What To Do When Your Back Hurts from Scoliosis?

Are you experiencing bothersome or even debilitating back pain that is related to scoliosis? You are not alone. Scoliosis is a spinal condition in which the spine curves sideways, often making it difficult for someone to stand up straight. The result can be chronic back pain, neck aches, and the inability to find a comfortable position while sitting or lying down. So when it feels like there’s no reprieve to the discomfort, what can you do?

The most common solutions to easing scoliosis-related back pain long-term are regular scoliosis-specific chiropractic treatment and pain management methods. Regular sessions of exercise and stretching can also help alleviate back pain when done properly and in moderation. Various tools and other methods have been proven to help as well. 

This article discusses what people can do when they experience the unbearable back pain that comes with scoliosis. Solutions will include medical assistance, such as visits to a chiropractor and/or masseuse, as well as home remedies when these services aren’t available.

Should You Consider Scoliosis Surgery to Eliminate Back Pain?

Scoliosis can be a very serious medical condition that inhibits a person’s daily lifestyle and life quality. Therefore, it is not unreasonable that a number of people with scoliosis believe the easiest and most effective way to rid themselves of their back pain is to solve the issue at its root and have some form of scoliosis surgery to resolve their spinal issues. 

Spinal fusion surgery is the most common surgery to solve scoliosis-related issues and pain. While this surgery can be effective for some, there are very real risks regarding its side effects. While surgeries aim to improve a person’s quality of life, there are instances where this, along with their flexibility and spinal functionality, can be reduced as a result of spinal fusion surgery.

It is also important to consider the overall cost of this surgery and the fact that it often leads to future issues with its own painful side effects that might require additional surgeries to correct. This by no means is an endeavor to deter you from opting for spinal fusion surgery, but we want to demonstrate further in this article that it isn’t the only option for mitigating and managing scoliosis-related back pain.

Alternative Scoliosis Treatment Methods for Back Pain

In some cases, spinal fusion surgery is the last resort or optimal choice for improving a person’s quality of life if they have scoliosis and its resulting back pain, as dictated by a medical professional. However, most people living with this condition find there are cheaper, easier, and less invasive ways to help alleviate their pain. 

The most recommended methods for reducing back pain caused by scoliosis include: 

  • Regular, low-impact exercise
  • Daily stretching routines
  • Chiropractic-centered treatment
  • Complementary therapies 
  • Correctional and pain-alleviating tools 

Each of these methods has done wonders for countless individuals’ scoliosis treatment, especially when combined with one another. Of course, everyone’s pain levels and scoliosis are different, so that some methods will work better than others. 

Additionally, remember to always consult with your medical professional or physician before adopting any of these methods to ensure it will benefit you and your conditions rather than aggravating them further. 

Regular, Low-Impact Exercise

Exercise is always beneficial to a healthy lifestyle, but when it comes to managing scoliosis pain, you’ll want to refrain from practicing high-impact workouts or techniques, as these could lead to injury and increase your overall pain. 

Instead, consult with your doctor about incorporating low-impact exercise, such as swimming, walking, or yoga, into your lifestyle. Performing these exercises daily will help strengthen the muscles around your spine, effectively improving your posture and reducing back pain. 

Daily Stretching Routines

If daily exercise is too difficult for you to perform regularly, you can replace, or even better, supplement it with personalized stretching routines. 

Stretching will help improve your body’s flexibility and combat the general muscle tensions that come with scoliosis. It can also help strengthen these muscles, which will give the same benefits as low-impact exercises to a degree.

Chiropractic-Centered Treatment

Scoliosis inherently means a person’s spine is curved or misaligned, and realigning a person’s body is a chiropractor’s specialty. 

While it is important to note that chiropractic treatment can’t cure scoliosis in itself, there are chiropractic treatments specially tailored to people with scoliosis to help improve their muscle strength, flexibility and reduce back pain. 

The most significant downside of this option is that it can be expensive to regularly attend chiropractic treatment once or multiple times a week to manage this pain. 

Complementary Treatments

Chiropractic-centered scoliosis treatments are arguably the most common options people pursue to help their back pain, but it isn’t the only option available. 

There are a number of complementary treatments people can utilize instead of or in addition to chiropractic treatments, the most common of which include hydrotherapy, massage therapy, and acupuncture. 

Some of these methods can be beneficial for managing pain while increasing muscle flexibility and strength, like hydrotherapy, whereas the other two focus more on solely alleviating pain and relaxing the mind and body. 

Correctional and Pain-Alleviating Tools

Stretching, exercise and therapies are all legitimate ways an individual can reduce their back pain caused by scoliosis, but frequently, they’re inaccessible or inconvenient when dealing with day-to-day pain. 

For instance, if it’s 1 am, and you can’t sleep because you’re in so much pain, odds are you aren’t going to start exercising, and it’ll be hours before your therapist is even available. Stretching might be an option, but when that doesn’t work, you’ll need a more immediate pain-relieving alternative. 

Heat packs are often effective in reducing muscle spasms that occur when scoliosis has severely tightened your muscles. The heat will help loosen these muscles and hopefully lessen the pain. There are also over-the-counter medications you can use, namely acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil), to eliminate pain, or you can ask your doctor for a stronger prescription medication to help with this issue. 

Another tool people with scoliosis sometimes use is a correctional scoliosis brace. These tools can be painful initially as your body adjusts to wearing them, but they can often help improve your posture and support your muscles, reducing pain.

However, be cautious as these braces can cause your muscles to become reliant on their support, effectively weakening over time rather than strengthening them. This can lead to a number of other issues, so make sure you are using the tool properly to prevent such results. 

Final Thoughts

Living with scoliosis can certainly be a challenge, especially when back pain caused by the condition prevents you from living life as you please and significantly reduces your daily life quality. Thankfully, incorporating the suggestions mentioned here, such as stretching, exercise, and therapies, can significantly reduce the discomfort of scoliosis, so its typical pain no longer holds you back in life. 

Contact our Orthopedist at Orange County & Irvine today and we’ll schedule you for a one on one consultation. From there we will decide what the best course of action is for your particular needs.