Adult Scoliosis: Symptoms and Treatment

You are currently viewing Adult Scoliosis: Symptoms and Treatment

Scoliosis is a condition characterized by an abnormal curve of the spine. When someone has scoliosis, it means that the spine has a sideways curve, rather than the normal forward-and-backward curve of a spine without scoliosis. 

Most cases of scoliosis are found and addressed during childhood. However, scoliosis may also be discovered in adulthood, at which point it’s referred to as adult scoliosis. 

What Causes Adult Scoliosis?

There are multiple possible causes of adult scoliosis. In some cases, the scoliosis simply wasn’t found during the patient’s childhood and was only discovered in adulthood. However, the most common cause of adult scoliosis is the natural degeneration of the spine. As the spinal discs and facet joints degenerate due to age, the spine may slowly develop a sideways curve, leading to adult scoliosis. 

Symptoms of Adult Scoliosis

While symptoms of adult scoliosis can vary from case to case, the most common symptoms include:

  • Spinal pain
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Visible asymmetry of the spine 
  • A bulge in the back caused by the rotation of the muscles or rib cage
  • Lost height

Treatment of Adult Scoliosis

To treat adult scoliosis, most patients will start with non-surgical treatments including physical therapy, lifestyle changes, over-the-counter pain medication, and postural training. The purpose of these treatments is to improve muscle strength to support the spine, reduce impact on the spine, relieve tension caused by poor posture, and ease pain. At Hernando Orthopaedic, we also offer CBD to help patients manage pain and discomfort from chronic conditions, including scoliosis. 

If non-surgical treatments aren’t enough to help the patient manage pain and retain the basic function of the spine, surgery may be necessary. Dr. Higgins can help you determine whether spinal surgery is right for your case of adult scoliosis to help you regain an active, pain-free lifestyle.  

Contact Hernando Orthopaedic today to learn more!