Scoliosis creates an abnormal sideways curvature in your spine. Because it often arises during adolescence, many parents find themselves researching the condition, its causes, and its treatments on behalf of their children.
We know that it can be overwhelming to learn that your child has scoliosis but remember, we’re always happy to answer your questions. Here at Spine Group Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, California, a common question we hear is whether scoliosis can resolve without intervention or not.
Read on as Dr. John Regan and his team explore the nature of scoliosis, its potential for self-correction, and the factors that influence its progression.
Scoliosis can manifest at any age, but it's commonly diagnosed in adolescents. Because it can start as a minor curve, many cases are diagnosed through routine screenings at school.
The degree of curvature can vary from mild to severe and may be caused by various factors, including genetics or underlying medical conditions. Minor curves may not be very noticeable, but severe curves may cause pain, visible bulges, difficulty carrying bags (sliding off shoulders), and uneven hips, waist, and shoulders.
Left untreated, severe curves can contribute to breathing issues, chronic back pain, and self-esteem issues due to the appearance of the curve.
The myth about outgrowing scoliosis
In some adolescents, scoliosis may appear during a growth spurt. There's a common misconception that minor curves observed in children might “self-correct” as they continue to grow. However, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons maintains that the opposite is true: The curve can actually worsen during a growth spurt.
What to do about scoliosis
Although scoliosis doesn’t go away on its own, the risk of the curve worsening does slow down once your child stops growing. During your child’s development, though, Dr. Regan continuously monitors for any changes in the degree of the curve.
Depending on the severity of the curve and your child’s symptoms, potential treatments include:
- Bracing (to prevent the curve from worsening)
- Minimally invasive surgery to reduce spinal curvature
Because your child is still growing, if they do need surgery, Dr. Regan may suggest an adjustable spinal rod that can be adjusted as your child grows.
Sometimes scoliosis isn't discovered until adulthood. This could be for many reasons. You might have had minor scoliosis as a child and it was never diagnosed. Or, you might have developed an underlying condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or muscular dystrophy, that contributed to scoliosis. In either case, Dr. Regan can also diagnose and treat adult scoliosis.
The bottom line: Don’t brush off your symptoms.
Don’t wait for a spinal curve to resolve on its own
While a mild curve may not progress, it’s not worth the risk to let a spinal curve go unmonitored. Interventions, such as bracing, can help stop scoliosis from progressing.
If you’re concerned about your child’s back or your own, don't hesitate to reach out to the Spine Group Beverly Hills team. From diagnosis to treatment, we’ve got you covered when it comes to scoliosis.
You can reach our Beverly Hills, California, office at 424-238-3281 or through our online form.