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3 Root Causes of Scoliosis

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Scoliosis-Lakewood Chiropractor

  1. Nerve Tension
  2. Structural / Biomechanical Pathology
  3. Neuro-Muscular Pathology

1. Nerve Tension

Probably the most common cause

Nerve Tension is likely the most common root cause of scoliosis. If a scoliosis is progressing rapidly, and has been diagnosed as “idiopathic,” then chances are it has a Nerve Tension root cause.

  • Intraspinal anomalies: The spinal cord or nerves develop embryologically in a way such that one side or one part of the cord is pulled tight at birth. Even though the problem happens at birth, it may not appear until the child begins to have growth spurts.
  • Tethered Cord Syndrome: This is again a condition from birth that causes the entire spinal cord to be pulled noticeably lower towards the sacrum, placing tension on the spinal cord.

2. Structural or Biomechanical Root Cause of Scoliosis

“Structural” root causes may refer to bones that are asymmetric or incorrectly shaped. For example, a half-formed vertebra at birth, known as a hemi-vertebra, may also create a scoliosis. Another example of structural-biomechanical scoliosis is when one leg grows a little longer than the other, causing the sacrum to be un-level. The sacrum is the base of the spine, so when the sacrum tilts, the spine tilts, and there can be a mild (and sometimes moderate) scoliosis as a result.

“Structural causes” may also apply to ligament damage from trauma or from degeneration of discs. If key stabilizing ligaments of the spine are damaged or torn, the vertebra may tilt in response, creating a scoliotic curve.

These conditions are very common and USUALLY only cause mild to moderate non-progressive scoliosis.

3. Neuro-Muscular Pathology That Causes Scoliosis

Examples include but are not limited to:

Cerebral Palsy


Muscular dystrophy

Severe chiari and syringomyelia

Functional neurologic deficits

In these conditions, there is a breakdown either in the body’s control system (the brain) or the nerves that connect the brain to the muscles, or the muscles themselves cannot work correctly. For example, in cerebral palsy, there is a lack of proper central nervous system control within the brain. In poliomyelitis, the peripheral nerves that carry signals from the brain to the muscles are damaged. In muscular dystrophy, there is weakness of the muscles, rendering the muscles unable to support a straight spine. Neuro-muscular pathology cases tend to be more aggressive. Progression of the scoliosis—the tendency for the curve to grow large—is often quite high. Call Dr. Jason Jumper at Renew Chiropractic in Lakewood for a FREE Scoliosis Consultation. Call Today: 720-493-5885.


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