Back pain is one of the primary issues caused by scoliosis of the spine in many adults, so treatment is mainly used for pain relief.
If the condition does not cause pain and is not severe, treatment may not be needed.
Here are some treatments aimed to alleviate the pain caused by scoliosis:
OTC painkillers may help alleviate the pain that can be caused by scoliosis.
NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, are typically the first recommended treatment. These are available to buy from supermarkets and pharmacies without a prescription.
However, NSAIDs are not suitable for everyone, so check the leaflet or box to see whether you can take medicine first. Consult a pharmacist if you’re unsure.
Seek help from a GP if over-the-counter painkillers do not seize to work. They may prescribe more potent painkillers or refer you to a specialist.
Activities that strengthen and stretch your back can help alleviate your pain. Exercise also helps you in maintaining a healthy weight, which can reduce the pressure on your back.
The type of exercise you choose does not matter; keeping your back moving is what’s important. Choose something you enjoy and are more likely to stick with.
Some people may also take advantage of performing back exercises instructed by a physiotherapist. These are unlikely to improve your spine’s curvature but may help in managing the pain.
It’s a better idea to consult a healthcare professional – such as a GP, scoliosis specialist or physiotherapist if you have scoliosis, before beginning a new exercise programme to ensure that it’s safe.
Scoliosis can often put pressure on or irritate the nerves in and around your spine, causing numbness, pain, and a tingling sensation that can be felt in your lower back down to your feet.
In these cases, injections of steroids and a local anaesthetic is given into your back may help.
But the benefits of these injections are not long term solutions as they usually only last a few weeks or months.
Most adults with scoliosis won’t require lumbar decompression surgery.
However, it may be considered in case:
- the curve in your spine is getting significantly worse
- you have severe back pain, and other treatments have not helped
- the nerves in your spine are irritated or squashed
Non Surgical Spinal Decompression
This is a type of motorized traction that can help alleviate back pain. Spinal decompression works by stretching the spine gently. This adjusts the position and force of the spine, and therefore the pressure is taken off the spinal disks, which are gel-like cushions that sit between the bones in your spine. This is caused by creating negative pressure on the disc. As a result, herniated or bulging disks may pull back, taking pressure off nerves and other structures in your spine. This helps promote movement of oxygen, water, and nutrient-rich fluids into the disks so they can heal.