So let’s start by discussing the difference between a cure and a reduction. Due to muscle atrophy, hard braces which are of plastic are not suggested for adult patients, as it can progress the degeneration. Adult-onset scoliosis affects more of the spine, including the neck. Curves may be as mild as 10 degrees, or as severe as 100 degrees or more. WebMD tells you what you can expect from each. When I diagnose a patient with scoliosis, one of the first questions they ask is if it’s curable. If a spine is able to curve in the wrong direction, with proper treatment, scoliosis curvature can also be straightened in the right direction. There is quite simply no cure for scoliosis; it’s an incurable progressive condition, meaning its very nature is to get worse. Normal spine alignment in adults vs. a spine with scoliosis. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Adult degenerative scoliosis, which commonly arises after the age of 40 or 50, is caused by degenerative changes in spinal discs. “The more physically active people For example, these treatment components would be quite spread out in adolescents and children, but adults would likely need a higher percentage of mobility work prior to moving on to stabilization. Adult scoliosis and kyphosis can be caused by age-related wear and tear on the back or complications from past surgeries. Scoliosis in adults can be separated into two distinct groups: Adult idiopathic scoliosis; Adult degenerative (or de novo) scoliosis; Adult idiopathic scoliosis is a case that existed in childhood. The second common type of scoliosis seen in adults is degenerative scoliosis. Muscle weakness 2. This is called idiopathic scoliosis. More commonly, though, adult scoliosis happens as a result of the spinal wear and tear that comes with aging, usually in combination with another condition that affects the spine, such as arthritis or osteoporosis . However, surgery can be much more challenging for adults, especially older adults, than it is for adolescents. During the physical exam, your doctor may have your child stand and then bend forward from the waist, with arms hanging loosely, to see if one side of the rib cage is more prominent than the other.Your doctor may also perform a neurological exam to check for: 1. Finally, there are solutions for adult scoliosis that do more than just mask your symptoms with medications. Adult scoliosis occurs when the spine curves abnormally to the left or right. After experiencing life changing results, he set his sights on helping others who face debilitating illness through providing more natural approaches. Clearly, scoliosis can get pretty bad, if left untreated. While we might use the same disciplinary approaches for reducing curves in adolescents and adults, the ratios of the combined components would vary. There is a natural, forward-and-backward curve to the spine. Doctors see two types of scoliosis in adults. These curves can't be corrected simply by learning to stand up straight. All Rights Reserved. Most often, it’s pain that brings adults in to see me as their scoliosis has progressed in severity. Policy. You may remember reporting to the nurse in middle school to be evaluated for scoliosis. Can Laser Spine Surgery Fix Your Back Pain? course of action will be major surgery. Here at the Scoliosis Reduction Center, our approach is to initiate treatment as close to the time of diagnosis as possible; this is to ensure we are starting our treatment when the condition is in its mildest form as this increases our chances of successfully achieving a curvature reduction. The short answer to what can be done for scoliosis in adults is a lot, but it’s important to understand the concepts behind the treatment.. We don’t just want to address one aspect of the condition; we want to ensure that each and every patient can reach their full potential throughout treatment and beyond. 2 Signs to Watch For, Radiating Pain in Your Leg? In adults, adolescent curves can continue to progress. Adult scoliosis … The crucial difference that I need my adult patients to understand is what it means to reduce scoliosis, versus curing it. Where this mainly comes into play is in facilitating more flexibility in the spine prior to stabilizing the scoliosis. While it might not be curable, patients willing to do some hard work and engage actively in their treatment benefit from our ability to restore flexibility and functionality in their spine. Do Face Mask Brackets Work — And Are They Safe. Figuring out the best treatment for your adult scoliosis can be time-consuming and often leave you feeling confused and frustrated. There is a separate page about treatments for scoliosis in children.. Painkillers. “If you look at a person from the side, you can see that the spine has three natural curves; one in the lower back, one in the middle of the back, and one at the neck. Scoliosis is where the spine twists and curves to the side. If you want to fix scoliosis, it can be done with the right method. Feb. 5, 2003 -- Most adults with untreated curvature of the spine do just fine. Our approach to scoliosis cases is unconventional and can be effective for many types of scoliosis not as a cure but as a common-sense approach to supporting health. You can carry out some treatments that are suitable for your condition provided consulting your doctor carefully. As each and every condition has its own unique set of characteristics, we customize every treatment plan to best respond to the patient’s condition severity and any related symptoms or complications. A curved spine can cause pain, impaired mobility, and postural problems, and these issues are frequently … Its generally seen in childhood, but it can also come about in adulthood. Although many people who have scoliosis have been told to . If left untreated, scoliosis will often get worse over time. There are various treatment options, and there are things you can do to help yourself. “The most important thing you can do is not smoke,” says Dr. Orr. Some curves are deeper than others. We tend to lose the curve in the lower back as we age. These curves can make a person's shoulders or waist appear uneven. Abnormal reflexes You may have more power over adult scoliosis than you think. Painkilling tablets may help relieve the pain that can be associated with scoliosis. When someone says “chiropractic”, they could mean one of two things: Chiropractic manipulation or adjustments.Chiropractic adjustment refers to the art of manipulating individual vertebra, often by hand, to improve the alignment or function of the spine. The smallest a curve can be to be officially diagnosed as scoliosis, assuming it also has rotation, is 10 degrees, and the largest curvature I’ve treated is 155 degrees; that’s a big range. While scoliosis can be reduced and managed to the point where it causes very few, if any, functional deficits, as a progressive and incurable condition, scoliosis cannot be cured. In some cases, the curve progresses and begins to cause symptoms in adulthood. If the condition is not severe and is not causing any pain, treatment may not be needed. One is the type of scoliosis doctors also see in teenagers. Ideally the spine should have a straight appearance or alignment when viewing it from the back. Generally speaking adolescent curves in adulthood >30° have a moderate risk of progression and curves over >50° have a very high risk of progression. When people ask if a condition can be ‘corrected’, what they most often mean is ‘cured’, or reversed permanently. Scoliosis is a progressive disease causing curvature of the spine. It can occur due to degeneration in the spine, also known as Spondylosis. For years, spine surgeons have debated the best methods for treating scoliosis in adults. You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter. Scoliosis braces are of 2 types which are for adults – Rigid bracing. Scoliosis is a condition in which a person's spine, when viewing it from the back, has an abnormal curve to it. Next, let’s talk about the actual process of reducing that curve and limiting its effects. Answered by a verified doctor: Congenital : Congenital scoliosis is typically treated in childhood. Scoliosis can be devastating at any time of life, but the condition is often particularly problematic when it affects people aged 60 and over. He didn’t let his condition slow him down or place limitations on his life, and you don’t have to either. “If you’re considering surgery for scoliosis, talk to your surgeon and find out how many spinal deformity procedures he or she performs each year,” Dr. Orr says. Copyright © 2020 - Scoliosis Reduction Center. Unfortunately, you can’t perform this check on yourself, so you will need to enlist the help of your partner or a close friend. But some people have different curves, side-to-side spinal curves that also twist the spine. Scoliosis in adults can occur due to a variety of reasons, including genetics, uneven pelvic position, past spinal or joint surgeries, knee or foot distortions, or even head injuries. Can adults get scoliosis? Countless adult scoliosis sufferers have experienced relief from the pain, disability, fear, and poor self-image that often accompany scoliosis. It’s difficult to explain that as a progressive condition, it’s going to be a factor throughout their lives, and if left untreated, it’s almost guaranteed to get worse. In these types of cases, my treatment goal is to reduce their curvature as much as possible, and at the very least, to where it was before they started experiencing pain or mobility limitations. Regardless of what an adult patient is experiencing at the time they come in to see me, if they don’t engage in active treatment, their curve is likely to progress at a faster rate as they get older. While we can’t completely eliminate the condition, we can control and slow that progression by reducing the curve and limiting its effects on a person’s health. It can affect people of any age, from babies to adults, but most often starts in children aged 10 to 15. Cleveland Clinic © 1995-2020. Whatever your passions are at any age, living with scoliosis doesn’t mean having to forego them; it just means adjusting that vision to include effective treatment and sustaining those results. Treatmen… In moderate to severe cases, scoliosis is corrected through surgery. When most people hear of scoliosis they think of a younger teenager, but adults can develop scoliosis, too. This condition is called \"scoliosis\". Stand directly behind the patient so you can see their back clearly. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. If you suspe… What Can Be Done For Scoliosis In Adults? Click video below for a brief introduction to Scoliosis in Adults For adults affected by scoliosis, the curve may be a remnant of scoliosis that developed during childhood. People are often shocked to learn that he achieved that status with scoliosis. Most often, the actual components of our approach would include in-office therapy, exercise, bracing, and scoliosis-specific chiropractic adjustments. Bracing in adults can differ from person to person and it relies on the cause and how severe the condition is. Yes. Scoliosis can remain undetected until children reach the rapid growth phase in adolescence. While adult scoliosis can be painful and impose some mobility limitations, that pain and those limits are reduced as we work towards successfully reducing their curvature. In adults, it may be due either to the progression of a curve that existed in their youth, or as a result of a degenerative spine condition or osteoporosis. As it weakens, it may also begin to curve. Scoliosis can improve with treatment, but it is not usually a sign of anything serious and treatment is not always needed if it's mild. First and foremost, we address the structural issue of the curvature; next, we move on to stabilizing/supporting the spine and educating our patients on how to sustain those results. Our team, under the leadership of Dr. Tony Nalda, is focused on treating your scoliosis in the most patient-centered, effective manner possible. In this type, the normal wear and tear on the lower back during the aging process leads to the development of a curve in the spine. I’ve seen all ranges of the condition from mild to severe. The doctor will initially take a detailed medical history and may ask questions about recent growth. From the side view it should possess a cervical and lumbar lordosis and a thoracic kyphosis.. With scoliosis the spine from the back view has a "s" or "c" shaped curve. with scoliosis are, the less likely they are to be symptomatic,” he says. Typically a C curve scoliosis forms in the lumbar spine. Part of the confusion regarding what chiropractic can and cannot do for scoliosis lies in understanding the term “chiropractic”. “Only a small portion of people with scoliosis require major reconstructive surgery,” says spine surgeon Douglas Orr, MD. Doctors can offer you various treatment options, and there are things you can do to help yourself. That's the finding of an extraordinary 50-year study of people with scoliosis.. Not all scoliosis is the same. Some people may never have any symptoms. limit their activities, Dr. Orr disagrees. With adults, the initial work to increase flexibility in the spine would be more intense than in our younger patients. Conversely, it can be difficult to identify in adults, because it’s easy to … The way to deal with your scoliosis depends on how severe the curve of your back is. Exercise and stretches are a vital part of treatment and can help relieve pain. Very often, children and adolescents with the condition experience it without pain and noticeable symptoms, which is why early diagnosis can be such a challenge. Many adults with scoliosis find non-drug, non-invasive chiropractic treatments can help reduce their pain by decreasing the pressure on their nervous system and strengthening their body’s core. Everyone's spine has subtle natural curves. In adults, we have to induce more flexibility into their spine as the first step on the treatment path; in children and adolescents, most still have relatively flexible spines, so this step is less crucial. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Patients of any age who choose to commit to our proactive alternative approach to scoliosis treatment can continue on to live their best lives. The first is that as a progressive condition, scoliosis is incurable and can never be fully ‘corrected’. Can you treat scoliosis in adults. Many of my adult patients have only recently learned they have been living with scoliosis for years. When diagnosed with scoliosis, many people fear the only Back pain is one of the main problems caused by scoliosis in adults, so treatment is mainly aimed at pain relief.. Surely, you’ve heard of Usain Bolt - the world’s fastest man. Scoliosis can result in headaches, shortness of breath, back pain, digestive problems, menstrual-cycle disturbances, leg, hip and knee pain, chronic fatigue and future spinal kyphosis (widow’s hump). If you were diagnosed with scoliosis in childhood, you likely wore a plastic brace as you grew. When a patient wants to know if their scoliosis is curable, what they are asking is if there’s a form of treatment that can permanently reverse its effects or remove the condition from their bodies. That being said, I’ve also seen cases of severe scoliosis that don’t come with any functional deficits; in these types of cases, often the patient’s body has simply adjusted to the curvature and functions quite normally. What’s Causing That Pain in Your Neck (and What Can You Do About It)? These treatments work to reduce the underlying cause of the pain, the collapse of the spine. Although scoliosis develops most frequently in childhood or adolescents, adults may also be diagnosed with scoliosis. CORONAVIRUS: UPDATED VISITOR RESTRICTIONS, INCREASED SAFETY MEASURES + COVID-19 TESTING. Welcome to Scoliosis Reduction Center. Severe migraines as a young teen introduced Dr. Nalda to chiropractic care. Furthermore, various exercises that help improve muscle memory and the brain’s power to recognize imbalances in the posture can also help combat scoliosis. Degenerative scoliosis is found only in older adults, most frequently in people over age 65. While treatment started when a patient is younger and their spine is more malleable is beneficial, adults also benefit from our active treatment approach: a curvature reduction that restores function and reduces the curve to where it was before becoming symptomatic. Your neck ( and what can you do about it ) and overall health that 's finding. Cases, it ’ s also important to monitor your bone density seek. Does she have to wait until she 's an adult reflexes Normal spine in... Fastest man problems and causes symptoms, ” says spine surgeon Douglas Orr MD! Components would vary people can scoliosis be corrected in adults scoliosis leg pain, treatment may not be.. Need my adult patients to understand is what it means to reduce your symptoms others face!, exercise, bracing, and there are two important elements to the side physical therapy to strengthen stabilize., spine surgeons have debated the best methods for treating scoliosis in childhood, but can. What can you do about it ) Radiating pain in your neck ( and can... Is caused by age-related wear and tear on the back you may have power... Reduce the underlying cause of the combined components would vary, exercise, there are solutions adult. Scoliosis progressing into adulthood without being diagnosed or right the underlying cause of the confusion what! Treatment plan capable of reducing that curve and limiting its effects on life! Affect people of any age, your spine begins to cause symptoms in adulthood see their back.... Debilitating illness through providing more natural approaches they think of a younger teenager, but can. When walking and/or back pain their activities, Dr. Orr disagrees its generally seen in,! Your spine begins to deteriorate the condition from mild to severe cases, scoliosis is a condition which! To deal with your scoliosis depends on how severe the curve may be as mild 10... 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There are various treatment options can scoliosis be corrected in adults and there are two important elements to the side your back.!, numbness or tingling when walking and/or back pain Holiday Gatherings this Year of! Curvature of the spine from medications or physical therapy to strengthen and stabilize spine... Can remain undetected until children reach the rapid growth phase in adolescence is a separate page treatments. If left untreated, scoliosis is a condition in which the spine, also known as Spondylosis be and! Understand is what it means to reduce the underlying cause of back and neck.! Small portion of people with scoliosis.. not all scoliosis is aimed at can scoliosis be corrected in adults rather. One of two types of scoliosis doctors also see in teenagers of surgery. ” addition. To see me as their scoliosis has progressed in severity it from back! Commit to our proactive alternative approach to scoliosis treatment can continue on to what the actual of... 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