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Is Scoliosis Painful Back Pain

My Life With Scoliosis

What degree of scoliosis requires treatment?

Before I was ten, my life was normal. Then, as if overnight, my spine went out of shape. My Mum took me to our GP who immediately referred me to the local hospital to see an orthopaedic surgeon. The surgeon diagnosed me with scoliosis but said it was a cosmetic problem only and itwould never cause me a problem.

What Are The Causes Of Other Types Of Scoliosis

As stated above, idiopathic scoliosis and its subtypes comprise over 80% of all scoliosis patients. However, there are three other main types of scoliosis:

There are other potential causes of scoliosis, including spine tumors such as osteoid osteoma. This is a benign tumor that can occur in the spine and cause pain. The pain causes people to lean to the opposite side to reduce the amount of pressure applied to the tumor. This can lead to a spinal deformity. In addition, researchers suggest that genetics , muscle disorders, and/or abnormal fibrillin metabolism may play a role in causing or contributing to scoliosis development.

Scoliosis Pain: How Scoliosis Affects And Causes Pain

When it comes to living with the conditions most common form, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis , pain isnt generally a big part of the experience adults, however, experience scoliosis-related pain very differently. This difference is largely based on condition severity, compression, and the degenerative effects of aging.

Before we get into the more specific types of scoliosis-related pain and how it affects multiple areas of the body, lets first take a general look at scoliosis and why the typical AIS experience does not include pain.

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Keep Your Joints Warm

Its common for scoliosis pain to worsen in cold weather as tight muscles stiffen even more. To combat this, set the thermostat to a warm, comfortable temperature at home and dress in warm clothing when you leave the house. If youre feeling especially achy, soak in a hot bath or apply a heat pack to the sore areas along your spine.

Features Of The Strauss Method

Backpod assists with a range of painful conditions ...
  • Effective. Unlike traditional bracing, which has little to no evidence of effectiveness, the Strauss Method has been effective for thousands of scoliosis patients worldwide.
  • Treats the cause, not the symptom. The reason the Strauss Method works is because it addresses the root of the problem by retraining muscle memory and strengthening the muscles of the body that work to support and correct posture.
  • An alternative to medicine. Over the course of many years on pain medicine, the cost is exorbitant and the toll on your health even more so. Most importantly, in the end, what do you have to show for it? No change or improvement of your conditionjust a mask over the pain and curve that still exists under the surface.
  • Custom treatment plan. Scoliosis is different from patient to patient, including the type of scoliosis, severity, age of the patient, and plenty of other factors. Thats why the Strauss Method protocol is to develop a custom treatment plan for each patient.
  • No risk. Unlike risky and dangerous surgery, you have nothing to lose by trying the Strauss Method treatment at Strauss Scoliosis Correction. We have seen case after case of the treatment improving the condition and quality of life for patients of all ages. But if it does not work for you, you are not left with a lifelong handicap or chronic pain that can be the result of surgery.

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Patient Age And Scoliosis

When it comes to scoliosis-related back pain, adults experience it very differently than children and adolescents, and while scoliosis is far more commonly diagnosed in adolescents between the ages of 10 and 18, adults can develop it too.

Scoliosis can be painful for adults because they have reached skeletal maturity, meaning their spines are no longer growing. Once the spine has settled due to gravity and maturity, it is vulnerable to the compressive force of the abnormal curvature, as its compression felt by the spine and its surrounding muscles and nerves that causes pain.

In children and adolescents who are still growing, their spines are constantly being lengthened, and this counteracts the compressive force of the curvature, making it uncommon for the condition to be painful for young patients.

So when it comes to back pain and scoliosis, a large factor is the age of the patient. In addition, condition severity and curvature location can also play a role in whether or not a patient will experience scoliosis-related lower back pain.

Common Degenerative Scoliosis Symptoms

Typical signs and symptoms of degenerative scoliosis include:

  • Pain comes on gradually. Back pain from degenerative scoliosis does not start suddenly. Rather, it slowly worsens over time and tends to be associated with activity. The initial pain can begin as a dull ache or stiffness, and it is usually located in the low back or less commonly in the mid back.
  • Pain is worse in the morning. The pain tends to be more intense first thing in the morning, then it improves after the person gets up and starts moving around for the day. However, the pain can worsen again toward the end of the day or after vigorous or strenuous activities.
  • Sitting feels better than standing/walking. The facet joints generate much of the pain, and they have more loading in the standing position. Sitting takes the stress and weight off these joints.
  • Postural changes. Due to progressing curvature and degeneration of the spine, the shoulders and/or hips might become uneven, and a person can become shorter.

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Scoliosis Treatment In Adults

What you dont know about adult scoliosis can cause you unnecessary pain. But there is something you can do.

Does your scoliosis leave you feeling hopeless? Do you feel like your curves slow but relentless progression is out of control? Do you worry about how your condition will progress and worsen over time?

The research on scoliosis tells us that a typical adult will have progression of their curve, and that the progression will vary from 0.5 to 3.0 degrees per year.

I have great news for you: Your condition is treatable. There is hope.

Countless adult scoliosis sufferers have experienced relief from the pain, disability, fear, and poor self-image that often accompany scoliosis. You can be one of them.

You are about to learn about the solution for scoliosis that you didnt believe was possible. You can change the course of your scoliosis progression. You can do something to change your future. The power is in your hands.

What Causes Adult Scoliosis

Severe Scoliosis Patient Finds Relief Through Minimally Invasive Surgery

The cause of adult scoliosis varies depending on the type of scoliosis. The most common form of adult scoliosis is degenerative . Adult scoliosis may be a case of pediatric scoliosis that was undiscovered until adulthood. In some cases, adolescent scoliosis may develop symptoms with aging and require treatment. Idiopathic scoliosis is usually discovered during growth in childhood or adolescence. When it begins or is found after puberty, it is called adult idiopathic scoliosis because the curve is discovered after complete skeletal growth.

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Are There Home Remedies For Scoliosis

There are many home remedies that have been described for scoliosis some involve herbal treatments, diet therapy, massage, physical therapy, stretches, certain exercises, and nutritional supplements like L-selenomethionine.

A mattress that is composed of latex, memory foam, or cool gel and is adjustable is recommended by some clinicians and patients.

Patients are advised to discuss these treatments, especially exercises, with their doctor before starting any home remedies. Medical treatments are mainly over-the-counter pain medications when needed. Home remedies and medical treatments may reduce discomfort but do not provide a cure for scoliosis.

What Treatment Options Are Available

Treatment options and outcomes for adultscoliosis have improved significantly over the years. Just a few decades ago,we could successfully treat scoliosis only in children and teens. Today, weknow that multimodal treatment a team approach and combinations of therapy is the best way to treat adult scoliosis and prevent recurrence of symptoms.

While back braces might be effective for scoliosis in children, its not a primary treatment for adults. Sometimes we recommend bracing to stabilize the spine during acute episodes of pain. But long-term bracing can do more harm than good in adults. It can weaken back muscles because they dont have to work to support the torso, putting additional stress on the discs in the spine and speeding up degeneration.

Physical therapy is the first-line treatment for adult scoliosis, which sometimes surprises patients if their backs or legs hurt during activity. A physical therapist can help patients develop proper back mechanics to minimize stress on the spine when lifting, bending, and exercising.

We also recommend other non-surgical approaches, such as acupuncture or dry needling and anti-inflammatory injections to help manage symptoms. Some patients benefit from getting epidural steroid injections to reduce the inflammation affecting the nerves and reduce sciatica pain.

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Scoliosis Care In Seattle Wa

If you live in the Ballard neighborhood or surrounding areas and are looking for a holistic scoliosis chiropractor for yourself or your child, call Glacier Chiropractic to schedule an exam and consultation. Dont wait for your back pain to get worse. Get started with a personalized treatment plan today.

Scoliosis And Rib Pain


Sometimes connected to lung impairment, scoliosis can affect the rib cage and cause varying levels of related pain and discomfort.

One of the signs of scoliosis is whats known as a rib arch, and this is most commonly associated with scoliosis that develops along the thoracic spine .

When the spine bends and twists abnormally, its function can be disrupted. As the rib cage is attached to the spine, the abnormal positioning of the spine can also affect the rib cage, resulting in whats known as biomechanical rib cage dysfunction.

While this isnt guaranteed to produce rib pain, the more severe a rib deformity is, the more likely it is to be painful. Related rib pain can be caused by muscle spasms, strained muscles, ligaments, or stiff joints.

If you take a second and pause from reading to deeply inhale, pay attention to how its not just your lungs being engaged, but also the rib cage as it expands upwards and outwards to decrease pressure in the lungs and pass air into the chest cavity.

If a rib cage deformity is preventing the rib cage from fully expanding during inhalation, this can also impair overall lung function.

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Surgery As A Remedy For Pain

Many people who suffer from scoliosis-related pain choose spinal-fusion surgery out of fear. Some think it might be the only option to alleviate their pain, or they feel surgery is a preemptive strike against increasing pain levels associated with aging.

I respond to these concerns by pointing out to my patients that surgery is neither their only, nor their best option. While surgery can be successful in terms of making the spine straighter, it can have a big cost in terms of flexibility, functionality, and overall body health. Often, pain at the fusion site or infection can also be prevalent and lead to further complications and subsequent surgeries.

Surgeons do their very best to minimize negative outcomes and surgical side effects, but the bottom line is that spinal-fusion surgery is costly, invasive, and has the potential to affect the body in numerous negative ways.

Introduction And Clinical Approach

Currently, there is mounting evidence that children are commonly affected by both acute and chronic back pain. The increasing number of predominantly adolescents presenting with back pain is related to static physical actions such as long standing, sitting, or lifting weights during daily activities. It is known that there is a constant change of individual biomechanics during the pubertal growth spurt, and that the muscle force and the proprioceptive capacities are secondary to the bony driving force of growth.6 Therefore, children and adolescents seem to be more susceptible to muscular overload and functional pain if the demands are high or the individual physical condition is bad . Beyond those dynamic biomechanical pathogenic factors, the growth zones themselves also become injury-prone zones in puberty, since they are mechanically less resistant.

Several clinical findings are associated with an increased risk of an intraspinal anomaly and should prompt magnetic resonance imaging . These include a left thoracic curve, short segment curve , absence of apical segment lordosis, rapid curve progression , functionally disruptive pain, focal neurologic findings, male sex, pes cavus, and other organ anomalies.11

After a short discussion of the imaging indications and protocols for back pain and scoliosis in children, this article reviews the imaging findings of the most common and relevant causes of pediatric back pain and scoliosis.

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But Does It Cause Pain

Most scoliosis cases go undetected for several years. Thats because the condition is generally painless. Over time, as the curvature increases, adults can experience back pain. This can be for several reasons. For example, the shift in the spine causes undue pressure on the lower discs. Scoliosis can also cause the spine to rest on surrounding nerves, causing inflammation and intense back pain. Also, persons with scoliosis may feel stiffness and fatigue. About 40% of persons with scoliosis will have chronic back pain.

Varying Severity Levels Of Scoliosis

Causes of Back Pain, Scoliosis, Disk Degeneration – Dr. Charles Edwards II – Mercy

Regardless of age or condition form, a scoliosis diagnosis would involve comprehensively assessing and classifying the condition on its severity spectrum. This is important not only because it guides the treatment approach moving forward, but also because it indicates likely symptoms and potential related complications a patient might experience.

Mild Scoliosis

If a patients Cobb angle is more than 10 degrees, but less than 25, this is diagnosed as mild scoliosis.

Common mild scoliosis symptoms are subtle postural changes such as:

  • Head uncentered over the body
  • Arms and legs that appear to hang differently
  • Ribs that are protruding more prominently on one side, than the other
  • Hips that seem to sit at different heights
  • Unevenly protruding shoulder blades
  • Pain

In addition, clothing suddenly seeming to hang unevenly or changes to a persons walk or balance can also be a sign. The main indicators for mild scoliosis are subtle enough that unless you or a loved one are already on the lookout for signs, its likely that only an expert knowing exactly what to look for would spot the early days of the condition.

If a patients Cobb angle is between 25 and 40 degrees, this is classified as moderate scoliosis. At this stage, the aforementioned symptoms associated with mild scoliosis are more pronounced and easier to notice:

Even in moderate forms of the condition, pain isnt always guaranteed to play a role, especially in younger patients who are still growing.

Severe Scoliosis

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What Are The Most Effective Forms Of Scoliosis Treatment

Scoliosis brings up images of braces and perhaps memories of being tested for it in grade school by the school nurse. is one of the most common treatment options for scoliosis because it may fix the curve without spine surgery.

Sometimes, though, the curve is too extreme and bracing doesn’t help enough. In that situation, you can have scoliosis surgery to correct the curve. You can learn more about surgical treatment for scoliosis in for adults and scoliosis surgery for children.

Although technological advancements have led to innovative new surgical options over the past decade, there has also been a sea-change in the medical community, which has shifted toward a more patient-centered care model, says Dr. Lonner.

The new paradigm uses your X-rays and measurements as well as personal interactions with you and your family, taking your lifestyle and values into account, when creating a treatment plan. Today, says Dr. Lonner, there’s more of a reliance on the back and forth and assessment of the patient’s and family’s goals.

Treatment plans are also increasingly drawing on input from a multi-disciplinary team. This is particularly true for adults with chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. For these individuals, overall risk profile plays a large role in determining their care plan.

Nonsurgical Exercise

Physical Therapy

Passive Therapies

Pain Management

How Can Adult Scoliosis Affect The Legs

In adults, scoliosis is an acceleration of the agingprocess in the spine. As the tissue degenerates, the spine begins to curve intoa C-shape instead of the classicS-shaped curve of idiopathic scoliosis. The curvature causes a spinalimbalance, making it tough for patients to stand up straight, walk, or runwithout pain.

Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinalcanal, is often paired with adult scoliosis. It causes compression of nerves in the spine, whichresults in shooting pain, tingling, heaviness, weakness, and numbness in the buttocksand the legs a cluster of symptoms more commonly known as sciatica.

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Condition Type And Back Pain

In addition to condition severity and patient age, condition type can play a role in determining whether or not a patient is going to experience back pain.

As the majority of idiopathic scoliosis patients are children and adolescents who have not yet reached skeletal maturity, back pain is not a common aspect of living with the condition however, once again, the adult experience of living with scoliosis is very different, and idiopathic scoliosis in adults is the most common form of adult scoliosis.

Idiopathic Scoliosis in Adults

The two main types of scoliosis affecting adults are idiopathic and degenerative, so lets take a moment and address the topic of pain in these two condition forms.

As AIS is not always easily detectable, this means many adolescents mature with their condition unaware, without a diagnosis, and without treatment. What tends to happen in these cases is that once skeletal maturity is reached, noticeable symptoms start to appear these include more overt postural changes, because progression has occurred over time, and as the spine and its surroundings are more vulnerable to the curvatures progressive force, the condition can become painful, signifying something is wrong and leading to a diagnosis.

While back pain is common in adults living with scoliosis, pain that radiates into the legs and feet is also common, and this is caused by compression of the spinal nerves.

The other most-common form of scoliosis in adults is degenerative.


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