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Adult Degenerative Scoliosis?  How concerned should I be?

Degenerative Scoliosis

Adult degenerative scoliosis is a condition where the spine develops a curvature in adulthood or where a mild curvature as a child progresses into a more severe curvature later in life.

While mild childhood spinal curvature or scoliosis may not cause immediate concern, in some cases, it can become a more serious problem as an adult. This is particularly true if the curvature is located below the rib cage in the thoracic, lumbar, or lumbar spine.

There are several factors that can increase the risk of developing degenerative adult scoliosis. A sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, and obesity are all contributors to this condition. These factors put additional stress on the spine, leading to an increased risk of curvature and subsequent pain.

Pain, arthritis, sciatica, numbness and tingling and muscle weakness are all potential adverse effects of more serious types of degenerative scoliosis.

The key to prevention is intervention!

This begins with knowledge.  New xrays of the spine can clearly determine and measure the degree of curvature in the spine.  Additionally, the xray will show things like any potential arthritis that may have formed or be forming.

Fortunately, there are solutions available to address adult degenerative scoliosis and alleviate its associated symptoms. Depending on the size of the curvature, one option is bracing, which can help stabilize the spine and prevent further curvature progression. Another solution is specific scoliosis rehabilitation exercises, which are designed to improve posture, strengthen the muscles supporting the spine, and reduce pain.  The best brace I have seen is the ScoliBrace as it is uses cutting-edge technology to not just form to your curvature as traditional braces have done, but it is built to balance posture and mirror image (or reverse) th curvature.  And although it is not designed to correct a curvature, the method of molding the spine into a more ideal position has been shown to improve symptoms and prevent progression.

With respect to scoliosis specific exercises, it is important to seek guidance from an expert who is certified in scoliosis treatment and rehabilitation. Two of the best forms of exercise for scoliosis are the Schroth Method and the ScoliBalance Method.  For those in proximity to the Jersey Shore, one such resource is the Monmouth Pain and Scoliosis Center. This center specializes in providing comprehensive care for individuals with scoliosis, offering personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs.

Degenerative Scoliosis

There are several factors that can increase the risk of developing adult degenerative scoliosis. These include:

1. Sedentary lifestyle: Leading a sedentary lifestyle with minimal physical activity can weaken the muscles supporting the spine. This lack of muscle strength and flexibility can contribute to the development of scoliosis.

2. Poor posture: Maintaining poor posture over an extended period can place uneven stress on the spine, leading to curvature. Slouching or sitting in a hunched position for long periods can increase the risk of increasing what may have been a mild curvature or scoliosis to something more serious..

3. Obesity: Excess weight puts additional stress on the spine, increasing the likelihood of curvature. The extra weight can also lead to a higher risk of spinal degeneration, which can contribute to progressing a mild curvature as a child into an adult degenerative scoliosis.

4. Aging: As we age, the spine naturally undergoes degenerative changes. These changes can include disc degeneration, osteoporosis, and loss of muscle mass. These age-related factors can make the spine more susceptible to curvature and can contribute to adult degenerative scoliosis.

5. Previous spine injuries or surgeries: Individuals who have had previous spine injuries or surgeries may be at a higher risk of developing adult degenerative scoliosis. These interventions can disrupt the normal structure and alignment of the spine, leading to curvature over time.

It’s important to note that while these factors can increase the risk of developing adult degenerative scoliosis, not everyone with these risk factors will develop the condition. Additionally, there may be other individual-specific factors that can contribute to the development of scoliosis. Consulting with a medical professional or specialist can provide personalized insight into the specific risk factors and appropriate preventive measures for each individual.

 

In conclusion, mild childhood spinal curvature or scoliosis can develop into a more serious problem in adulthood, particularly if the curvature is located below the rib cage. Sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, and obesity increase the risk of adult degenerative scoliosis and its associated pain. However, there are solutions available, such as bracing and specific scoliosis rehabilitation exercises, which can help manage the condition and improve quality of life. Consulting with experts, like those at the Monmouth Pain and Scoliosis Center, can provide the necessary guidance and treatment options for individuals dealing with adult degenerative scoliosis.

​To learn more, call today!

(732) 655-2856

MonmouthScoliosisCenter.com

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About Monmouth Scoliosis Center

Monmouth Scoliosis Center is a multi-specialty, all-under-one-roof orthopedic facility serving all of New Jersey. Services include orthopedics, neurosurgery, pain management, sports medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and acupuncture. Monmouth Scoliosis Center combines expert collaborative care with 5-star service to provide you with the best results for your condition.

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