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Scoliosis, the curvature of the spine, is more than just a cosmetic concern. It can affect your self-esteem and cause pain in both children and adults. Without proper intervention, the curvature can worsen, leading to persistent and debilitating pain. If you notice any signs of spinal curvature in your child, yourself, or any family member, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Gottlieb Spine. Conveniently located in Irving, we are here to help.

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is characterized by a sideways curvature of the spine. Instead of the spine running straight down the middle of the back, it forms an “S” or a “C” shape. This curvature can vary in severity. Although typically diagnosed in adolescence, scoliosis can develop at any age.

In some cases, scoliosis diagnosed in childhood can worsen into adulthood. Early detection and appropriate management from a scoliosis specialist are essential to helping both children and adults with scoliosis lead healthy and active lives.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Scoliosis?

While the spine has a natural curvature, excessive curving into an “S” or “C” shape could indicate scoliosis. In addition to the sideways curvature, scoliosis can also cause the spine to twist or rotate. To qualify as a scoliosis diagnosis, the spinal curve must be at least 10 degrees. Those in the early stages of scoliosis, with a curve of 20 degrees or less, may not experience any discomfort.

Common signs and symptoms of scoliosis include:

  • One hip higher than the other
  • Shoulders that appear uneven
  • Head that seems off-center
  • Ribs of different heights
  • Unevenly hanging clothes

If left untreated, moderate to severe scoliosis can cause more severe symptoms such as:

  • Lower back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Leg pain, numbness, or weakness
  • Difficulty standing upright
  • Challenges with sitting or walking

In severe cases, there may be complications such as bowel or bladder dysfunction or difficulty breathing. If left untreated during childhood, spinal curvature can progress and result in chronic back pain in adulthood.

What Causes Scoliosis?

In many cases, there is no known cause of scoliosis. This is known as idiopathic scoliosis. Other common causes of scoliosis include:

  • Congenital: This type of scoliosis occurs due to misshapen vertebrae and improper spinal formation during fetal development.
  • Neuromuscular: Medical conditions such as muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and cerebral palsy can increase the risk of developing scoliosis by affecting the nerves and muscles.
  • Scoliosis: can also be hereditary, with a possible link to family history. In adults, scoliosis that develops later in life is often associated with disc degeneration in the spine, leading to lower back discomfort.

Do I Need Scoliosis Treatment?

Many cases of scoliosis are generally mild and may not require treatment. However, if your condition is negatively impacting your quality of life or you have concerns about the possibility of worsening symptoms, you may want to see a scoliosis doctor. They will assess several factors to determine the most suitable treatment, including:

  • The extent and location of the curve
  • Growth of the spine
  • Presence of pain or other symptoms

Experiencing leg numbness, weakness, or issues with your bowels or bladder can be caused by pressure on the nerves in your spine. If this is the case, it is advisable to seek evaluation from a specialist, as these symptoms could indicate serious problems with your spine.

Is Scoliosis Treatment in Adults Different Than Children?

Yes, scoliosis treatment can be different in adults compared to children, primarily because the goals and challenges of treating scoliosis in these two groups can vary. These two types of scoliosis have distinct differences:

  • Childhood scoliosis: Scoliosis often progresses rapidly during growth periods, such as adolescence. In children, the primary goal of treatment is typically to prevent the curve from worsening as the child grows.
  • Adult scoliosis: Scoliosis curves in adults have usually stopped growing, and the primary concern is to manage existing spinal deformity and scoliosis pain relief rather than halting progression.

Bracing is the best form of non-surgical treatment for children of scoliosis, and is most often chosen by a scoliosis doctor near me to prevent the curve from getting worse.

How is Adult Scoliosis Treated?

The treatment approach for scoliosis in adults focuses on alleviating symptoms rather than correcting the curvature. Generally, this condition can be effectively managed by conservative non-surgical methods. Your individualized treatment plan may consist of the following components:

  • Utilization of over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Implementation of exercises to strengthen the back and core muscles
  • Engagement in low-impact activities, such as swimming
  • Provision of physical therapy sessions
  • Administration of injections, including nerve blocks or epidural steroid injections

Using ice and heat can help reduce inflammation and enhance circulation. It is highly recommended to quit smoking as it has been proven to accelerate the degeneration process.

Will I Need Scoliosis Surgery?

Scoliosis surgery for adults is generally reserved for cases with severe pain, neurological symptoms, or significant deformity that has not responded to conservative treatments. Scoliosis treatment should be made after consulting a spine surgeon experienced in scoliosis management, like Dr. Jamie Gottlieb.

The primary objectives of scoliosis surgery are halting the progression of the curve, correcting spinal deformities, and alleviating symptoms such as back pain and nerve compression. By aligning your shoulders and hips and promoting trunk balance, spine surgery can enhance overall spinal alignment. There are several types of scoliosis surgery, including:

  • Spinal fusion: Utilizing screws, hooks, wires, and a bone graft, this procedure fuses two bones to create a solid bone, eliminating any movement between them. This is the most frequently performed scoliosis surgery.
  • Vertebral body tethering: This procedure involves the insertion of a strong, flexible cord through screws placed on the outer edge of the curve. The spine straightens when the cord is tightened.
  • Expanding rod: Primarily performed in children with rapidly progressing scoliosis, this procedure involves attaching one or two expandable rods along the spine, which are lengthened periodically.
  • Decompression surgery: This procedure aims to alleviate compression on your spinal cord caused by bone or ligaments.

If scoliosis is not significantly impacting your quality of life, treatment may not be necessary. However, it’s important to remember that the curve in your back could worsen over time. If the angle exceeds 20 degrees, there is a possibility that scoliosis could eventually result in complications, such as:

  • Development of a humpback
  • Nerve damage
  • Spinal instability
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Top Quality Care at Gottlieb Spine

There are various treatment options available for scoliosis, including both surgical and non-surgical approaches. For personalized recommendations based on your specific situation, we recommend consulting with an expert scoliosis doctor near me. Gottlieb Spine is comprised of experienced scoliosis doctors who have successfully treated numerous patients with a wide range of spinal issues. Schedule a consultation today.



Irving, TX

6121 STATE HWY 161, #225
IRVING, TX 75038