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This June is Scoliosis Awareness Month. 

Throughout June our aim is to raise awareness about scoliosis screening and the importance of early detection. Early detection and then early intervention will lead to better patient outcomes including wider opportunities for treatment. 

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is abnormal curvature of the spine. If your spine has curvature from side to side in a ‘C’ or ‘S’ shape, you may have scoliosis.  

Scoliosis can also be categorised as either non-structural or structural. Non-structural scoliosis describes temporary curves that are able to be fixed, whereas structural scoliosis, the spine’s curve is caused by injury, birth defect, or a disease and is permanent. 

Some frightening statistics of scoliosis in Australia: 

  • Scoliosis is less common in boys. 
  • Only about 3 in 1000 children have curves large enough to need treatment. 
  • About 1 in 15 girls develop some scoliosis during their growing period, from about 9 to 14 years. In most cases the curve is mild and does not need treatment.i 

Symptoms:

Symptoms vary depending on the degree of scoliosis. Common symptoms associated with scoliosis include: 

  • One shoulder blade that’s higher than the other 
  • A rotating spine 
  • Problems breathing because of reduced area in the chest for lungs to expand 
  • Back pain 
  • One shoulder blade that sticks out more than the other 
  • Uneven hips

Treatment for Scoliosis:

Most cases of scoliosis are very slight and thankfully needs no treatment. The early scoliosis is detected, the better the long-term result. Treatment depends on numerous factors: 

  • Degree of spine curvature 
  • Age 
  • Type of scoliosis 
  • Whether you are likely to continue growing 

The main treatment options are surgery and bracing. 

Here are some common treatments for scoliosis: 

  • Spinal Brace. In most cases a child may need to wear a spinal brace under their clothing for several months. 
  • Surgery. Surgery is reserved for patients with curvature greater than 40 degrees. However, it is important to speak to your doctor about this option if you have been diagnosed with scoliosis and feel the curvature is impacting your daily life or causing discomfort. 
  • Chiropractic treatment and physiotherapy. Whilst these can relieve pain of scoliosis, they cannot cure scoliosis.ii 

Pain management for Scoliosis: 

Certain therapies can aid in managing scoliosis pain, though they won’t help to correct the curvature itself. 

  • Exercise 
  • Medication 
  • Medical Cannabis 
  • Chiropractic treatment 
  • Physiotherapy 

Let’s have a closer look at one of these alternative pain management therapies, which is medical cannabis. 

Medical Cannabis and Scoliosis: 

Dealing with scoliosis can be a pain the back – literally. Your scoliosis will become more painful the more curved your spine becomes. This pain often leaves the sufferer unable to live their daily life normally. 

So, what does the research say?

Whilst more research needs to be conducted to show conclusive evidence, the scientific community has studied the benefits of medical marijuana as an alternative remedy for pain relief. Unfortunately, medical cannabis does not have the ability to realign your spine, you will need a trained professional to solve the root of the problem. But, whilst medical marijuana can not magically heal scoliosis, it can be a potential alternative for pain relief. 

A clinical study assessed the efficacy of medical cannabis as a supplement treatment to an opioid-based pain relief treatment plan. The study concluded that 27% of the patients were able to reduce their opioid usage whilst feeling the same level of release from their pain.iii 

Another study conducted in 2015, reviewed 28 studies of cannabinoids in which chronic pain was assessed. The studies found that the patients had improvements in pain measures in patients undertaking cannabinoid treatment.iv 

The side effects of Medical Cannabis

The cannabis plant contains more than 100 different compounds called Cannabinoids. Each one has a distinct impact on the body. CBD and THC are the main chemicals used in Cannabis Medicine. ​ 

THC produces a “high” that people may feel when they smoke Cannabis or eat foods containing it. However, CBD isn’t psychoactive at all and will not make you feel “high.” Believe it or not, CBD can counteract the psychoactivity of THC. 

If you’re unsure of what THC and CBD or any of these words mean, please do check our FAQ section. 

This is why it is important to speak to a specialised doctor who can help guide your medical cannabis journey. CDA Clinics offer medical cannabis consultations, click here to enquire today! 

Disclaimer: CanView does not endorse the use of Medicinal Cannabis without lawful prescription. Just like any Medicine, Medicinal Cannabis may have both positive and negative side-effects on the user, and should only be prescribed to patients by a Health Professional with the authority and expertise to do so. The information provided by CanView is for informational and educational purposes, and is of a general nature. If you are interested in accessing Medicinal Cannabis please talk to your doctor and request a referral to a Medicinal Cannabis clinic.  

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