Early Diagnosis of Adults Scoliosis

Posted on December 12, 2018


Scoliosis is a common issue affecting the spine, and in some cases, it isn’t detected until adulthood. Read on to learn more about scoliosis, the importance of early detection, treatment options, and how you can benefit from being seen at the largest medical centers in Suffolk County, NY.

What Is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis, or lateral curvature of the spine, affects an estimated 2-3% of the population, or between 6 and 9 million Americans. These S or C curves can begin in infancy, but this is not always the case. Onset in adolescence is the most common, but other cases are not detected and diagnosed until adulthood. The sideways curving of the spine can vary in severity, with more minor cases having curves of 10 degrees and severe cases that have curves of 100 degrees or more. The severity of the curve(s), overall health of the individual, pain being experienced, and other factors determine the symptoms, pain levels, quality of life, and necessary treatments for the person with scoliosis.

Adult Scoliosis

While scoliosis is most commonly detected and diagnosed during childhood or adolescence, adult scoliosis begins or is found after the skeleton has completely developed. Due to this, treatment of adult scoliosis is not geared towards fixing the spinal curvature itself. Instead, treatment focuses on relieving pain and treating other symptoms as they arise. In most cases of adult scoliosis, the curvature falls on the mild end of the spectrum, and many cases don’t require medical intervention. In cases where the scoliosis is degenerative, and the curvature increases over time, symptoms worsen with aging and may require more treatment.

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Early Detection and Treatment Options

Like most medical problems that cause pain, the earlier the issue can be identified, the better. X-rays and MRIs can be used, and you should be as specific as possible about your family history, dates when the pain started, progression of any symptoms, and any bodily dysfunctions that may be caused by the scoliosis.

In some cases, back pain associated with disc degeneration, leg issues due to length discrepancies or pressure on the nerves, problems that result from weakness or loss of conditioning of the core musculature, and other issues that arise due to imbalances and compensations need to be addressed and treated. Treatments often begin with pain reliving medications, exercises intended to address imbalances and loss of conditioning, or braces used for short-term pain relief. In more severe cases where conservative treatment has not provided relief, surgical options can be explored with your health care provider.

If you struggle with scoliosis or suspect you may be dealing with adult scoliosis, reach out today to set up an appointment with the experts at Peconic Bay Medical Center.