Adult scoliosis, medically referred to as degenerative scoliosis, is distinguished by an unnatural, side-to-side curvature of the spine caused by a degeneration of the facet joints, which give the back flexibility and enable the spine to bend and twist smoothly. This condition occurs most frequently among individuals over 65 years of age. The characteristic scoliosis curve that generally forms into a “C” shape, commonly develops in the lumbar spine.
Many individuals are more familiar with adolescent scoliosis, also called idiopathic scoliosis, but the differences between the two conditions aren’t fully understood by the general population. Idiopathic scoliosis occurs in children and adolescents, typically ranging from 10 to 18 years of age and its cause still remains unknown to experts. In more severe cases of the condition, the lateral shift of the spine can progress immediately as the child grows, often requiring the utilization of a scoliosis brace or even surgery to slow down or stop the unnatural side-to-side curvature of the spine.
Unlike adolescent or idiopathic scoliosis, there is a known cause for adult or degenerative scoliosis. Degenerative scoliosis is caused by a gradual deterioration of the facet joints found in the back due to aging, the same type of process which leads to osteoarthritis of the spine. However, when scoliosis occurs in older adults, the pressure that builds up from the degenerating facet joints is known to be the leading cause for the once naturally straight spine, as viewed from the back, to begin abnormally shifting laterally, curving to one side.
Adult scoliosis, medically referred to as degenerative scoliosis, is distinguished by an unnatural, side-to-side curvature of the spine caused by a degeneration of the facet joints. The inflammation caused by the degenerating facet joints is the leading cause for pain among many individuals. Chiropractic care can help improve the mobility of the facet joints, reducing the inflammation and pain. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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