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Functional Scoliosis

by MASS4D® Prescription Orthotics October 12, 2016

Functional Scoliosis

Scoliosis refers to an abnormal, lateral curvature of the spine.

This curvature could present in three ways: the spine could curve to the side as a single curve to the left (levoscoliosis), as a single curve to the right (dextroscoliosis) or as two curves (shaped like the letter S).

Among some of the visual changes on the body are uneven shoulders, an uneven iliac crests and a noticeable unleveling of the knees.

Structural scoliosis involves a fixed, lateral deviation of the spine. This is most often irreversible and could be caused by congenital defects, neuromuscular disorders or spinal injuries/infections.


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Functional scoliosis occurs in an otherwise structurally normal spine, but has an appearance similar to a true structural problem.

The spine can present in a scoliotic presentation due to a number of musculoskeletal conditions such as aberrant lower limb posture, muscular imbalance or disc injury.

A study conducted by Raczkowski et al. in 2010 further investigated leg length discrepancy (LLD) as a cause of functional scoliosis by examining 369 children with the condition.

All participants were treated with an internal shoe lift, after which follow-up examinations were conducted to assess correction of the spine and occurrence of pain.

Within the first 2 weeks of treatment, the adjustment of the spine to new static conditions was noted along with correction of the curve in 83% of the examined children.

A closer look at foot biomechanics reveals the integrated relationship between abnormal foot posture and apparent spinal scoliosis.

Hyperpronation of one or both feet is frequently associated with leg-length inequality, since the collapse of the medial arch allows the unilateral ilium to rotate anteriorly causing an imbalance of the pelvis.

The resultant anatomical changes include internal rotation of unilateral tibia and femur, pelvic obliquity, increase of sacral base angle, hyperlordosis and spinal curvature.

Excessive pronation of the feet, which starts this abnormal kinetic chain event, can be treated with corrective orthotics such as MASS4D®.

By supporting the feet in their optimally corrected posture, the tibial rotation is removed, quickly ending the further proximal aberrant arthokinematics that result in functional scoliosis. 

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Related Links

Spinal Disc Problems
The Influence of Foot Posture On The Lumbar Spine
Leg Length Discrepancy 

References:

  1. Mark Charrette (2009) Orthotic Support for Functional Scoliosis. Dynamic Chiropractic: August 26, 2009, Vol. 27, No. 18.
  2. Jan W. Raczkowski, Barbara Daniszewska, Krystian Zolynski (2010) Functional scoliosis caused by leg length discrepancy. Archives of Medical Science: June 30, 2010, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 393-398.
  3. Peter F. Ullrich, Jr. Scoliosis: What You Need to Know. Spine-health. Retrieved from: http://www.spine-health.com/

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