Types of scoliosis treatment

There are several treatment options for a scoliosis patient whose spine exhibits a lateral S- or C-shaped curve. While causes for some cases of scoliosis remain undetermined, the condition is believed to result from birth defects, neuromuscular disorders or the natural degeneration that affects the spine over time. Common indicators include neck or back pain, uneven shoulders, uneven waistline, one hip that is higher than the other and one prominent shoulder blade.

Spinal curvature can also potentially cause compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots, in which case pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness may affect the upper or lower extremities. Treatment for these symptoms will largely be based on a patient’s age, the severity of the curve, the severity of symptoms and other factors.

Initial treatments for scoliosis

Most treatment options aim at relieving any discomfort and reducing the risk for curvature progression. Not all patients diagnosed with scoliosis will require treatment, but for those who do, a doctor may first recommend several nonsurgical options, such as:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Bracing
  • Manual therapy, such as chiropractic care or massage
  • Epidural steroid injections

It is important to work closely with your doctor to find the right combination of treatments for you. It may take some trial and error and patience to develop an effective personalized plan. Many patients also explore alternative methods such as acupuncture and herbal remedies as part of a comprehensive scoliosis treatment program.

If scoliosis surgery becomes necessary

Depending on the cause, severity of the curvature and related symptoms, surgery for scoliosis may be recommended in certain situations. For years, a patient’s only surgical option used to be traditional open spine surgery, a highly invasive procedure requiring a large incision, muscle disruption and an overnight hospital stay.

As an alternative, Laser Spine Institute performs minimally invasive spine surgery for adult patients dealing with degenerative scoliosis. The orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons at Laser Spine Institute use muscle-sparing techniques to access the spine, allowing for a small incision and an outpatient procedure. To learn more, contact Laser Spine Institute today.

We can help you receive a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.