Can Adults Develop Scoliosis?

Your spine provides an amazing framework for your body as it helps to coordinate every movement you make. Of course, your ability to perform all your daily activities depends on having a spinal structure that’s balanced and strong.

A normally straight spine has small curves from front to back. However, if you have scoliosis, your spine curves in a side-to-side way, in the shape of a “C” or an “S” instead of a straight line. The curve may range from 10 degrees to more than 100 degrees. This curvature can lead eventually to pain and mobility problems.

While scoliosis commonly develops before puberty when the skeleton is still growing, some types can also appear in adults.

John Regan, M.D., and the expert team at Spine Group Beverly Hills provide all the diagnostic testing and treatments you need to relieve the symptoms of your scoliosis.

Scoliosis in adults

Adults can develop two types of scoliosis: idiopathic (meaning no known cause) and degenerative.

An adult with idiopathic scoliosis may have had it in childhood, but the condition wasn’t discovered or didn’t cause symptoms until adulthood.

It’s more common for adults to get the degenerative kind of scoliosis. As people age, their spines suffer normal wear and tear. They may develop conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis that cause the spinal discs and joints to degenerate.

The resulting weakness in the spine may cause it to move out of its straight alignment, leading to scoliosis.

Diagnosing scoliosis

Because many back problems have similar symptoms, it’s important to get an expert, accurate diagnosis of your condition.

Many adults with scoliosis don’t notice any symptoms. Sometimes, the condition is visible in obvious ways, such as one shoulder blade or hip higher than the other.

In general, adults with scoliosis tend to have more discomfort or mobility problems than teenagers. Scoliosis affects adults most often in the lower part of the spine, which is more vulnerable to damage from aging and degeneration.

What are the most common symptoms of adult scoliosis?

To determine if you have scoliosis, Dr. Regan performs a physical exam, taking your family and medical history. He examines your back for subtle or clear signs of the condition. During your exam, you may receive X-rays or other tests to confirm the curvature of your spine.

Once you’re diagnosed, Dr. Regan designs your customized care plan.

A team care approach

Spine Group Beverly Hills offers the expertise of a multidisciplinary team of specialists to take you from diagnosis to treatment for relief from your discomfort.

Often, adult scoliosis can be treated effectively with conservative methods such as physical therapy, weight-bearing exercise, diet changes and medication. Our spine center in Beverly Hills is affiliated with nonsurgical care specialists, as well as a full exercise gym and spine-trained physical therapists who provide pain-relieving exercises that build your core, increase flexibility, improve posture and more.

Sometimes, your pain or mobility problems can’t be resolved through more conservative methods, and surgery may be the key to restoring a good quality of life.

Spinal fusion surgery to straighten and stabilize the spine is one highly effective option for pain relief from scoliosis. Technology now makes it possible to perform this surgery in a minimally invasive way. A fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Regan is a pioneer in the field of minimally invasive surgery techniques that allow patients a shorter recovery time and produce better outcomes.

If symptoms of scoliosis are keeping you from enjoying life, call Spine Group Beverly Hills or use the convenient online booking feature to schedule a consultation with Dr. Regan, and get back on the road to a healthy spine.

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