Scoliosis in Adults: Degenerative and Idiopathic Causes & Treatments
— Factually accurate and verified by Dr. Aatif Siddiqui. Last updated on October 15, 2018.
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.
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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.
Your ScoliPAIN Program may include:
- Automatic Response Training exercises
- Weight-bearing postural activities
- Whole body vibration therapy
- The ScoliSMART™ 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.
Fighting Pain with Curcumin
ScoliPAIN plus is a time-released curcumin supplement that provides 6-8 hours of scoliosis pain relief. It contains a time-released version of curcumin, which allows people to have longer-lasting pain relief throughout the day.
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"Spinal fusion left me on total disability and constant pain. I had tried many things but with no relief. Now that ScoliPAIN plus is part of my regimen, along with scoliosis exercises, I am able to do more around my house, with a lot less pain."–Janet W, Michigan
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Maintaining Bone Density with Ossopan
As we age, bone density decreases. This is particularly noticeable in scoliosis patients because it can lead to further progression of scoliosis, which can result in chronic pain and decreased mobility.
Scoli StrongBone Formula works to build up lost bone matrix and remineralize the bone, and is recommended as part of a comprehensive treatment approach to scoliosis correction.