Understanding the treatment of scoliosis

The treatment of scoliosis varies among individuals, depending largely on a patient’s age, overall level of health and the degree of spinal curvature. Treatment will also depend on whether any additional spinal conditions have developed due to the scoliosis. For instance, it is common for scoliosis in adults to lead to the degeneration of the spinal discs and facet joints, which can lead to spinal narrowing and nerve compression.

If you have been diagnosed with scoliosis and are dealing with debilitating symptoms that are affecting your ability to do basic tasks and hobbies, learning about effective treatment is important. This knowledge can help you and your primary care physician develop a care plan that can get you back to a full and active life.

Nonsurgical approaches in the treatment of scoliosis

Many people who developed scoliosis in adolescence have already undergone nonsurgical treatments like bracing. If the condition starts to progress into adulthood, or if the condition is purely adult-onset degenerative scoliosis, symptoms of pain or nerve compression can usually be managed nonsurgically with the following approaches:

  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise, especially strengthening core muscles
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Epidural steroid injections

Bracing is generally not recommended for the treatment of scoliosis in adults because skeletal maturity has already been reached. Braces can actually be counterproductive for adults because they can weaken the supporting muscles, putting more weight and stress on the spine.

Surgery offered at Laser Spine Institute

Surgery may be recommended as a treatment of scoliosis for adults when weeks or months of conservative options do not bring relief. Traditional open spine procedures for scoliosis involve large, muscle-tearing incisions, followed by overnight hospitalization and a long, often painful, rehabilitation period.

Laser Spine Institute offers a variety of minimally invasive procedures that allow our surgeons to access the spine using a small incision to avoid unnecessary muscle disruption. Decompressing nerves affected by scoliosis can relieve painful symptoms. In cases where a fusion is recommended to slow the progression of a curvature, we offer minimally invasive stabilization procedures as an alternative to traditional open spinal fusions.

To learn if you’re a candidate for our minimally invasive options for the treatment of scoliosis, contact Laser Spine Institute for a no-cost MRI review.*