Pain from Scoliosis

By Ehren Allen, DPT/Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist and Dr. Keller, Orthopedic Spine Surgeon.

Pain From Scoliosis

Pain from scoliosis is more common in severe cases. The abnormal stresses on the body tissue can lead to repetitive stress injury and pain.  In advanced cases, it can lead to other health issues.  But, having scoliosis does not necessarily mean that you are going to have issues.  Most people have slight deviations in their spine curve.  Learn more and read this article.

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is an “S” shaped curve in the spine.  The curve appears in the frontal plane or the plane of the body that runs side to side.  Idiopathic Scoliosis, or Scoliosis with no known cause is pretty common.  Approximately 1% to 2% of adolescents will have scoliosis.  Most of the time, there is no treatment needed.

Scoliosis is more common in people over the age of 60.  This may be due to wear and tear that occur in the spine with age.  Neurological disorders may also lead to scoliosis.

When the spine curves to the side in one area of the spine, it usually curves the opposite direction in another part of the spine. This helps you remain upright.  To learn more about the spine, please read this article on lower back anatomy and low back pain.

How is Scoliosis Diagnosed?

A diagnosis of Scoliosis common during check up doctor visits in adolescents.  The doctor can observe spine curvatures as as the teen bends forward.  An observation of shoulder height differences is also another way to see scoliosis.

After a diagnosis of scoliosis, a full length X-ray is taken of the spine. The physician or radiologist measures the angle of the lateral or scoliotic curve in the spine. This angle is know as the “Cobb Angle”.  If the Cobb angle is larger than 20 degrees, a brace can slow the progression of the developing curve, especially in adolescents.  If the angle is larger than 45 degrees, surgery may be the plan to correct the curvature.  A Cobb Angle of 11 degrees or smaller is not considered scoliosis, though the doctor may monitor for progression.

physician measuring cobb angle for scoliosis with labeled concavity and convexity curves

Scoliosis x-ray

Does Scoliosis Hurt?

In some cases, scoliosis can hurt. The pain from scoliosis is usually related to the compression of structure on the concaved part of the curve and stress on the soft tissue on the convex part of the curve.

Later in life, scoliosis can cause other spine pain and symptoms. In severe cases, the spine can compress internal organs and limit breathing. To learn more about the spine from JOI, please go to SPINE.

Physical Therapy for Scoliosis and Pain From Scoliosis

Physical Therapy can certainly help with mild to moderate scoliosis. The strengthening and stretching of specific spinal muscles can help with pain.  It may also help slow the progression.        

Pain from Scoliosis is treatable and treatment should begin as soon as possible.  To schedule a physical therapy appointment at one of the 12 JOI Rehab Centers, please call 904-858-7045. 

Click To learn more about Scoliosis Treatment

 

Finally, to schedule an appointment with a JOI Spine Doctor who treats scoliosis, Call 904-JOI-2000, schedule online, or click the link below. 

Book An Appointment with a JOI Physician

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By: Ehren Allen, PT, and Dr. Keller.


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