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Can You Develop Scoliosis Later in Life?

Can You Develop Scoliosis Later in Life?

Can You Develop Scoliosis Later in Life?

Scoliosis is an s-shaped spine curvature that usually starts between ages 10 and 15. Doctors usually spot the curvature early enough to implement treatments that realign the spine, preventing scoliosis complications later in life. However, children and adolescents aren’t the only people who develop scoliosis.

Yes, You Can Develop Scoliosis Later in Life

Scoliosis that develops early in life is called idiopathic scoliosis. Degenerative scoliosis is a variation that can occur during adulthood, usually after the age of 40. Patients develop degenerative scoliosis when the cartilage between vertebrae wears down over time. The vertebrae compress and lose stability, causing the spine to curve left or right.

While idiopathic scoliosis develops earlier than degenerative scoliosis, it’s still possible to receive an idiopathic diagnosis as an adult. Some patients have their symptoms go unnoticed and untreated, which causes the curvature to become more drastic over time.

You May Not Realize You Have Scoliosis Right Away

Both degenerative and idiopathic scoliosis can have subtle effects, especially in mild and moderate cases. Adults with idiopathic scoliosis may live with the condition for many years without enough pain to notice an issue. The condition only becomes noticeable when other issues present themselves, such as changes in posture or increases in pain.

Degenerative scoliosis also has a gradual onset. Cartilage wears down over years of muscular changes and lifestyle choices. Factors like poor posture, improper lifting techniques and lack of exercise can all weaken intervertebral disks over time. While the causes of degenerative scoliosis accumulate over time, you may notice the condition suddenly when the pain worsens.

Scoliosis Treatments for Adults

Scoliosis can be painful and lead to reduce mobility. It’s important to seek treatment, especially for degenerative scoliosis. There are two treatments for scoliosis:

  • Conservative treatments: Strengthening your core muscles, improving flexibility and taking over-the-counter pain medications can reduce scoliosis pain and work toward greater spine stability.
  • Surgical treatments: Surgery is necessary when the pain becomes too severe or the curvature becomes too drastic.

Scoliosis Treatment at Metropolitan Pain & Spine Institute

If you’re experiencing back pain or posture abnormalities later in life, the doctors at Metropolitan Pain & Spine Institute can diagnose and treat the issue. Our offices in East Windsor, Marlton, East Brunswick and Morganville, New Jersey, have experienced medical practitioners ready to help. Contact us online to begin an honest, collaborative treatment plan for your back pain.

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