The most common types of scoliosis are first discovered and treated in childhood or adolescence. Probably the most common type is what is called Idiopathic Adolescent Scoliosis (IAP). This type of scoliosis occurs in teenagers just at the growth spurt of puberty. Idiopathic adult scoliosis is generally treated with a brace, or in severe cases, surgery at the end of the teenager's growth spurt.
Adult scoliosis has a variety of treatment options. Whenever possible, the first choice of treatment for adult scoliosis is always going to be conservative. Spinal surgery will always be the last choice of treatment due to the risks involved. Conservative treatment that is commonly recommended includes: medications, exercise, and certain types of braces to support the spine.
The use of a spinal brace may provide some pain relief. However, in adults, it will not cause the spine to straighten. Once you have reached skeletal maturity, bracing is used for pain relief rather than prevention.
Physical therapy and exercise is an important part of treating adult scoliosis. A well-designed exercise program can also provide pain relief in many patients. A physical therapist will develop an appropriate exercise routine for your case. It is essential that you stick to the plan.
Typical advice includes:
>Learning correct body mechanics in order to maintain erect posture that counteracts the effects of the scoliosis
>Doing regular non-jarring exercises, such as swimming
>Maintaining high levels of activity
>Doing your daily stretching exercises and deep breathing (for lung expansion)
Surgery for adult scoliosis carries with it relatively high risks