Scoliosis in Adults: Degenerative and Idiopathic Causes & Treatments

Research Finds that Degenerative Scoliosis is Very Common

Chronic pain and limited function are two common signs of scoliosis in adults. You may have chronic back, neck or hip pain and not realize it's caused by degenerative scoliosis because your spinal curve isn't noticeable. Or, you may have had adolescent scoliosis and been told it doesn't progress in adulthood. It turns out that adult scoliosis is much more prevalent than we thought.

Idiopathic scoliosis, which means of unknown cause, typically peaks in adolescence while the skeleton is still maturing. The condition can advance rapidly in your teen and pre-teen years. It's a myth that scoliosis doesn't progress in your adult years. Scoliosis progression is milder after your spine is developed — one to three degrees a year — yet that progression can be substantial over a couple decades.

If you don't have adolescent scoliosis progressing bit by bit, you may still be one of many adults suffering from degenerative, or de novo scoliosis. A 2005 study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine says 68 percent of people older than 60 show signs of degenerative scoliosis. These results are startling because the medical community previously thought about 30 percent of adults experience degenerative scoliosis. Even 30 percent is considerably higher than the 3-5 percent of adolescents who get the condition.

Declining Bone Density Causes Adult Scoliosis

Declining bone density is a major factor in adult scoliosis. It's essential that you find out why your bone density is decreasing if you have scoliosis. Menopause can lead to bone mineral loss which causes the spine to deteriorate rapidly. Bone density loss isn't just a women's issue, though. It may start earlier in women because of menopause, but studies show that by age 70, you lose bone density at the same rate regardless of gender. Millions of men have osteoporosis.

This loss of bone density combined with poor postural habits creates scoliosis curvature in areas of more compression. Maintaining good bone density may require hormone replacement therapy. You may also need nutrient supplements to maintain healthy levels of magnesium, manganese, boron, vitamin C, phosphorus and B vitamins. In addition, aging stomachs produce less stomach acid. This condition, called hypochlorhydria, prevents the absorption of many needed bone density nutrients.

Customized Treatment to Help Your Adult Scoliosis

Weight-bearing exercises can reverse adult scoliosis regardless of the cause or nutritional factors. You may cringe at the idea of "exercises" because your pain is so intense. If you suffer from chronic pain, you are a great candidate for whole body vibration therapy. Vibration therapy causes muscle contractions and improves bone density. It strengthens muscles without raising your heart rate, so it has no cardiovascular risks.

Vibration therapy is just one component of our customized ScoliPAIN Treatment Program. Your condition isn't exactly the same as anyone else's. We work with you individually to stabilize your scoliosis progression, reduce your curve and improve your range of motion.

Receive Additional Information on ScoliPAIN

Your ScoliPAIN Program may include:

  • Scoliosis balancing and isometric exercises
  • Automatic Response Training exercises
  • Weight-bearing postural activities
  • Whole body vibration therapy
  • The Scoliosis Activity Suit
  • Nutritional testing

The goal of this program is maximum curve reduction and new lifestyle habits for lasting improvement. We can help you reduce your pain without drugs and reduce your curve without surgery. We also aim to improve your breathing, cosmetic appearance and ability to function in daily life.

To learn more about our treatment options, click on any of the five buttons that follow.

ScoliSMART® Introduction

Our approach to non-invasive scoliosis correction and prevention.


Cosmetic improvement after just one week of ScoliPAIN.

ScoliPAIN Results

  • Improved cosmetic appearance
  • Reduction of pain
  • Improved breathing and function levels
  • Elimination of need for endless pain management interventions

Additional Scoliosis Resources

What is Scoliosis?
A Detailed Summary of Scoliosis

Scoliosis Fusion Surgery
Why Risks May Outweigh Benefits

Scoliosis Braces
Why Bracing is Outdated & Ineffective

Scoliosis Treatment
Recent Improvements & Alternatives

Scoliosis Exercises
Target the Causes of Progression

Scoliosis Symptoms
Treating the Condition

Causes of Scoliosis
A Look at Brain/Muscle Communication

Moderate/Severe Scoliosis
Information on Treatment Options

Scoliosis Prevention
How to Stop Further Progression

Scoliosis Nutrition
Vitamins, Diet & Nutritional Supplements

Early Stage Scoliosis
Proactive Intervention

Scoliosis FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions About Scoliosis


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