Right-sided and left-sided scoliosis of the thoracic spine: symptoms and treatment

Curvature of the back to the side with simultaneous twisting of the vertebrae around its axis in the thoracic spine is thoracic scoliosis.

This pathology is most often found in adolescents, but it is at this age that timely attention to the problem and the choice of a competent correction scheme will prevent further unwanted changes.

In adults, scoliosis often occurs initially after trauma or against the background of chronic pathologies as a complication.

Symptoms of scoliosis of the thoracic spine

How scoliosis will manifest itself directly depends on the degree of the angle of deviation of the spinal column from the midline. The degree of pathology is exposed after the patient undergoes X-ray in several projections.

  • The first degree implies the presence of deformation not exceeding 5 degrees. Outwardly, such a change is difficult to determine without special tests. If you examine the back of a teenager or an adult from behind, you can notice that one scapula is raised above the other, when the back is tilted, the midline deviates to the side. Patients may complain about the rapid onset of fatigue after exercise or after the body has been in one, uncomfortable position for a long time.
  • The second degree is when the deviation to the side is between 10 and 25 degrees. The stoop is clearly visible, from the external defects there is a lowering of one scapula down, unevenness of the waist, asymmetry of the lower ribs on the right and left in relation to each other, torticollis. A muscle ridge may form on the back. Of the complaints, adolescents with this degree of scoliosis often present painful, periodic phenomena in the chest. Discomfort is especially pronounced after physical education, sports, after a long motionless stay in one position. Numbness and tingling in the hands may be troubling.
  • The third degree is set when the degree reaches from 25 to 50. Outwardly, this type of deformation is not difficult to determine. The rotation of the vertebrae around its axis also disrupts the normal anatomy of other structures associated with the support of the human body. On the one hand, the ribs will protrude on the back, on the side of the chest, on the contrary, they will sink, the pelvic region is skewed, the chest is deformed. All this leads to a functional disorder in the internal organs. In addition to complaints of back pain, a person indicates periodic breathing problems, heart failure, shortness of breath. Disruption of the work of the most important systems of the body leads to a decrease in immunity and as a result of this, frequent colds occur. Skewness also changes the work of the spinal cord itself, this leads to a change in sensitivity and motor activity in the limbs.
  • Scoliosis of the 4th degree can be called deformity. The degree of deviation of the spine exceeds 50 degrees, and the greater it is, the clearer all external signs are and the harder it is for the person himself. The human body is very strongly skewed to one side, he walks almost in a bent position. Internal organs are displaced, there are serious and almost constant violations in their work. Growth slows down or stops in children. The pain in the spinal column is very strong and constant, the load only intensifies them many times over. Serious health problems lead to disability and early death.

Scoliosis can be stable and rapidly progressive. The transition from one stage to another for some people takes several years, for others it can occur literally in months.

Types of scoliosis

There are several classifications of types of scoliosis, they are used mainly in order to choose the right therapy tactics. Deformation is subdivided into:

  • By the degree of curvature, that is, these are the degrees of anomaly.
  • In the direction of the abnormal bend.
  • By the shape of this curvature.

There is also the Cobb classification used in modern medical practice. According to this division, thoracic scoliosis can be divided into five groups:

  • Myopathic. A similar form of the disease occurs with insufficient strengthening or pathological changes in all ligaments, including muscles, back.
  • Neurotic, arise as complications in NS diseases.
  • Scoliosis caused by injury or chronic diseases of the ridge.
  • Congenital type of disease. Thoracic scoliosis can be found in some babies right after birth.
  • Idiopathic thoracic scoliosis. The term idiopathic means that the underlying cause of such pathologies cannot be established.


This type of scoliosis is characterized by the divergence of the spine to the right. The lowering of the left shoulder blade will be noticeable, the waist is skewed. Downstream, the right-sided curvature is considered more favorable than the left-sided.


The spine column in the thoracic region departs to the left. At the first degree, a small defect is noticeable and pains periodically disturb. As the disease progresses, the lungs, pleura and heart tissues suffer, which is manifested by corresponding symptoms and an increasing dysfunction of these organs.


This subtype of scoliosis is exposed when two arcs are found on the X-ray. One is considered the main one, it can deviate both to the left and to the right. The repeated abnormal deviation is compensatory, that is, it is formed in order to reduce the load on the spine caused by the first curvature.


This is a simple, initial scoliosis in which one curvature is revealed facing the right or left. The S-bend occurs after the C-bend.

What is thoracic kyphoscoliosis?

Thoracic kyphoscoliosis is an abnormal deformity of the spine, in which there are defects in both scoliosis and kyphosis. That is, the spine deviates by a certain degree, not only to one of the sides, but also posteriorly.

Kyphoscoliosis can be congenital and also acquired during life. Often, such a deformity can form in patients who have undergone spinal surgery and do not follow the recommendations of the attending physician.

With thoracic kyphoscoliosis, pain syndrome is more pronounced, and problems with internal organs arise already at the first degrees of pathology. Treatment is difficult, but the earlier it is started, the better the chances of its effectiveness.

Treatment method

The principles of treatment will differ depending on the severity of the process, the age of the patient, and concomitant disorders. It will be almost completely possible, with appropriate therapy, to correct grade 1 scoliosis in children, of course, if it is detected on time.

The following are the types of therapies that are primarily used to treat adults with scoliosis.

Conservative therapy of thoracic scoliosis is carried out at the first degrees of pathology. From medicines used:

  • Pain relievers. Analgesics are necessary for a person with constant and intense pain.
  • Drugs, the mechanism of action of which is aimed at eliminating changes in the vertebrae and related structures. The choice of this group of drugs largely depends on what pathologies of the musculoskeletal system are detected during the diagnosis. Prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, vitamin and mineral complexes, funds aimed at improving metabolic reactions.

How long the drug treatment will last depends on how pronounced the positive changes become, often with scoliosis, the use of treatment regimens is used in order to consolidate the result two to three times a year.

In addition to drug therapy, methods of external influence are of great importance on the state of support of the human body. First, with their help, they seek to correct the curvature, apply:

  • Massotherapy. It is prescribed for the purpose of gradually strengthening the muscle corset. With the correct massage, it is possible to correct a minor anomaly, and an increase in blood supply helps to increase the nutrition of the vertebrae. The massage technique in each case is always selected individually and must be carried out by a trained specialist. An experienced massage therapist achieves stress relief on the side of the concavity and toning on the opposite edge.
  • Stretching on an inclined plane, with the help of special devices, in the water. When stretched, the vertebrae gradually return to their normal position.
  • Physiotherapy. Exercises performed in rehabilitation centers and at home are considered the most important conservative method for correcting scoliosis. The set of classes is selected individually and a person must devote time to it every day, the number of exercises, their duration must be strictly observed. It is with the help of exercise therapy that it is possible to completely remove scoliosis of 1 degree and stop the progression of more severe and pronounced anomalies.

In the future, that is, after a course of conservative therapy, the orthopedist suggests that the patient wear a corset. A supportive corset is especially useful for grade 1 scoliosis and is worn during physical work.

Corrective corsets are considered medical, they are made of plastic, and their sizes for each patient are calculated individually. To do this, all the data obtained during the diagnosis and measurement of spinal deviations are stored in a computer, and a special program provides a suitable version of the corset.

As the correction progresses, it becomes necessary to replace the corset with another. Corrective corsets a sick person must wear a certain time, in order to prevent muscle atrophy, they are removed at night or for several hours during the day.

In addition to exercise, massage, pharmacological treatment, good nutrition and weight loss are equally important in correcting pathology. Orthopedists also recommend their patients with spinal problems to go in for swimming, take breaks when doing sedentary work, and sleep on a fairly hard surface.

In the absence of the effect of the methods taken to correct, an operation is prescribed. Surgical intervention is almost immediately recommended if it is found that the scoliosis is rapidly progressing.

Gymnastic exercises

Gymnastics with scoliosis of the chest should be performed according to certain rules, these, first of all, include:

  • Prevention of sharp twists, movements, turns during exercise.
  • Smooth exercise performance.
  • The complex must begin with a careful warm-up, during which tension is removed from the muscles.
  • The set of classes must necessarily include exercises not only for the back, but also for the press. The stability of the spine also depends on the condition of the muscles of the abdominal wall. It is imperative that appropriate exercises be selected to correct the deformity and to improve breathing.
  • Relaxation techniques are performed at the end.

The effectiveness of gymnastics depends on whether it is correctly selected for a specific patient. Therefore, it is not recommended to do various intensive movements that require efforts on your own. Of the recommended and simplest ones, you can advise to perform several exercises:

  • It is necessary to sit on the floor face down, arms spread apart. In this case, the gaze is directed to the floor. From the side of the curvature, it is necessary to stretch out your hand, putting it behind your head. In this case, the elbow must be pulled back and up, and with a glance it is necessary to fix this movement. At the same time, the body rises, we exhale deeply, linger for a few seconds, and while inhaling, the body should return to its original position.
  • The position of the body is not changed. It is necessary to pull the hand to the side from the side of the curvature, and stretch the second forward. The palms of both hands are pressed to the floor. Exhaling, we raise our head, arms and shoulders. In this case, you need to clench your hands into fists. A similar position is held for several seconds, while inhaling the body descends.
  • It is necessary to lie on the side where there is the apex of the abnormal bend. Hands are put behind the head and after a few seconds are pulled along the body.

Exercises must be performed at least 5 times in the first days, then they are brought to 8-10 each.

Positive changes can be noticeable after a few months, provided that the exercises are performed daily and the condition of the spine is monitored by an orthopedist.


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