What is Adult Scoliosis and How you get it?
Before we discuss adult scoliosis treatment options, it may be a good idea to define scoliosis and spinal curves first. Keeping that in mind, we will begin this article by briefly discussing the spine’s normal curves. There are two kinds of natural curves: kyphotic curves and lordotic curves. Lordotic curves are in the low back and neck, and kyphotic curves are the curves in the mid and upper back. Those curves shouldn’t be confused with the scoliotic curves, which are different.
A scoliotic curve refers to a side-to-side bending in the spine, which is complicated quite often with spinal bone rotations. Scoliosis is the medical term for the abnormal side-banding curves of the spine. Frequently, scoliosis begins during adolescence and then continues to get worse as a person ages. Contrary to what is commonly believed, scoliosis continues to get worse throughout life.
Adult scoliosis is just an age association for the same condition that is frequently identified in children (adolescent idiopathic scoliosis). There are two kinds:
- There is the Degenerative Adult Scoliosis
- And the Idiopathic Adult Scoliosis
Learn What to Do for the Scoliotic Spine of Adults
Adult idiopathic scoliosis, in most cases, is a continuation of what is referred to as adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. At times, a spine curvature with an idiopathic nature (unknown cause), starting when a person is a teenager, can continue to progress in adulthood. YES, curves can progress even you have finished growing. The rate of progression for adults with scoliosis is about 0.5 to 2 degrees per year.
Adolescent curves less than 30-degree most likely will not significantly progress in patients aged 20 to 49. Curves less than 30-degree get worse after the fifth decade of life (50 and older) as they are linked to degenerative changes. However, those that are more than 30 degrees will almost always progress throughout an adult’s life.
Which Spinal Region are Affected in Adult Scoliosis?
The lumbar spine (lower back) is the most often involved in an adult scoliotic curvature, followed by scoliotic curves in the upper and mid-back (thoracic spine). The appearance of scoliosis is the same in adulthood as in adolescence. The only difference in adults scoliosis leads to excessive and premature spinal degenerations and even slipped discs.
Symptoms and Signs of Adult Scoliosis
Adults who have idiopathic scoliosis will have more symptoms compared to teenagers. The longer you live with scoliosis, the more you have wear, tear, and damage to your spine. As seen in scoliotic conditions, the side-bending of the spine results in improper weight distribution: improper weight-bearing or inappropriate weight allocation results in irreversible damages.
These irreversible changes are the degenerative changes that impact spinal discs, joints, and soft tissues. Premature spinal disc degeneration is a common finding in adults who have scoliosis. Recent medical research has established adolescent idiopathic scoliosis to sudden degenerative changes in spinal discs. In short, degenerative changes in scoliotic conditions can occur as early as the teenage years. And as such, adults who grew up with scoliosis will almost always have moderate to even severe spinal disc damage. Often, it is these premature degenerations that lead to a host of scoliosis related symptoms such as:
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Arm and shoulder pain
- Leg pain
- Nerve pain
- Numbness and tingling in the arms or legs
- Headaches and migraines
- Weakness in the upper or lower limbs
Degenerative Spinal Changes: Leading Cause of Pain in Scoliotic Spines
Degeneration in joints and disc results in narrowing the intervertebral foramina ( openings between spinal bones for the exiting nerve), which causes nerve impingement and pain. Scoliosis pain felt in adults is the result of disc degeneration or spinal joint degeneration.
But it is not just the discs or joints that degenerate; adult scoliosis is the primary factor in muscle and ligament atrophy (degeneration). Muscles and ligaments are the support structures of your body. When they weaken, your body is predisposed to changes that accelerate degenerative changes. Therefore, the older you get with scoliosis, the greater is your risk of developing severe and debilitating neck or back pain.
The earliest signs of muscle and ligament degeneration are postural changes that become evident at the beginning of or in the middle of adulthood. Some may lean forward due to losing their natural curve (swayback, lordosis) in their low back (lumbar spine), while others may develop a hump in the upper or mid-back portions of their spine. Most people with a postural imbalance compensate by bending at the knees or the hips to keep an upright posture. In short, scoliosis will lead to degenerative conditions, but it should not be confused with “Adult Degenerative Scoliosis.” Call us today for the best adult scoliosis treatment options in Malaysia.
The Adult Degenerative Scoliotic Spine
This kind of scoliosis is also called “De Novo Scoliosis” (or new scoliosis). Adult degenerative scoliosis occurs in adults that did not have scoliosis in adolescence. In adult degenerative scoliosis, the condition results from degenerative changes that lead to a “side-bending” of the spine. The most common cause of adult degenerative scoliosis is the wedging or collapsing spinal discs or spinal bones.
The most common site of adult degenerative scoliosis is the lower back (lumbar spine) or the thoracic regions (upper and mid-back). Osteoporosis (loss of bone mass) and arthritis are common contributors. Symptoms of adult degenerative scoliosis are similar to that of typical adult scoliosis (the form of adult scoliosis the progresses from adolescence). However, the severity of symptoms is often more intense and even crippling.
Our Treatment Options for Adults with Scoliotic Spines
We here at Chiropractic Specialty Center® offer a broad range of treatments and therapies for adult idiopathic scoliosis as well as adult degenerative scoliosis. However, there is no such thing as a “miracle supplement or pill,” “magical brace,” or “silver bullet.” Scoliosis is a type of mechanical disorder that responds to care that targets the spine or weight-bearing joints (pelvis, hips, knees, ankles, and feet). CSC’s collaborative method for treating sports, joint, spine, and scoliosis are second to none in Malaysia. We have proven methods of spine care that others do not have. We provide highly effective, gentle, and safe care for numerous conditions that affect the human frame, including scoliosis.
Opt for our Non-Operative Treatment for Adults
Scoliosis treatments offered are through advanced technology that is further enhanced by expert non-operative teams of highly knowledgeable chiropractors and clinical physiotherapists. Our spine, joint, and scoliosis treatments and rehabilitation techniques have tremendously improved the lives of thousands of Malaysians who sought our help. We will ONLY accept patients whom we know we can help. For you, that means we won’t waste our time or yours. If your curvature cannot be treated conservatively, then we will inform you of this and provide surgical referrals if necessary. You can be confident that you will always be in good hands with us. Give us a call today and discover the best and most effective non-operative treatment for adult scoliosis today.