Does Scoliosis Get Worse With Age? How to Manage Adult Scoliosis

Oct 20, 2022

Some health conditions may improve with age; some may worsen. Unfortunately, scoliosis belongs to the latter. Degenerative scoliosis is one of the most common spinal deformity in adults, and people with scoliosis have to learn how to better manage their condition as they age.

    Some health conditions may improve with age; some worsen. Unfortunately, scoliosis belongs to the latter. Degenerative scoliosis is the most common spinal deformity in adults, and people with scoliosis have to learn how to better manage their condition as they age.

      Some health conditions may improve with age; some worsen. Unfortunately, scoliosis belongs to the latter. Degenerative scoliosis is the most common spinal deformity in adults, and people with scoliosis have to learn how to better manage their condition as they age.

        Some health conditions may improve with age; some may worsen. Unfortunately, scoliosis belongs to the latter. Degenerative scoliosis is the most common spinal deformity in adults, and people with scoliosis have to learn how to better manage their condition as they age.

          Complications of Scoliosis

          Complications arising from scoliosis are not common, but not out of the question. If untreated, scoliosis can cause extreme discomfort and related pain in some cases. It may also cause complications such as:

          • Noticeable change in appearance – a shift of the waist and trunk to the side, prominent rib hump, uneven shoulders and hips, tilting of head to the side, etc
          • Decreased breathing capacity
          • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
          • Spondylosis – an arthritic condition that causes thinning of the spinal cartilage, inflamed joints and bone spurs
          • Back or neck problems – pain may be related to trunk imbalance, muscle imbalance, poor posture, spine stiffness, etc

          Complications of Scoliosis

          Complications arising from scoliosis are not common, but not out of the question. If untreated, scoliosis can cause extreme discomfort and related pain in some cases. It may also cause complications such as:

          • Noticeable change in appearance – a shift of the waist and trunk to the side, prominent rib hump, uneven shoulders and hips, tilting of head to the side, etc
          • Decreased breathing capacity
          • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
          • Spondylosis – an arthritic condition that causes thinning of the spinal cartilage, inflamed joints and bone spurs
          • Back or neck problems – pain may be related to trunk imbalance, muscle imbalance, poor posture, spine stiffness, etc
          scoliosis semihanging exercise
          scoliosis semihanging exercise

          Treatment Methods

          Surgery for scoliosis is rarely necessary. It is only required if the spine curvature progresses beyond a certain point or when alternative treatments are no longer effective in managing pain or curve progression. For most adults, conservative scoliosis treatments like Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis-Specific Exercises (PSSE) and therapeutic massage are preferred as they produce positive results in managing pain, reducing stiffness and improving aesthetics. 

          Understanding the various types of non-surgical treatment methods can aid you in finding the one that best suits your condition and lifestyle.

           

          1. Schroth-based Exercises

          Widely recognized as the leading conservative scoliosis treatment, Schroth therapy involves sensory-motor, cognitive and kinesthetic training to achieve the best possible correction.

          1. Functional Individual Therapy of Scoliosis (FITS)

          Developed in Poland, the FITS method consists of 2 stages:

          • Elimination of myofascial restrictions
          • Building new corrective posture patterns in functional positions

          1. Scientific Exercise Approach to Scoliosis (SEAS)

          SEAS is an individualized exercise treatment that encourages active self-correction techniques to be performed without external aid. This method can reduce the risk of bracing or complement the use of a scoliosis brace. 

          1. Scoliosis Therapeutic Massage

          Tailored based on individuals’ curves and posture, scoliosis therapeutic massage can improve muscle imbalance and ease symptoms. 

          1. Scoliosis Manual Therapy

          Manual therapy provides 3D spinal correction and helps relieve pain.

          Treatment Methods

          Surgery for scoliosis is rarely necessary. It is only required if the spine curvature progresses beyond a certain point or when alternative treatments are no longer effective in managing pain or curve progression. For most adults, conservative scoliosis treatments like Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis-Specific Exercises (PSSE) and therapeutic massage are preferred as they produce positive results in managing pain, reducing stiffness and improving aesthetics. 

          Understanding the various types of non-surgical treatment methods can aid you in finding the one that best suits your condition and lifestyle.

           

          1. Schroth-based Exercises

          Widely recognized as the leading conservative scoliosis treatment, Schroth therapy involves sensory-motor, cognitive and kinesthetic training to achieve the best possible correction.

          1. Functional Individual Therapy of Scoliosis (FITS)

          Developed in Poland, the FITS method consists of 2 stages:

          • Elimination of myofascial restrictions
          • Building new corrective posture patterns in functional positions

          1. Scientific Exercise Approach to Scoliosis (SEAS)

          SEAS is an individualized exercise treatment that encourages active self-correction techniques to be performed without external aid. This method can reduce the risk of bracing or complement the use of a scoliosis brace. 

          1. Scoliosis Therapeutic Massage

          Tailored based on individuals’ curves and posture, scoliosis therapeutic massage can improve muscle imbalance and ease symptoms. 

          1. Scoliosis Manual Therapy

          Manual therapy provides 3D spinal correction and helps relieve pain.

          The Bottom Line

          Scoliosis cannot be fully “cured”, but you can make a choice to better manage it by seeking treatment as early as you can and preventing further progression. Consult a specialist today and improve your quality of life.