Can Scoliosis Develop Due to Age?

What is Degenerative Scoliosis?

Degenerative scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that typically affects the lumbar (lower) spine. This condition is typically most common in adults, as aging is the primary reason for the condition. Degenerative scoliosis results from the deterioration of the components of the spine, which occurs naturally over years of use. Everyone’s spine wears over time, but not everyone will develop degenerative scoliosis. 

The Direct Causes of Degenerative Scoliosis

In some cases, adults who have pre-existing scoliosis can experience a worsening of their spinal curvature as they get older. Other adults who did not have scoliosis present at birth or during childhood can develop degenerative scoliosis as a secondary cause of a separate spinal condition.

The conditions that contribute to degenerative scoliosis arise after decades of using the spine. One of these conditions is gradual spinal disc degeneration, which involves the slow dehydration and shrinking of the intervertebral discs that usually cushion the bones of the spine. Another is the onset of osteoporosis, which involves the loss of bone mass, including the vertebrae. When the two conditions arise together, the lost disc space and weakened bones can combine to cause the spine to curve abnormally to the side.

Treatment options for degenerative scoliosis patients

If you have this condition, whether it developed because of aging or another factor, you will likely begin treating your symptoms through conservative means. Your physician may recommend that you take over-the-counter pain medications, steroid injections, or brace your back to relieve your pain. Physical therapy or water therapy as well as weight management may also help alleviate your symptoms. However, if these noninvasive approaches fail to provide you with relief, surgery may become a consideration.

Spine Treatment with BEST Health System

BEST Health System offers premium spine and orthopedic care. We are passionate about helping patients find minimally invasive surgical alternatives to traditional spine surgery. If you suffer from scoliosis and are seeking treatment, contact BEST Health System today.