Lateral Curvature of the Spine, as illustrated in Fig. 400, is very much more common than angular curvature of the spine. It occurs most often in girls between the ages of twelve and sixteen. Among the first symptoms are dull, aching pain in the back, especially between the shoulder-blades, a tendency to stoop, lassitude, and general weakness.

One shoulder will be observed to be a little lower than the other. Upon a careful examination of the spine it will be found to be curved to one side.

Fig. 400. Lateral Curvature of the Spine.

Fig. 400. Lateral Curvature of the Spine.

The Treatment of Lateral Curvature of the Spine

Since this disease arises largely through weakness and irregular action of the muscles of the back, it is necessary in treatment not only that the curves should be corrected by proper splints, or braces, but that the weakened muscles should be strengthened. In its early stages, the disease can generally be corrected by means of proper exercises, such as, swinging by the hands several minutes at a time and several times a day, climbing a ladder hand over hand, exercising with the trapeze, etc. When further advanced, other means become necessary, one of the most efficient of which is the spinal swing, Fig. 401, and the use of proper splints and braces. The plaster-of-Paris jacket is recommended by Prof. Sayre for these cases, and we have employed it in connection with the spinal swing with success in several bad cases.

Fig. 401. Spinal Swing.

Fig. 401. Spinal Swing.