Scoliosis causes include sports participation

There are a range of degenerative scoliosis causes, and while participation in certain sports might not seem like the most obvious one, it can still be a significant contributor. Unlike adolescent, or idiopathic, scoliosis, degenerative scoliosis is typically diagnosed during adulthood and is directly related to the gradual deterioration of the spinal components. Although this breakdown of the spine is a consequence of aging, it can be accelerated by injuries sustained during sports and other physical activities.

Sports with repetitive motions

In many sports, participants have to twist their spines into taxing positions over and over again. For example, a golfer has to turn the spine in multiple directions with every swing. Gymnasts also perform numerous movements that require the spine to bend and flex. These repetitive motions can contribute to and speed up the breakdown of the discs and joints in the spine, making them more susceptible to damage and deformities, including spinal curvature.

High-impact sports injuries and scoliosis

Degenerative scoliosis is also related to fractures of the spine. In many cases, it is spurred by spinal compression fractures that occur due to osteoporosis. However, playing sports with the potential for high-speed impacts with other players, the ground or other objects, can also lead to fractures in the spine, in addition to damaging joints and discs. These sports include:

  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Wrestling
  • Rugby

Both short-term injuries and the longer term stress of playing these sports can lead to abnormal spinal curvature.

Learn more about treatment options

If you have degenerative scoliosis that is causing symptoms, most doctors will recommend treatment consisting of conservative options like rest, pain medication, physical therapy, massage and epidural steroid injections. You may be recommended to consult with a specialist for surgery if you have exhausted these and other options without being able to return to a healthy, active lifestyle.

As a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine procedures, Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive spine surgery that involves muscle-sparing techniques and a shorter recovery time for our patients.^ Our procedures can treat symptoms related to degenerative scoliosis on an outpatient basis and with less risk of complication compared to traditional procedures.

To learn more and find out if you may be a potential candidate for one of our procedures, reach out to our dedicated team of Spine Care Consultants today for a no-cost MRI review.*