Adult scoliosis management differs from adolescent treatments due to the long standing nature of the problem. This leads to dysfunction of the motion segments in the spine and degeneration in the ligaments, which perpetuates the arthritic changes that may occur. Although not the goal, adults can achieve curvature reduction despite reaching maximal bone maturity. Adult patients can also respond well with a program that may include postural retraining, strengthening exercises, and chiropractic care.
Scoliosis in adults is typically the result of either having the disease as a child which has progressed to adulthood, or from the degenerative processes of abnormal aging. The scoliosis can be of any classification ( lumbar, thoracic, thoracolumbar, etc) and can result in chronic pain, leg discomfort, digestive, and lung complications.
Options for adults with scoliosis are somewhat limited. Bracing is a good way to manage scoliosis in an adult who has moderate to severe problems. Along with specific therapy and exercise the brace will offer the adult support, and increased opportunity to halt progression of the curve. It must be stated that adult scoliosis is rarely reversible. The goal through adult bracing is instead to decrease chronic pain and allow a way for the adult to regain a comfortable lifestyle.