you have and perform a couple of easy at-home tests to determine if you might have scoliosis pain.

1. You Have Back Pain 

Do you have worsening pain in your lower back that is beginning to interfere with your activities? Or is it chronic? Has it already taken over your life to the point of preventing you from performing simple tasks in your everyday life?

Do you experience numbness any numbness in your legs? Do you experience cramping or shooting pain in your legs or other parts if your body? Those muscles could be straining to overcompensate for the bones and muscles that are causing you pain in the first place.

Are you unusually tired or exhausted? Are you unable to perform physical activities that you could do before?

2. You Have Uneven Shoulders, Hips, or Legs

Do you see a difference when you look in the mirror? Are you clothes starting to hang onto one side or do your shirts tend to fall off one shoulder?

What about your pants? Does one leg have a shorter break in the material? Do you find yourself limping around, even slightly? 

Grab a friend and perform the “Adam’s Bend Test” in order to determine if your potential scoliosis is functional or structural. Ask your friend to also take a look at your shoulders, hips, and the way your clothes fall to determine if they notice any interruption in your body’s symmetry.

3. You’ve Been Experiencing Shortness of Breath

If your scoliosis has reached a certain curvature, it may be affecting your lung function, especially during increased physical activity.

This can also cause chest pain as your lungs are not able to perform at their fullest potential. Eventually, this could lead to serious breathing problems, and if not treated, even heart failure.

4. Your Eyes and Ears Are Different

Stand sideways in a mirror. Get someone to look and see if your ears seem to be ahead of your shoulders? If you’re alone at the moment, take a photo on a timer.

What about your eyes? If you stand in front of a mirror, are the center of your eyes in line with the center of your hips? If they’re tilted at all in any direction, this could be a sign of scoliosis.

Do You Have the Symptoms?

Maybe you do, but that doesn’t tell you everything.

Even if any of these scoliosis symptoms ring true for you, yours could still be minor scoliosis. The sooner you consult with a doctor, the better chance you have of treating your condition.

Most people have a natural slight curve in their spine. But side to side curves that twist the spine are what define scoliosis. 

It’s when those curves keep growing deeper that major issues arise.

Where Do You Go from Here?

Well, if you have any of these symptoms, talk to one of our doctors and find out if you’re a candidate for treatment. 

And take a breather. Often times, scoliosis can be easily treated with lifestyle changes. For example, exercise or a back brace can help the spine realign itself.

Some exercises that may help are: 

  • Bend and stretch in the same direction as your curve
  • Hang from any bar as for as long as you can, and do it again.
  • Crunches and reverse crunches
  • Squats
  • Lay with a rolled pillow behind your neck and one under your back

Exercise is not necessarily a cure on its own so make sure you check with your doctor first.

Act Before It Gets Worse

Many patients do need surgery to correct their spines. And that’s why minimally invasive surgery is both the safest and most effective option.

And you’ve got nothing to lose! Get a free MRI review to see if you are a candidate for treatment. You’ll be one step closer to getting rid of your scoliosis pain.

Diet and Exercise Play a Role in Everything

Even if you do need surgery, diet and exercise can help keep you on the right track towards bettering your health and mobility. To start, some foods that may help fight your back pain are:

  • Olive oil
  • Sweet potato
  • Caffeine
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Fatty fish like salmon
  • Berries and nuts

They’ll help fight inflammation and help you on your journey to conquer your scoliosis.

Meeting with the Doc

When you meet with the doctor, he might begin with a test like the “Adam’s Bend Test” in order to asses your spine alignment and to determine if x-rays are necessary.

X-Rays can confirm scoliosis and also detect the gravity of the condition. MRI’s may also be requested for further information and confirmation.

A doctor will want to know medical history, any previous diagnoses, and any and all symptoms you’ve been experiencing.

Be prepared with all of your questions and answers.

Be Objective

In assessing your pain and symptoms, make sure you take your time and stay objective. And for tests you can’t perform yourself, ask a friend or a relative to help determine how to tell if you have scoliosis.

Start eating healthy and do exercises and stretches that will begin to reverse your scoliosis.

Find a doctor you can trust who is certified and uses minimally invasive procedures with operational methods as a last resort.