Scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, is most often discovered in adolescence, though about 9% of adults receive the diagnosis as well. The condition’s emergence is more likely during adolescence, though, because of the sudden, dramatic jumps in growth that kids and teens typically experience.
No matter when you’re diagnosed with scoliosis, however, the pain is real.
Dr. Benjamin Cohen has extensive experience diagnosing and treating scoliosis, and as a board-certified neurosurgeon with special expertise in advanced spinal treatments, he’s able to offer patients an extensive array of innovative treatments. His goals are to accurately diagnose you, learn about the history of your symptoms, and create a customized treatment plan.
What is scoliosis pain like?
It’s easy to imagine why you might feel significant pain if your spine develops a strong “C” or “S” shaped curve. For kids and teens, most scoliosis can’t be traced to a particular cause, but adults who develop the condition usually suffer from wear-and-tear-fueled degenerative scoliosis.
In addition to limited movement, scoliosis can cause debilitating pain, violent muscle spasms, and uncomfortable stiffness. Of course, the percentage of spinal curvature that develops has great influence on pain severity.
Treatments that relieve scoliosis pain
When you work with Dr. Cohen, he creates a framework for you to perform self-care related to your scoliosis at home, but also offers state-of-the-art in-office treatments to maximize your pain relief and complement your home treatments.
If your scoliosis curvature is mild, no medical intervention is needed. However,
adult scoliosis may lead to arthritis and osteoporosis, a disease that weakens and thins the bones.
There are plenty of things you can do to relieve your scoliosis pain that run the gamut from home treatments to in-office options. Home treatments include:
- Medications that reduce inflammation
- Ice and heat treatment
- Weight loss decreases pressure across your facet joints
- Eating anti-inflammatory foods and staying well-hydrated
When you visit our office, treatments offered for scoliosis are varied and designed for your needs, and they may include:
- Physical therapy
- Braces (usually for children’s and teens’ scoliosis)
- Epidural steroid injections (typically for adults)
Treatment is a must if your spine curvature exceeds 40-50°, and the right answer may be corrective surgery. Options include:
1. Spinal decompression
This includes several procedures that relieve pressure on your spinal cord and nerve roots.
Two examples are discectomy, where the damaged part of a herniated disc is removed, and laminectomy, a procedure that creates more room in your spine with the removal of lamina, or the back portion of your vertebra.
2. Spinal reconstruction
A surgery where screws and rods are placed into your spine to stabilize it.
3. Spinal fusion
During this surgery, Dr. Cohen brings together two or more adjoining vertebrae. This prevents movement between the vertebrae and stabilizes your spine.
4. Spine revision surgery
This type of procedure is done to remedy a previous surgery that didn’t relieve your pain, or if your scoliosis pain progresses significantly.
When possible, Dr. Cohen performs minimally invasive procedures, meaning he uses special instruments during the surgery that are designed to be used in conjunction with several very small incisions he makes. Unlike traditional open surgery, you heal faster and experience less pain, scarring, and blood loss.
Learn more about treatments to solve your scoliosis pain by calling our office at 516-246-5008 to schedule an in-office or telemedicine appointment, or by contacting us through our website.