Is It Too Late to Do Something About My Scoliosis?

Scoliosis, an abnormal lateral curve in the spine, tends to be thought of as a condition that primarily impacts children. It’s not hard to imagine why this is such a common thought: the average age of onset is between 10 and 15-years-old. However, scoliosis can also affect adults.

At Spine Group Beverly Hills, we understand the complexities of scoliosis and how a curved spine can negatively impact your day-to-day life. From monitoring your spine for signs of progression to minimally-invasive surgery, Dr. John Regan provides compassionate care to people of all ages.

If you’re an adult with scoliosis, you might wonder if the curvature has progressed, or if it’s too late to get treatment. In this article, we’ll explore what scoliosis looks like in adults – and what your potential treatment options are.

What causes scoliosis in adults?

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, adults with scoliosis fall into three different categories:

  1. Individuals with scoliosis in childhood who received surgical treatment during childhood
  2. Individuals with scoliosis in childhood who didn’t receive any surgery (although they may have been monitored)
  3. Adults who didn’t have childhood scoliosis but later developed degenerative scoliosis  

It’s also possible an adult had mild scoliosis during childhood but the condition was missed.

What’s causing your scoliosis?

Before receiving any treatment, it’s important to determine which category you fall into. According to the AANS, degenerative scoliosis is the most common scenario out of the above list. Degenerative scoliosis is often accompanied by spinal stenosis, which can be exacerbated by the normal wear-and-tear on your spine. As your spine is compromised (whether through arthritis or spinal stenosis), it can weaken your spine, causing it to move out of alignment.

If this is the case for you, it’s important for us to look at all underlying conditions that may compromise your spinal health. Your treatment may involve treating those other conditions as well.

Is it too late for me to do something about it?

No! Thanks to modern technology and advanced medicine, it’s not too late to treat your scoliosis.

If you experience back pain, numbness, stiffness, or even fatigue (from strained muscles), it’s important to get the care you need.

Before Dr. Regan can create a treatment plan for you, he’ll perform a physical exam, record your family and medical history, and record your symptoms. Imagining tests can confirm the severity of your scoliosis and the curvature of your spine.

What are my options for treating scoliosis as an adult?

The most common treatments for scoliosis include monitoring, bracing, and surgery. Monitoring is useful for people of all ages, but bracing is most effective on people who aren’t done growing. For this reason, bracing isn’t the best option for an adult. 

Surgery, however, may be beneficial. Even if you had surgery as a child, you could still benefit from revision surgery. The pros of surgery can outweigh the cons if:

In addition to these options, you can continue to support your spine health through spine-friendly lifestyle habits. Physical therapy, regular exercise, and avoiding improper lifting techniques can continue to support your back.

If you’re an adult with untreated scoliosis, don’t brush off your symptoms any longer.

As orthopedic spine specialists, it’s our mission to help you get relief from back pain. Contact our office to schedule an appointment at our Beverly Hills or Santa Monica, California location today.

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