Does Scoliosis Cause Back Pain? How Can It Be Treated?

Scoliosis is a medical condition that refers to the abnormal curvature of the spine. Scoliosis can cause back pain in some adolescent patients and most adults.  There are treatments available to help relieve the pain. Let’s take a closer look at scoliosis, how it can cause back pain, and what treatments are available.

Does Scoliosis Cause Back Pain

Have you ever noticed your child’s shoulders or hips appearing uneven when they stand?  Have you noticed their torso shifts to one side or the other? Or maybe you yourself have some unevenness in your own spine.

If so, you may be suffering from scoliosis. Scoliosis is a medical condition that refers to the abnormal curvature of the spine. It can occur at any age, but it is most commonly diagnosed in adolescents.

While scoliosis does not usually cause any pain in children or other symptoms, in some cases it can lead to mild to severe back pain. Remember all large curves start out as small ones.  Luckily, there are treatments available to help relieve the pain and even reduce your or your child’s curves.

Causes of Scoliosis-Related Back Pain

There are a few different ways that scoliosis can cause back pain. First, the abnormal curve of the spine can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. This pressure can lead to pain, numbness, and tingling in the legs and arms.

The reason this can happen is because when the spine curves there is unequal pressure on the discs.  Afterwards, the discs start to wedge and can herniate out. Second, scoliosis can also lead to muscle fatigue and stiffness due to the extra effort required to maintain balance. These muscles become over stretched and over stressed. The muscles may also spasm or cramp due to this overuse.

At this point you may notice your back lock up as one would say.  Finally, scoliosis can make it difficult to breathe deeply due to the constriction of the chest cavity only in severe cases. All this can cause pain in the shoulders, upper back or lower back depending on where your curve begins and ends.

The good news is that there are trusted, safe, effective, treatments available today to help relieve scoliosis-related back pain. These treatments include ScoliSMART Bootcamp exercises used in combination with ScoliSMART’ s patented Torso trainer your ScoliSMART doctor makes specifically for you, your curve, your scoliotic profile, and the activity suit.

ScoliSMART bootcamp exercises help to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the spine. ScoliSMART exercises are specifically designed for people with scoliosis to help improve flexibility, strength and range of motion. The activity suit can be used for adults and children with scoliosis whose scoliosis presents with rotation.

The main premise of the suit is to help with the rotational component of the curve, remember a curve is 3 dimensional.

Exercise, in general, can help a lot when it comes to pain.  As noted, many of the muscles are over stretched and over stressed.  Addressing over stretched and over stressed muscles via exercise helps strengthen the muscles.

It is not surprising that strong muscles will be able to weather more of your day-to-day movement.  Going to the gym and lifting weights, participating in Pilates or Gyrotonics can all help with your pain.

I do caution when starting or doing any exercise program it is very important to take it slow as you don’t want to overdo it and hurt yourself in the process.  Remember a lot of your muscles are already under a lot of stress.

Diet is yet another factor playing an important role for pain relief and healing.  My patients, typically ask me, what should I be eating?  My response emphasizes, clean, whole foods, more plant less meats, low sugar.

Meat

  • Beef: only eat grass fed and grass finished beef.  It is always best to get to know your farmer and buy directly from farmers markets or co-ops.
  • Chicken: pasture raised is always best.  Pastured raised chicken are allowed to roam freely around the farm and spend time digging and feeding on worms and grubs
    • Organic chicken – Just because the label says organic does not mean it is the best option. These chickens just eat organic feed but this feed is not necessarily the proper diet for a chicken
    • Free range chicken – the coop door is left open for a short period of time, for these chickens allowing these chickens to go out if they choose
    • Conventional chicken – who knows how these are raised. I refer to these as the mystery chicken. Avoid.
  • Fish: stick to wild fish and don’t eat tilapia even if it is wild! I’ll save Tilapia for another article.

Vegetables

  • Buy local and organic. Ideally, you are supposed to eat vegetables that grow in the season you are located.
  • Green vegetable juice is good but do not mix too much of the vegetables high in sugar like carrot and beet.

Fruits

  • Buy local and organic. Eat fruits that grow in the season you are located.
  • Limit fruit juices, too much sugar.  Eating the whole fruit is better and you benefit from the fiber.

Avoid artificial meats like deli/sandwich meats and anything artificial. 

Conclusion: Scoliosis is a medical condition that refers to the abnormal curvature of the spine. It can cause back pain in some cases, but there are treatments available to help relieve the pain.

If you or your child is suffering from scoliosis-related back pain, don’t hesitate to seek treatment. With the help of a spine specialist, you can find the right treatment to relieve the pain and improve your quality of life.

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Dr. Clayton J Stitzel

Dr. Clayton J. Stitzel

504 W. Orange Street
Lititz, PA 17543
Dr. Mark Morningstar

Dr. Mark Morningstar

8293 Office Park Drive
Grand Blanc, MI 48439
Dr. Brian T Dovorany

Dr. Brian T. Dovorany

26940 Aliso Viejo Parkway, Suite 105
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
Dr. Aatif Siddiqui

Dr. Aatif Siddiqui

34 w 119th st
New York, New York 10026