Menopause and Scoliosis
You wouldn’t think going through menopause might require scoliosis treatment, but for many, going through menopause is tough. Dealing with night sweats, sudden hot flashes, moodiness, and being depressed are just a few of the symptoms to look forward to. Add another gem to the list of ailments: scoliosis. As we age, we lose bone density due to menopause. Even in patients with no background of scoliosis issues can develop changes that can make the spine quickly deteriorate. That bad posture can suddenly go from a small curvature to a structural curve that is categorized as a scoliosis.
Scoliosis in adult patients is commonly called adult degenerative scoliosis. The occurrence of scoliosis in menopausal women can be as high as 30 percent; quite a bit higher when compared to scoliosis in children which occurs in only 2-3 percent of patients..
Another name for adult scoliosis is de Novo scoliosis. De Novo scoliosis is characterized by a curvature in the lower spinal area….many time without a curve above it. Often times, older adults that develop scoliosis have no clue they even have it. The symptoms usually show up as hip pain that doesn’t respond to normal anti inflammatory or pain relief medicines. It’s not until an x-ray confirms a diagnosis after the trip to the primary care physician.
While scoliosis treatment can often involve soft or hard braces or surgery, adult degenerative scoliosis is challenging to reverse because of the loss of bone tissue and density. But, there are ways to successfully treat it.
The first step is to identify why the bone density is decreasing in the first place. Some factors could be hormonal deficiencies, nutritional deficits-not enough calcium or vitamin D in the diet. Calcium and vitamin D are not the only nutrients that help maintain healthy bone density. Manganese, boron, magnesium, vitamin C and B vitamins and phosphorous all play a part in keeping bones strong. A full nutritional examination should be performed to ensure proper levels of these important nutrients.
Another factor in keeping our bones strong comes from a place most people wouldn’t think about…your stomach acid. Stomach acid can help to engage many bone density nutrients, so bones can absorb the nutrients properly. Getting stomach acid levels correct is often the first place to start if you want to reverse bone loss.
Beside just nutrition and hormone repletion, weight bearing exercise is extremely important. Because of pain from the scoliosis, many people have a hard time exercising. For doctors trained to identify these nutrient and hormone deficiencies, please contact the International Chiropractic Scoliosis Board for more details.