Degenerative scoliosis has become an important cause of low back pain, lower extremity pain and intermittent walking impairments in middle aged and older people (1). Do you or a loved one experience any of these issues? If so, this is an important article that could make the world of difference to you.
“The reported incidence of degenerative scoliosis in adulthood varies from 6% up to 68%” (2)
With the reported incidence of degenerative scoliosis being as high as 68% in some instances, it is clearly a rising issue with growth of the aging population. It is commonly due to asymmetric degenerative changes of the spine, where there is asymmetric loads/weight on the discs in the spine or spinal joints which contributes to deformity/degeneration in an asymmetric manner (3).
Since it is more prevalent with age, surgical options for treatment is not as tolerable as other health issues are often present and there is a high incidence of complications. So most patients choose and are also recommended conservative treatment (2). These include, spinal manipulation, oral medications, low intensity strength and endurance training, nerve root blocking and facet joint injection therapy (4-8). Among these, spinal adjustments or manipulation is the most common procedure delivered by a physical therapist including chiropractors (9).
In a recent research paper 120 patients with degenerative scoliosis were observed between 2017-2019. The patients were divided into 2 groups, a group that received chiropractic care and the other was the control group who were treated with eperisone hydrochloride tablets combined with a thoracolumbar orthopaedic brace. Questionnaires evaluating the patients response was done before treatment, and 1,2,3 and 4 weeks after treatment. It was found that chiropractic care can effectively relieve pain and improve lumbar function in patients with degenerative scoliosis, and was found that it can help improve the Cobb angle (lateral curvature of the spine) of patients with degenerative scoliosis (10). Though the findings are still early indications, as only 120 patients were observed, a larger scaled study would help further confirm the results. However, this recent research is pointing towards a positive outcome for patients with degenerative scoliosis who receive chiropractic care.
If you want to find out if chiropractic may help manage degenerative scoliosis for you or your loved ones, have a chat with one of our chiropractors to see how they can assist.
“It is important to maintain structural balance for optimal function”
1.Lee YP, Ghofrani H. Degenerative Scoliosis. Contemporary Spine Surgery 2010; 11(5): 1-8.
2. Faldini C, Pagkrati S, Grandi G, et al. Degenerative lumbar scoliosis: features and surgical treatment. J Orthop Traumatol 2006; 7: 67-71.
3. Kim, W., Porrino, J.A., Hood, K.A., Chadaz, T.S., Klauser, A.S. and Taljanovic, M.S., 2019. Clinical evaluation, imaging, and management of adolescent idiopathic and adult degenerative scoliosis. Current problems in diagnostic radiology, 48(4), pp.402-414.
4. Morningstar MW. Outcomes for adult scoliosis patients receiving chiropractic rehabilitation: a 24-month retrospective analysis. J Chiropr Med 2011; 10: 179-184.
5. Rossi M, Ianigro G, Liberatoscioli G, et al. Eperisone versus tizanidine for treatment of chronic low back pain. Minerva Med 2012; 103(3): 143-149.
6. Fishman LM, Groessl EJ, Sherman KJ. Serial case reporting Yoga for idiopathic and degenerative scoliosis. Glob Adv Health Med 2014; 3(5): 16-21.
7. Kanayama M, Oha F, Hashimoto T. What types of degenerative lumbar pathologies respond to nerve root injection? A retrospective review of six hundred and forty one cases. Int Orthop 2015; 39(7): 1379-1382.
8. Ploumis A, Transfeldt EE, Gilbert TJ, et al. Radiculopathy in degenerative lumbar scoliosis: correlation of stenosis with relief from selective nerve root steroid injections. Pain Med 2011; 12: 45-50.
9. Chou R, Qaseem A, Snow V, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: a joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Ann Intern Med 2007; 147: 478-491.
10. Li, L.G., Gao, J.H., Gao, C.Y., Sun, W., Luo, J., Yang, K.X., Yu, J., Li, J.G., Wang, B.J., Yang, W. and Zhuang, M.H., 2022. Clinical observation of chiropractic manipulation in the treatment of degenerative scoliosis. Zhongguo gu Shang= China Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, 35(5), pp.442-447.
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