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How to Manage and Treat Scoliosis in Adults over 50

How to Manage and Treat Scoliosis in Adults over 50

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that usually begins during adolescence. In older adults, it may be present for many years before diagnosis. It becomes degenerative scoliosis when the back curvature is severe and the curvature cannot be reversed or halted. Scoliosis can cause pain in the back and spine, but degenerative scoliosis can also cause pain in the hip, leg, and shoulder. We’ve covered the causes of degenerative scoliosis and how it is treated here. But first, let’s understand how adulthood scoliosis differs from idiopathic scoliosis and what symptoms to look out for.

How does Adult Scoliosis differ from Idiopathic Scoliosis?

Adult scoliosis is more likely to cause pain than idiopathic scoliosis. The causes of adult scoliosis vary from degenerative conditions such as arthritis and bone density loss do to pregnancy-related scoliosis. Adulthood scoliosis can also be caused by injury, stenosis (effecting the spinal cord and causing leg pain), or previous spinal surgery to the spine. Treatment for adult scoliosis typically involves core strengthening exercises, medication, bracing, and in some cases, fusion surgery.


What causes Degenerative Scoliosis?

Degenerative scoliosis is a degenerative spine condition characterized by . In the late stages of scoliosis, the spine curvature can exceed the 60-degree mark. The condition is seen mostly in adults over the age of 50 and is characterized by pain in the back and scoliosis deformity of the spine. This type of scoliosis is a result of thinning of the bones at the back due to aging or degeneration seen on x-ray.

Elderly patients are more susceptible to degenerative scoliosis because their spine becomes less flexible with age. Aging also causes degeneration of vertebrae and facet joints, muscle imbalance, osteoporosis, fractures affecting posture and degenerative disc disease. When any of these factors are present, scoliosis deformity may occur.


What are the symptoms of adult scoliosis?

Adult scoliosis is the degeneration of the spine as a result of age or injury. Common symptoms of scoliosis include pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. In some cases, adults may also experience a visible spinal curve.


The treatment of adult scoliosis typically involves scoliosis rehab and other procedures to relieve pain and improve mobility. However, fusion surgery may be necessary in certain cases to treat the disease and restore balance and function to the spine. It's important to seek medical advice from a doctor if you're experiencing any of the symptoms of adult scoliosis.


Can adult scoliosis be prevented?

Degenerative scoliosis can be caused by age-related bone loss, wear and tear on the spine, and chronic medical conditions. To reduce the risk of degenerative scoliosis, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a balanced diet. In addition to these non-medical measures, patients may benefit from treatment of any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to the development of degenerative scoliosis. Additionally, nutrition therapy and the ScoliSMART Activity Suit can help manage symptoms of adult scoliosis. Although degenerative scoliosis cannot be prevented, patients can take steps to avoid the progression of the disease and live a life of quality and dignity.

When Degenerative Scoliosis Is Serious

Pain From Degenerative Scoliosis

If you're over the age of 50 and experiencing pain from degenerative scoliosis, it's important to understand the different types of scoliosis and their treatment options. Symptoms of degenerative scoliosis include pain and stiffness in the back, which typically worsen with physical activity.

If you notice these signs and symptoms, it's essential to seek medical attention. The type of degenerative scoliosis a person experiences can vary greatly, but it is typically characterized by an uneven appearance.

There are many treatment options for degenerative scoliosis, including scoliosis-specific exercises and surgery. However, be sure to speak with your doctor about the best course of action for you. In most cases, a positive outlook is vital to manage degenerative scoliosis.


What are the treatment options for adult scoliosis?

- Physical rehabilitation to improve posture, strengthen core muscles, and reduce pain. This may include posture training, back strengthening exercises, and pain management techniques such as massage and ice.

- Bracing or core strengthening exercises to support the spine and reduce curvature. These exercises can help strengthen the back and reduce scoliosis curvature. They can include bending over from the waist or from the knees, abdominal crunches, leg raises, and walking lunges.

- Medication or curcumin supplements to relieve pain and inflammation. For mild scoliosis, medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be used to relieve pain and provide pain reduction. In more severe cases of scoliosis where pain interferes with daily activities or the ability to walk properly, fusion surgical treatment may be recommended to stabilize the spine. Also, scoliosis treatment options can help patients lead a more normal life.


How to live with degenerative scoliosis

- If you have degenerative scoliosis, you should seek medical advice and develop a treatment plan with your doctor or Chiropractic specialist.

- It’s important to stay active and engage in low impact exercise to strengthen the back muscles and keep your ligaments flexible. This can help improve spine alignment and prevent scoliosis from worsening.

- Use pain reduction medications or other therapies as recommended by your doctor. For example, a lumbar spine back brace or surgery may help relieve pain and improve symptoms of scoliosis.

- Practice good posture and avoid activities that worsen the pain. This will help keep your spine healthy and may prevent the curve from worsening.

- If you have degenerative scoliosis, it’s essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle and physical activity. This will help reduce the progression of scoliosis and minimize the symptoms of the condition, such as pain and fatigue.


What is the outlook for adult scoliosis?

Adult scoliosis can be the result of degenerative problems in the spine. In adults over the age of 50, scoliosis is often the result of degenerative changes in the spine. This type of scoliosis typically progresses slowly over time and is characterized by a curve in one or both of the upper or lower back.


Treatment choices for adult scoliosis may include scoliosis exercises, bracing, and fusion surgery. Scoliosis exercises can help reduce pain and improve mobility while bracing is used to control the progression of the curvature. Surgery may be recommended if bracing fails to provide effective relief from symptoms or if the curve becomes severe. It is important for adults with scoliosis to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a balanced diet.



Frequently Asked Questions


What are the primary causes of scoliosis in adults over 50?

Scoliosis can be caused by degenerative conditions that develop in adults over the age of 50. The primary degenerative conditions linked to scoliosis are osteoporosis, arthritis, and spine disc herniation. Spinal trauma or injury, as well as congenital spinal deformities, may also contribute to scoliosis in adults of this age group. Poor posture can also be a contributing factor to the development of scoliosis in adults.

In some cases, the exact cause of scoliosis may not be identifiable. If scoliosis is suspected, the doctor will likely perform further tests and examinations to determine the underlying cause of the vertebral curve.


Are there any lifestyle changes that can help to manage or prevent scoliosis in this age group?

Yes, making a few lifestyle changes can be a great way to manage or even prevent scoliosis in adults over the age of 50.

Exercise is essential for scoliosis management and prevention. Exercising regularly helps to maintain spine flexibility and strength, which can help reduce the risk of curve progression. Stretching exercises such as yoga, Pilates, and tai chi are all beneficial for improving posture and correcting the spinal curves associated with scoliosis.

Additionally, maintaining a healthy diet with adequate calcium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids can also contribute to scoliosis management. It is important to remember to avoid activities that involve lifting heavy weights or making sudden twisting motions as this can increase the risk of developing scoliosis.


Are there any treatments or therapies that can help manage scoliosis in adults over 50?

Yes, there are treatments and therapies that can help adults over 50 manage scoliosis. Some of the options include physical therapy, bracing, surgery, exercise, nutrition, and stress management.

Physical therapy can be particularly beneficial as it helps to strengthen weak muscles and improve posture. A brace may also be recommended to halt curve progression and alleviate back pain. Severe scoliosis curves, fusion surgery may be necessary to correct spinal alignment and restore balance.

Beyond physical treatments, adults over 50 who suffer from scoliosis should also focus on proper nutrition and exercise for symptom management. Additionally, stress management techniques can also help with pain relief and quality of life improvements.



Managing scoliosis in adults over the age of 50 is much the same as managing scoliosis in children and teens. Pain management, physical therapy, and changes to your lifestyle are the main forms of treatment. Surgery may be considered for adults with scoliosis if other treatments do not work and the progression of the curvature of the spine is causing pain or a decrease in quality of life. In adults with degenerative scoliosis, surgery may help stop degeneration of the vertebrae and stabilize the spine. Fusion surgery is also an option for adults who have pain or limited function caused by spinal deformity. However, spinal fusion surgery is not always a guarantee of pain reduction and is wrought with complications. When considering treatment choices for degenerative scoliosis, it is important to note that surgery does not prevent progression of scoliosis or spinal degeneration and that its long-term effects are yet to be studied.