How do you get scoliosis?

Scoliosis is defined as excess lateral curvature of the spine. You may be asking yourself, “How do you get scoliosis?” The answer can be difficult however, because scoliosis has no clear cause. The majority of people with this condition begin to develop the signs early in adolescence, with adult-onset scoliosis being rarer. Learning as much as possible about scoliosis can be helpful in finding relief if you are experiencing pain or limited mobility from the condition.

Scoliosis can be divided into several categories, including congenital, neuromuscular and degenerative. Congenital scoliosis develops in the womb when the spinal vertebrae do not form properly. Neuromuscular scoliosis is caused by disorders like muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy. Degenerative scoliosis can develop when spinal discs or facet joints deteriorate excessively due to the normal aging process.

Symptoms of scoliosis

Spinal curvature associated with scoliosis can be mild and does not always produce symptoms. Common signs of scoliosis include:

  • Uneven shoulders
  • One hip is higher than the other
  • One prominent shoulder blade
  • Difficulty breathing (in severe cases)

Scoliosis can put excess stress on the vertebrae and spinal discs, speeding up the development of degenerative conditions like a herniated disc or spinal osteoarthritis — major causes of spinal nerve compression. Nerve compression can cause symptoms of pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness both locally and in the upper or lower extremities.

Scoliosis treatment

In adolescence, scoliosis can usually be treated with bracing, posture correction or sometimes surgery. In adulthood, conservative treatments like physical therapy, epidural steroid injections and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be effective for many patients.

Many doctors and specialists will discuss surgery to treat symptoms of scoliosis if weeks and months of conservative treatment don’t allow your return to normal activities. If you have been recommended for traditional open back surgery but are concerned about some of the risks that can come with it, reach out to Laser Spine Institute.

Our Care Team can tell you more about our minimally invasive spine surgery that we perform on an outpatient basis to treat symptoms for adult patients with scoliosis. By using a smaller incision that avoids unnecessary muscle damage, our patients experience a shorter recovery period§ compared to traditional open back procedures. In specific cases, a minimally invasive stabilization can provide correction for scoliosis by slowing the rate of spinal curvature.

Contact us today get a no-cost MRI review* and learn if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine procedures¬.