Scoliosis in a Young Athlete " Michelle is a 14-year-old competitive gymnast "

Case study ( 7416 views as of April 14, 2024 )

Michelle is a 14-year-old competitive gymnast who trains five days per week at the local gym. She is very competitive, and has her eyes on an upcoming international competition in six months time, which will influence eligibility for the National Olympic team. She has been having pain most days in her mid-back, but it has not stopped her from training.

Michelle was told in the past that most girls with her degree of scoliosis don’t require surgery. Her parents and her coach are both concerned that the daily pain may indicate further deterioration in the future.

Michelle may benefit from a visit to her family physician who may then refer her to a rheumatologist, orthopedic surgeon and/or physiotherapist. Michelle may also benefit from the services of a chiropractor, massage therapist and bracing specialist. Michelle could also consider consulting with a personal trainer, pharmacist and/or yoga instructor to help manage her symptoms.

Author:
39

Conversation based on: Scoliosis in a Young Athlete " Michelle is a 14-year-old competitive gymnast "

Scoliosis in a Young Athlete " Michelle is a 14-year-old competitive gymnast "

  • When a traumatic incident such as a car accident, fall, or sports-related injury occurs, the force applied to the spine can cause fractures, dislocations, crushing, or compression of one or more vertebrae. These injuries can then affect the spinal cord, leading to functional impairment and neurological deficits. It's important to note that the severity and extent of the spinal cord injury depend on the location and extent of the damage. Injuries higher up in the spinal cord often result in more severe complications, as they can impact a larger portion of the body and vital functions such as breathing, while injuries lower down may affect specific regions or limbs. The consequences of a spinal cord injury can vary widely and may include paralysis, loss of sensation, impaired motor function, bowel and bladder dysfunction, respiratory problems, and other complications. Treatment and rehabilitation options for spinal cord injuries aim to manage symptoms, promote functional recovery, and improve the overall quality of life for individuals affected by these injuries.
  • When a traumatic incident such as a car accident, fall, or sports-related injury occurs, the force applied to the spine can cause fractures, dislocations, crushing, or compression of one or more vertebrae. These injuries can then affect the spinal cord, leading to functional impairment and neurological deficits. It's important to note that the severity and extent of the spinal cord injury depend on the location and extent of the damage. Injuries higher up in the spinal cord often result in more severe complications, as they can impact a larger portion of the body and vital functions such as breathing, while injuries lower down may affect specific regions or limbs. The consequences of a spinal cord injury can vary widely and may include paralysis, loss of sensation, impaired motor function, bowel and bladder dysfunction, respiratory problems, and other complications. Treatment and rehabilitation options for spinal cord injuries aim to manage symptoms, promote functional recovery, and improve the overall quality of life for individuals affected by these injuries.
  • Is it dangerous for kids who have scoliosis to do such an active sport as gymantic?
  • My friend's daughter was just diagnosed with scoliosis. She has to wear a brace for 20 hours a day until she finishes growing. It doesn't sound like bracing was discussed for Michelle. What is the criteria for deciding if bracing will help ?
  • Would her increased training be a contributing factor in the increased back pain ?
    • That's a very good point @MichelleKaarto. Not only in the case of this athlete with scoliosis but for all young athletes.
    • If the structure of her back and spine is not well supported, I can see how her increased training would result in more back pain. I think this young girl's scoliosis really does need to be properly assessed and managed to account for the type of exercise she is doing. She isn't fully developed yet, and I would fear that her extra training could cause some damage if she isn't under a strong management plan.
  • Stretching would help a significant amount as it would relieve muscles that are pulling on both the spine itself and pulling the joint and the muscles that are pulling the spine itself. Tight muscles.cramp and tighten and thus have no give and.create tension on the joint.
  • Braces are great but stretching would be a better alternative to long term issues.
    • Absolutely @K.Michael. The key is to seek out the qualified professional to help with your condition. I would be looking for someone with a solid list of credentials who is knowledgable in dealing with scoliosis, in this scenario. You can always ask your family physician for a referral to a qualified chiropractor or physiotherapist, and there are many athletic therapists and exercise physiologists out there who have a strong understanding of the considerations needed in treating someone with scoliosis.
    • Would a physiotherapist or doctor or chiropractor be able to suggest stretching exercises that would specifically work with her scoliosis in mind ?
    • It's all about improving the flexibility to reduce the chance of injury. The brace is going to be an artificial support whereas a good stretching program can improve the integrity of her joints and along her spine. As a gymnast, one would assume that she has a solid history of stretching, however it would be good for her to consult with a sports medicine physician or physiotherapist about the most appropriate exercises for her condition.
    • How would stretching help ? Would it work to alleviate her pain ?
  • Is there a certain degree of curvature of the spine that is considered normal and not scoliosis ? I've mentioned to my doctor that my daughter seems to have quite an arch in her lower back but he said it was normal
    • The doctor has also looked at my daughter a few times over the years but we have been told hers is normal as well.
  • Would wearing some kind of brace help with her pain level when she's not training ?
    • There's a variety of braces that are used in treating scoliosis, and some of them cover the entire torso. Some are meant to be worn during the day, and others are more suited to wear overnight.
    • Do they still do the large brace for scoliosis like they used to do?
  • Would increasing her training cause additional stress on her back and increase her pain ?
    • That depends alot on the amount and intensity of the exercise..
    • I would definitely have this considered since this young girl is training competitively. The amount of stress and impact on her back given her gymnastics training 5 days a week, and the fact that she is still developing should be properly evaluated with a physiotherapist or rheumatologist.
    • I would really worry about this back pain at such a young age. I know people who injured themselves as teens and suffer a great deal to this day.
  • What effect does living with scoliosis, mild or more severe, have on a person's life?
    • I think just like the condition, the impact of having scoliosis on one's quality of life varies along a spectrum. I knew someone with scoliosis and apart from a slight obvious curve in her back, she was able to exercise normally and maintain her desired lifestyle.
  • What degree of scoliosis DOES require surgery?
    • Since this girl is only 14-years-old, I wonder if surgery would be advisable at her age, or if it's better to wait until she is through puberty to look at correcting her scoliosis.
    • The degree of scoliosis will have an impact on how much straightening of the spine can be done during surgery. Some people will scoliosis have more flexibility in the curvature of their spine which usually means more manipulation and correction can be done during surgery. Obviously, each case will be treated individually.
    • Does surgery always work or can things become more limiting after the surgery ?
    • I am surprised with daily pain that they aren't considering this.
  • Is there anything one can/should do to prevent scoliosis?
    • Would chiropractic care have any effect on scoliosis?
    • I believe that scoliosis is a hereditary / genetic condition.
  • I believe that the training required of young girls to compete at such a high level in gymnastics is hard on their bones. I imagine it would be that much harder for an athlete with scoliosis. Has she asked her doctor what future ramifications there may be for continuing to train at this level?
    • Gymnastics training at that level is hard on the body. Gymnasts typically compete with injuries. I would imagine having a condition like scoliosis would only make her more at risk of injury
  • How is a diagnosis of scoliosis made ?
    • I am curious also, how did she discover that she has scoliosis?
  • Is Scoliosis hereditary ?
    • There is some belief that it is genetic and hereditary
  • What causes Scoliosis ? How can it be managed ?
QA Chat