What is Compensatory Scoliosis?

Compensatory scoliosis is slightly different from other types of scoliosis as the spinal curve seems to disappear when the patient is sat down. This is because compensatory scoliosis is usually caused by a pelvic tilt caused by the contracture of the hip, or because one of the patient’s legs is shorter than the other. As there may be no structural abnormality in the spine itself, the apparent curve is significantly changed depending on the patient’s position at any given moment.

The curve serves to maintain normal body alignment, which is why a patient with compensatory scoliosis will appear to straighten significantly on side bending. If left untreated, this will lead to the development of scoliosis over time – this is why you should see a medical professional if you think you may have this condition. The first course of treatment for a case of compensatory scoliosis often requires the patient to wear orthopaedic insoles (or similar), which correct the height difference and align the axis of the spine. The condition also has to be monitored to make sure that the spine isn’t deteriorating over time.

To learn more about the other types of scoliosis, see our comprehensive list here.

How can we help?

If your spine’s condition does deteriorate to the point where you require scoliosis treatment, we at Scoliosis SOS can help. We’ve combined a number of well-known non-surgical treatments (including the Schroth and FITS methods) to create a highly effective treatment programme called the ScolioGold method.

If you’d like to arrange a consultation with one of our specialists, please feel free to contact us today. We will work with you to determine the best treatment for your condition.

If you’re not familiar with medical language (and the Greek/Latin words from which medical language is often constructed), it can sometimes be difficult to work out what people are talking about when they refer to different forms of scoliosis.

Levoconvex Scoliosis

As we’ve seen time and time again here on the Scoliosis SOS blog, there are numerous different terms and pieces of jargon used to describe curvatures of the spine, and one thing we aim to do in our blog posts is decode these terms and help everyone to understand the topic at hand.

Today, we’d like to take a look at levoconvex scoliosis.

 

What does ‘levoconvex’ mean?

Levoconvex scoliosis is a type of scoliosis where the spine curves to the left. It can develop on its own during adolescence (see idiopathic scoliosis), or it may occur as the result of another condition.

As previously explained in our Dextroscoliosis vs. Levoscoliosis article, the term levo- simply means ‘left’. Levoscoliosis curves to the left, whereas dextroscoliosis curves to the right.

Dextroscoliosis vs Levoscoliosis

The term levoconvex scoliosis actually means more or less the same thing as levoscoliosis – it’s just a slightly more specific way of saying it. Adding the word ‘convex’ merely clarifies that it’s the outer (convex) edge of the curve that’s on the left.

 

Convex vs. concave

Every curve has a convex side and a concave side. ‘Convex’ refers to the outside of the curve, and ‘concave’ to the inside.

Convex and Concave Scoliosis Curve

If a doctor describes your spinal curve as ‘levoconvex’, it means that the convex side of the curve is on the left. In other words, the spine curves to the left.

Scoliosis SOS provide non-surgical treatment courses for scoliosis patients. Get in touch now to book an initial consultation – our ScolioGold treatment method is very effective at reducing curvature and improving quality of life.

Case Study: Kayla, aged 15

Kayla was diagnosed with scoliosis and wasn’t entirely sure what it was at first. When the doctors showed her the x-rays of her spine, she was quite upset. Most of the doctors that she visited recommended surgery, physiotherapy or a brace – none of them recommended exercise-based treatment. After coming to the Scoliosis SOS, Kayal really feels that this was the best option for her! 

See our full interview with Kayla here:

Contact Scoliosis SOS > Our Treatment Courses >

Scoliosis in Males

It’s a well-known fact that scoliosis is significantly more common in females than in males. It is not entirely clear why this should be the case, but the numbers are very clear: from age 10 onwards, female scoliosis sufferers outnumber male scoliotics 6 to 1. (Interestingly, it also appears that scoliosis is a lot more likely to be severe in female patients.)

This gender imbalance is reflected in the demographics of the people we treat here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic. If you take a look at our Patient Experiences page – where you can watch interviews with numerous Scoliosis SOS patients past and present – you’ll notice that the vast majority of the people sharing their stories in those videos are female.

Men and boys are affected by scoliosis too!

However, to assume that scoliosis only affects women and girls would be a misconception. Scoliosis in males is far from a freak occurrence – remember, this condition can be found in hundreds of millions of people worldwide, and even if you only counted male scoliosis sufferers, your total would still fall somewhere between the entire population of Australia and the entire population of Canada.

Indeed, we have treated many men and boys here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, and our exercise-based ScolioGold programme has proven that it is an effective alternative to spinal fusion surgery regardless of the patient’s sex.

Case study: Jamie Kaye

Jamie Kaye is a boy from London who came to us as a teenager when he was studying at the famous BRIT performing arts school in Croydon. He had been diagnosed with scoliosis several years prior – when we met him, he had a Cobb angle of around 48 degrees, but he was not yet able to go in for surgery because he was still growing (not that he was particularly keen to have surgery anyway!).

Jamie’s spinal curvature was having an adverse effect on his studies. While performing, he frequently found that his teachers would comment on his poor posture, but because of his condition he was finding it difficult to correct. He was also experiencing back pain as a result of his scoliosis.

Watch the video below to find out how Jamie was helped by the non-surgical treatment techniques that we use here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic:

If you or a loved one suffer from scoliosis, please contact Scoliosis SOS today to arrange an initial consultation.

Dorsal Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a sideways curving of the spine. The term dorsal scoliosis refers to any such curvature of the spine that occurs between the bottom of the neck and the top of the pelvis. The word ‘dorsal’ simply means ‘back’ (from the Latin dorsum), and as such, dorsal scoliosis is quite a vague diagnosis.

Some medical practitioners refer to the ‘dorsal spine’, which encompasses both the thoracic vertebrae (the vertebrae attached to your ribs) and the lumbar vertebrae (the vertebrae between the rib cage and the pelvis). It is therefore more common and more informative for doctors to diagnose a patient with either thoracic scoliosis or lumbar scoliosis depending on where the spinal curve is located.

Symptoms of thoracic / lumbar scoliosis

Common symptoms of thoracic and lumbar scoliosis include:

  • Uneven shoulders, waist and hips
  • Body leaning to one side 
  • Uneven rib cage alignment 
  • One shoulder blade being more prominent than the other 
  • One arm being longer than the other 

How can scoliosis be treated? 

Scoliosis is often treated using a method known as bracing – the patient wears a rigid plastic shell for 23 hours of the day to stop their spinal curve from progressing. In severe cases, spinal fusion surgery – a surgical procedure that involves the use of metal rods to fix and straighten the spine – may be recommended.

However, these are not the only ways to treat scoliosis. Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we believe that the best way to treat is non-surgically, and so we treat our patients using the Schroth method and a combination of other exercise-based techniques that have been tested and proven to combat the effects of scoliosis. We call this the ScolioGold method.

If you’re looking for scoliosis treatment that doesn’t involve a back brace or surgery, please contact us to find out more.

Doctors and other medical professionals use a lot of long words when describing scoliosis, to the point where some patients find it difficult to know exactly what they’re being diagnosed with. You probably know that scoliosis is a sideways spinal curve, but would you understand what the doctor meant if – for example – they told you that you had mild thoracic dextroscoliosis?

To help you better grasp the terminology associated with scoliosis and other curvatures of the spine, we’d like to take a moment to break that mouthful down. If you want to know what ‘mild thoracic dextroscoliosis’ actually means, read on…

Mild

Let’s start with the easy bit. The word ‘mild’ indicates that, as things stand, your spinal curve is not especially severe – although it may get worse over time. A mild case of scoliosis may not be visible to the casual observer, although other symptoms may still be present.

What counts as a ‘mild’ spinal curve?

Generally speaking, if your Cobb angle measurement is 20 degrees or less, you can be said to have ‘mild’ scoliosis (bear in mind that a curve of less than 10 degrees would not be classed as scoliosis at all). Note that the word ‘mild’ here only refers to the angle of the curve – a person with mild scoliosis may still experience a significant amount of pain, reduced flexibility, etc.

Thoracic

The next word is ‘thoracic’, which simply means that your spinal curve is located in the upper (thoracic) part of the spine, coloured red in the diagram below.

If your curve is located in the lower part of the spine, you are said to have ‘lumbar’ scoliosis. When the curve encompasses vertebrae from both the thoracic and lumbar spine, that’s called thoracolumbar scoliosis.

Dextroscoliosis

Finally, we come to the longest word of the three: ‘dextroscoliosis’. This term is taken from the Latin word dexter, which simply means ‘right’ (as in the opposite of left); therefore, if you have a case of dextroscoliosis, you have a spine that curves to the right.

As the image above shows, scoliosis that curves towards the left side of the body is known as levoscoliosis. If you’re ever struggling to remember which is which, just remember that ‘levoscoliosis’ and ‘left’ both begin with the letter L.

Now, let’s put it all together…

What does ‘mild thoracic dextroscoliosis’ mean?

If you have mild thoracic dextroscoliosis, you have:

  • A spinal curve measuring 10-20 degrees
  • …in the upper (thoracic) part of your spine…
  • …that curves towards the right side of your body.

If you have been diagnosed with mild thoracic dextroscoliosis and require treatment, simply click above to book your consultation. For further information on dextroscoliosis or if you have questions regarding our treatments, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

Case Study: Anna, aged 36

Anna has a mild case of scoliosis, but that doesn’t stop her feeling self-conscious about her condition. At the time when she came to us for treatment, she was about to get married. Despite only having a mild case of scoliosis, that might not have even been detectable to others, Anna knew that her scoliosis curvature would be playing on her mind throughout her big day. Our treatments helped her feel confident enough to wear her backless wedding dress! 

Watch our full interview with Anna here: