Understanding Your Scoliosis Treatment Options

You have scoliosis when your spine curves to the side instead of running straight up and down. You might have very mild scoliosis that doesn't cause issues or moderate to severe scoliosis that causes frustrating symptoms like:

At Integrated Spine and Pain Services in Falls Church and Alexandria, Virginia, our team specializes in helping patients manage the discomfort scoliosis can cause so they can stay active and retain their quality of life. 

The right treatment for your scoliosis depends on several factors, including your age, gender, the severity of your condition, and the associated symptoms and interference with your everyday activities. 

Your ISPS provider uses diagnostic imaging and a physical exam to confirm your diagnosis and recommend the best therapy for your needs. You may not require treatment in mild cases that don't trigger symptoms. 

When scoliosis does cause unwanted symptoms or interfere with your day-to-day life, different treatments can help you manage it. Here's a closer look at the most common treatment options for scoliosis:  

Wearing a back brace

If you're a younger patient (adolescent) with a moderate spinal curve (25-45 degrees), your provider may recommend treating your scoliosis with a back brace. There are different types of braces, and your provider recommends the right one for you. 

Most braces conform to the body and aren't noticeable when worn under clothing. They can be removed during sports, fitness activities, showering, or swimming. You wear the brace until your doctor directs, usually when your bones stop growing. 

Your provider determines the number of hours per day you wear your brace, but most people wear them between 13 and 23 hours a day. However, some people only need to wear their braces at night. 

Doing physical therapy 

For patients struggling with discomfort related to mild scoliosis, physical therapy (PT) offers a way to manage your pain and improve your posture. The Schroth Method is a type of PT designed especially for scoliosis patients. 

Your PT provider creates a personalized plan that includes exercises to strengthen your body and stretches to elongate your spine. They also review ways to improve your posture, helping you identify the right way to sit, stand, and move. 

Getting joint injections

The misalignment caused by scoliosis can lead to lower back and hip pain. Your ISPS provider can use joint injections to decrease swelling and inflammation in these delicate joint tissues.

Your provider injects the needle through your skin into the joint, giving you relief from pain and other symptoms caused by joint inflammation. The number of injections needed and the frequency of treatment depends on your condition and symptoms. 

Having back surgery

In severe cases (curves 45 degrees or more) or when non-surgical methods aren't enough to ease, your provider may recommend back surgery. The most common scoliosis surgery is spinal fusion, but other surgeries may be used depending on your symptoms and condition. 

Keep in mind that if you've lived with scoliosis for your entire life and haven't been told you need surgery, chances are slim. You'll suddenly require this invasive therapy as you age. However, your ISPS provider can evaluate your condition and tell you if it's the best option. 

Have more questions about your treatment options for scoliosis? Set up an appointment online or over the phone with a provider at Integrated Spine and Pain Service in Northern Virginia.

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