Scoliosis treatment and recovery
If you have scoliosis, your treatment and recovery will depend primarily on the type of scoliosis you have and how severely your spine is curved. The scoliosis that some children develop, idiopathic scoliosis, is different from the kind adults develop, which is called degenerative scoliosis. While it’s not yet known what causes scoliosis in children, degenerative scoliosis is generally related to the natural aging process.
Degenerative scoliosis treatment
Treatment for degenerative scoliosis sometimes involves a back brace that will help stabilize the spine. Often, though, treatment focuses on managing the pain and discomfort that can accompany the breakdown of the spine’s joints and the abnormal spinal curvature of scoliosis. Your physician may suggest managing your pain with methods like:
- Pain medication — Over-the-counter NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), like ibuprofen, could help reduce the pain and inflammation in your facet joints. Your physician can prescribe you stronger pain medications, if necessary, if a nerve root or the spinal cord is being compressed by a vertebra that is out of alignment.
- Cryotherapy — Also known as cold therapy, cryotherapy helps reduce inflammation and numb pain.
- Physical therapy — A physical therapist can help you strengthen and stretch your back muscles so they can better support your spine.
- Injections — Anti-inflammatory medication can be injected directly into the affected area of the spine, which can help reduce pain and swelling.
Your physician may also suggest losing weight if you’re overweight or quitting smoking, as these health risks can take a toll on your spine over time. You may also choose to seek out alternative treatment, like having a chiropractor manually adjust your spine.
If no other combination of nonsurgical treatments sufficiently relieves your pain and allows you to return to your normal daily activities, surgery may be an option. In general, you should opt for minimally invasive surgery over traditional open back surgery, as minimally invasive surgery requires a much smaller incision, so there is less damage to your muscles and other tissues.
Degenerative scoliosis recovery
If your physician suggests that you go the route of conservative (nonsurgical) treatment, your degenerative scoliosis recovery may include a brief period of rest while the inflammation in your spine goes down. If you have minimally invasive surgery at Laser Spine Institute, the length of your recovery will depend on how severe your scoliosis is, but the time ^ will still be shorter than if you choose to undergo traditional open back surgery. Your recovery could also involve plenty of rest, pain medication, walking and climbing stairs as usual and avoiding twisting or bending.
If you are considering having surgery to help address your scoliosis, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We’ll provide you with a no-cost MRI review* to see if you’re a candidate one of our minimally invasive, outpatient spine procedures.