Scoliosis refers to a curvature of the spine that can cause uneven shoulders, a protruding rib cage, uneven gait, and, if severe, back pain and breathing issues. While the condition usually appears in adolescence as the body undergoes hormonal and physiological growth changes, the problem can persist into adulthood. The course for scoliosis treatment for adults can take the following approaches:
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Exercise may help you improve the condition of your scoliosis. Additionally, if you experience back pain, exercise is also used to improve mobility and ease tension on your back while you await further medical intervention. Post-surgery exercises help reorient the back and improve functionality. Some common exercises are listed below:
This exercise uses the floor as a guide to straighten the back. Lie on your back with your feet on the ground. Push your torso towards the ground so the backbone can touch the floor for as much time as possible. Although scoliosis involves a sideways curvature, this exercise can help with the pain. It helps align the hips and the shoulder blades.
A difficult exercise by itself, but when paired with scoliosis, it’s essential to go slow. Start with some beginner planks, with your knees touching the floor. When this gets comfortable, plank with your knees off the ground, trying to maintain a straight back for as long as possible.
This goes by many names and is an adaptation of yoga. With both palms and knees to the ground, position yourself so that your head is aligned with the rest of your spine. Push your spine towards the floor as you look up and then push it towards the sky and you look down. A couple of sets of this exercise, and you’ll feel much better.
Lying flat on the ground on your stomach, extend an arm out towards the sky. Repeat this with each limb until your back pain is relieved.
Another option is to wear a back brace. Whether or not your doctor or physician asks you to wear one depends on the severity of your condition. You’ll get two options.
You must wear these all the time. You’ll have a few options within this category too, but it’s best to leave it up to the physician to decide. If you have a curve that is more than 35° or you have double curves, expect to wear a full-time brace.
Science hasn’t proven that one type is more effective than the other. Nighttime braces might be more effective because patients are more likely to adhere to the treatment, and they prevent injuries during sleep.
Spinal fusion has long been the main surgical intervention for scoliosis. It involves aligning the vertebral column so that the spinal cord inside it is not curved anymore. However, there are many side effects to this surgery.
Post-surgery, patients might still be unable to participate in sports activities. Back and neck pain are commonly reported even after successful surgeries, so you might want to consider other non-surgical options.
Vertebral Body Tethering
Using careful surgeries, the surgeon places a flexible tether to the spine that pulls it back into place. This is ideal for young adults but might result in overcorrection in very young people. Results, however, are not guaranteed.
With the quickest recovery and minimal invasion, this technique improves scoliosis decently. The curvature is corrected during surgery and post-op through a ratchet system.
Discussing your options with your doctor is the best way to determine which scoliosis treatment for adults is right for you.