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When you think of scoliosis, what usually comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you probably think of it as something that affects kids. That’s not entirely true, though.
Although it is more common in children, scoliosis in adults can happen too. In fact, adults who develop scoliosis are usually between 60 and 70 years of age.
If you want to learn more about adult scoliosis and scoliosis treatment, keep reading
1. There Are Two Types of Scoliosis in Adults
There are two types of scoliosis in adults. The first is idiopathic scoliosis, which means that it is of an undetermined cause. This is typically the type of scoliosis also seen in kids.
The other type is degenerative, which is caused by normal wear and tear on the lower back as a person ages. This wear and tear causes a curvature of the spine.
2. You Might Not Need Surgery
If your scoliosis isn’t severe, you may not need surgery. Mild or moderate scoliosis can be treated without surgery. Treatment could include a back brace for temporary scoliosis back pain relief, a scoliosis chiropractor, physical therapy, cardio exercise, or things like Yoga and Pilates, which strengthen your core.
More severe cases may require surgery, though, as back braces don’t work long term on someone who has stopped growing, as adults have. Surgery could include microdecompression, surgical stabilization, spinal fusion, osteotomy, or vertebral column resection.
3. It Can Cause Serious Health Problems
Surgery may be necessary for severe cases of scoliosis as well as cases that cause other health problems. Scoliosis could cause difficulty breathing, nerve damage, and spinal fluid leakage.
Smoking can also contribute to scoliosis as well as the health problems mentioned above.
4. Symptoms Vary
Some people may not show any symptoms of scoliosis. Of those that do show symptoms, lower back pain and stiffness, fatigue from strain on the lower back and leg muscles, numbness, shooting pains in the legs, and cramping are all common.
While you might be able to manage these symptoms for some time, eventually they will result in a loss of mobility. To diagnose scoliosis, your doctor may do a front and standing x-ray, an MRI, or a CT scan.
5. There Are Different Degrees of Curvature
Someone who has scoliosis typically has a curve in their spine in an S or C shape. Scoliosis is diagnosed when a spine curves more than 10 degrees. A mild curve is anything that is less than 20 degrees, a moderate curvey is between 25 and 40 degrees, and a severe curve is more than 50 degrees.
Scoliosis in Adults Should Not Be Ignored
Scoliosis in adults shouldn’t be ignored. You might be tempted to just chalk it up to getting older, but don’t discount your symptoms. If left untreated, it can have negative impacts on your health and organs.
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