The types of scoliosis symptoms that someone experiences will depend entirely on the severity of the condition. While some forms of scoliosis are extremely mild and present few or no symptoms, cases of severe scoliosis can cause debilitating pain that severely reduces the quality of life. This abnormal curvature of the spine can lead to structural symptoms like unevenness in the shoulders or waist, one hip that is higher than the other, or one shoulder blade that is more prominent than the other. Slight abnormalities in gait may also be present for someone with scoliosis. In severe cases, the spine may be so abnormally curved that it presses on the rib cage and reduces the space in the chest, which can lead to difficulty breathing.
Symptoms of related conditions
Scoliosis symptoms may also include discomfort caused by associated spinal conditions that have developed. For instance, scoliosis tends to place an increased amount of pressure on the intervertebral discs and facet joints of the spine, which can cause them to degenerate at an accelerated pace. Spinal stenosis, spinal arthritis, degenerative disc disease and pinched nerves are common conditions for someone with scoliosis to develop over the course of his or her life.
Symptoms of these conditions can include:
- Shooting pain in the neck, back, and/or extremities
- A tingling or pins-and-needles sensation in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Numbness in the limbs
- Muscle weakness
How to treat scoliosis symptoms
Scoliosis symptoms can often be treated with a range of conservative treatments, like physical therapy, muscle conditioning, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and epidural steroid injections. In severe cases, however, surgery may become a consideration. If you have decided that you need surgical treatment, but are searching for a minimally invasive means of addressing your spinal curvature or spinal nerve compression, consider exploring the many outpatient procedures offered at Laser Spine Institute. Our innovative approach to treating adult scoliosis symptoms offers a variety of benefits over highly invasive traditional open spine fusion, so contact us for your MRI review to determine if you are a candidate for minimally invasive surgery.