Scoliosis and Spinal Disorders Number

Scoliosisand Spinal Disorders


Scoliosisand Spinal Disorders


Oneof the deformities that have brought a major concern in the healthsector and to human health is the deformities associated with thespine. The term scoliosis is commonly used to refer to abnormal curvethat may be formed in the human spine. The history of the spinedeformities is little known, however much of today’s details aboutthe condition, its diagnosis and management is credited for theinformation that was sourced during the ancient Greece period,notably by medical expertise of Galen and Hippocrates. With referenceto the contribution by Hippocrates, he introduced terms such asscoliosis and kyphosis, with his primary focus being more on Kyphosis(Eliaset al, 2015).Their contribution resulted in the innovation of treatment tools suchas the board, as well as the application of the axial traction. AfterHippocrates, there came the Galen, who astoundinglymanaged to expound more on scoliosis, lordosis and kyphosis. Thetremendous contribution by Galen, and Hippocrates was a positiveachievement in the medical practice and specifically referring to amodern approach to the spinal deformities.


Insimple definition, scoliosis is referred as a lateral curvature inthe normally straight vertical aspect of the human spine. Thedisorder causes an abnormal curve of the spine. With the help of theancient development in the medicine towards the treatment of thedisorder, different approaches were identified, which are stillpracticed today. Depending on the severity of the curve in the spine,and its risk of becoming worse, the disorder can be treated withdifferent approaches being applied such as bracing or even surgery.The modern advancement in medical facilities has enabled haveimproved measures to reduce the negative impacts of Scoliosis. Fromthe ancient invention with regard to the scoliosis disorder, much ofthe current approach to the diagnosis and treatment of the disorderis credited to the ancient Greece inventions. Statistics show, thatthe problem of scoliosis is more prone to girls than boys (Jason,2015). This paper will analyze the scoliosis disorder, the ancientcontribution to its treatment, and the current measures to addressthe disorder.


Spinaldeformities can be formed when natural or un-natural curvaturesoccur, such as the case of scoliosis also known as side to sidecurving, Kyphosis which is denoted by front to back curving, or canalso be instigated by damages to the spine. According to Jason,(2015), scoliosis is summarized as a disorder that leads to theabnormal curving of the human spine or the backbone. With thedifferent forms of spinal deformities, there are as well differentcauses of the abnormal spinal curves. One of the causes is thenatural cause, whereby a child is born with an even growth of thespine a condition known as congenital scoliosis. There is also theidiopathic scoliosis, which is caused by the natural abnormal growthof the spine (the spine fails to grow as straight as it should). Itshould be noted that, the main cause of scoliosis is unknown. However, at different ages, the problem is referred in differentother names, for example, at 3 years of age it’s referred asinfantile idiopathic scoliosis. Between age 3 to 10 years, JuvenileScoliosis, 10-17, Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis, and finally thereis the Adult Degenerative Scoliosis.The scoliosis problem is regarded as a hereditary related condition,whereby parents with the condition, has a higher probability ofpassing the same to their children. (American PsychologicalAssociation, n.d.)

Withreference to the ancient Greece development in medicine, the mostrecognized physicians towards the diagnosis of the conditionscoliosis was Hippocrates. Hippocrates contributed immensely to themedical sector through his numerous books. His immense contributionentails accurate observation and logical reasoning. In addition toHippocratic contribution, Galen was another physical from Greek whoalso contributed to the knowledge on scoliosis, diagnosis andtreatment of the condition. Much of today’s response to the problemhas been credited to their findings (Eliaset al, 2015).

Anatomyand Biomechanics of the Spine

Inorder to be an effective physician when it comes to dealing with thescoliosis problem, it requires the physician to have immenseunderstanding and knowledge of the spine and its structure. The spineanatomy is an essential aspect towards understanding of thefunctionality of the spine as well as the problems affecting thespine such as the case of scoliosis. Each part of the human spineplays and integral role for effective support and functioning of thespine, and in order to treat such spine problem as the scoliosis, andeffective, a physician need to fully observe understand the spine(Morrissy et al, 2006). The main functions of the spine are toprotect the neural elements as well as providing physiologic motion.Spine is made of three key parts the anterior, middle and exteriorcolumns.

TheFunctional Spiral Unit (FSU) constitutes the cephalad as well ascaudad vertebral body, facet joints and the intervertebraldisc. Spine stability is a key element in explaining Spineabnormality. The making of the spine is from different interconnectedparts which gives the spine the flexibility needed for motion. It’sunavoidable for the spine to bend during motion. According to Adam(2014), a normal human spine has a natural curvature, but itshouldn’t have side to side curves. Spine deformities lead to theformation of s-shaped spines, with the main systems of the deformitybeing unbalanced shoulder blades as well as waist and the hips.

Descriptionof the spinal curves (normal and abnormal)

Thecurving of the spine can be termed as either normal or abnormal.Curving is a normal aspect of a healthy spine. However, the nature ofthe curve is what determines whether it’s a normal or an abnormalcurve. A normal spine should have a soft s-curve when viewed fromthe side (lateral). When viewed from the back (posterior view), anormal spine appears to be vertically straight.

Withreference to abnormal curves of the spine, the terms lordosis andkyphosis are used to refer to the abnormal curving of the spine.Lordosis is the excessive inward curving of the spine resulting in anexaggerated appearance of the buttock. This condition can affect anyperson, and can also be caused by obesity. On the other hand, thereis the abnormal kyphosis, which defined by excessive outward curvingof the spine. This condition can lead to either humpback orhunchback, and is known by outwardcurvature of the thoracic spine (Peter,2012).

Treatmentof spinal deformities

Sincethe Ancient Greece time, and the time of Hippocrates and Galen, therehave been different approaches to solve the scoliosisproblem/condition. Treatment recommendations for different spineabnormal carvings depend on the severity of the spine curvature, aswell as the patient’s capability to continue with his/her dailyfunctioning, age and other factors. Some of the approaches totreating spinal curvatures entail therapy, bracing, surgery as wellas injection for pain management. With reference to the Hippocraticapproach, some of the treatment methods he identified entailed theuse of Hippocraticladder, Hippocratic Samnium, and Hippocratic board (Eliaset al, 2015).

Insimple explanation, bracing is the use of plates to encourage normalgrowth, the method id non operative and is used mostly in youngpatients. Physical therapy is used in strengthening of the spine aswell as improving its flexibility. Finally, there is the surgery,which is the last option when all the other options fail to beeffective. Moreover, the Hippocrates methods were referred to asphysical therapy approaches, which were used to train the patients towithstand different strains on their spines (Morrissy et al, 2006).Hippocratic ladder, Hippocratic Samnium, and Hippocratic board,involved use of special devices that straightened and individual tothe normal expected way, and if one fails to respond to thesemethods, surgery was undertaken.


Theadvance in the medical sector has brought along an improved responseto abnormal curving if the spine. Spine deformities have been a knowndeformity, since the Ancient Greek era. However, with the massivecontribution by Hippocrates, and Galen, there has been an improveddiagnosis and treatment of different spine deformities. It is evidentthat, there are different curvatures that can be formed by the spinehowever, different approaches can be deployed to correct the problem,such as bracing, or surgery. With the improved methods to detect theproblem, the success rate in collecting the problem has beenincreased as well.


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