Our spine and back are at the very core of our musculoskeletal system, which is the network of bones, muscles, and connective tissues that give our body shape, strength, and movement. Unfortunately, even the slightest problem with the spine or back can start to cause issues with the rest of the musculoskeletal system, from discomfort and pain to loss of mobility.
The spine also protects the spinal cord, which is a key part of the central nervous system which controls all of our body functions. If the spinal cord is in any way compromised, a huge range of other health issues can occur, from headaches and poor immune function, to sleep deprivation and digestive issues.
As with many other medical issues, early detection is extremely valuable. By picking up these issues early on, it is possible to detect spinal issues when they are still mild. One of the most effective diagnostic tools in your chiropractor’s arsenal is spinal and postural screening.
Spinal screenings are primarily used as a diagnostic tool to detect two major varieties of spinal deformity – scoliosis and kyphosis.
Scoliosis is characterized by an abnormal lateral curve of the spine which creates an ‘S’ shaped curve when viewed from behind or to the side. Scoliosis can be the result of several different issues, including a difference in leg length and poor posture. Scoliosis caused by functional problems rarely causes permanent changes in the shape or structure of the spine. However, some people have what is known as ‘structural scoliosis’ where their curves can’ be corrected simply by addressing their posture or positioning.
Kyphosis is also sometimes called ‘round back since it is characterized by excessive curving of the thoracic spine when viewed from the side. In most cases, it can be corrected using exercises and correct posture. However, a very small number of people are permanently affected as their curve is fixed and structural, rather than functional.
Posture also plays a key role in the health and condition of the musculoskeletal system. Nevertheless, many people pay very little attention to their posture, and this can result in a range of musculoskeletal issues including:
Intervertebral disc injury
Limb or joint pain
Increased risk of sports, work, or overuse injuries
Spinal and postural screenings can benefit everyone as they are extremely effective in detecting issues with the musculoskeletal system that may not be causing obvious symptoms right away. However, spinal and postural screenings are particularly recommended for people who:
Spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer
Athletes (amateur or professional)
Adolescents who are still growing (and who may be developing spinal issues)
Your chiropractor can conduct the screening and then make recommendations for treatment based on the results. This will likely involve a personalized treatment plan of bespoke exercises and chiropractic techniques such as spinal manipulations or massage therapy to help improve the alignment of your spine and your posture.
For more information about spinal and postural screenings, please visit Healistic Chiropractic & Acupuncture in Lafayette, Indiana. Call (765) 227-2454 to schedule an appointment today.