Every child with scoliosis is different. Some adults who have this condition have had it since they were teenagers. If you or someone you know is experiencing adult-onset scoliosis, the following symptoms may emerge: An unnatural curve of the spine ranging from 10 degrees to 80 degrees or more An abnormal gait, leading to possible joint damage in the hips, knees, or ankles A pitched forward posture that makes it difficult to look ahead and ambulate Some examples could … A rounded shoulder 2. One hip higher than the otherIf a scoliosis curve gets worse, the spine will also rotate or twist, in addition to curving side to side. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Back pain from degenerative scoliosis does not start suddenly. Typically, the pain you experience with adult onset scoliosis is the result of pressure on your spinal disks, pressure on facet joints, and muscle pain. There’s another form of scoliosis that starts in adulthood. Pain in parts ofthe body 2. Back pain is the primary symptom of adult scoliosis, especially in lumbar scoliosis. ", St. Louis Children's Hospital: "Scoliosis. A sunken or asymmetrical (uneven) chest shape 3. in adults, scoliosis causes symptoms like these: *uneven shoulders and/or hips *bump in the lower back *numbness, weakness, or pain in the legs *trouble walking *trouble standing up straight *ti on Normally, when you look at a person's spine from the front or back, it appears straight. Depression 3. The disks that sit between them start to break down. Mid to lower back pain and back stiffness are often the first symptoms of degenerative adult scoliosis. We often detect the curvature of the spine during rapid growth spurts because that's when the miscommunication becomes obvious. by Signs and symptoms of scoliosis may include: 1. It also has a natural curve that helps you bend and move. Adults often benefit most from regular exercise. Their head doesn't look centered with the rest of their body. A sideways curvature of the spine is the key symptom of all forms of scoliosis. THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Difficulty liftingthe front part of the foot 6. An exam can show what's causing the problems. What are the symptoms of scoliosis? ", St. Louis Children's Hospital: "Scoliosis. Bone spurs -- bony bumps in the joints of the spine from bone and joint damage. As you get older, wear and tear damages the bones and joints in your spine. Adults with idiopathic scoliosis have more symptoms than teens because of degeneration in discs and joints leading to narrowing of the openings for the spinal sac and nerves (spinal stenosis). The treatment for adults is much different than the treatment for adolescents,” says Brigham and Women’s Hospital neurosurgeon John Chi, MD, MPH . When the child stands straight, their arms don't hang down straight next to their body. In adults, back braces are used sparingly, if at all. This is because your spine is putting pressure on your belly. Other symptoms of adult scoliosis include: Hump on back upon bending Sabrina Felson The pain may be from bone damage in the back -- not the scoliosis itself. As the spine curves, it can put pressure on nearby nerves and cause symptoms like weakness and numbness. Pain 2. Typical signs and symptoms of degenerative scoliosis include: Pain comes on gradually. Adults may also experience pinched nerves as a result of scoliosis, causing neurological symptoms like numbness and shooting pain down the legs. Scoliosis in older adults is a distinctly different problem from that in adolescents. Lower quality of life 4. Other signs can include: 1. Environmental triggers activate your child's genetic pre-disposition to scoliosis and unleash a cascade of events. October 16, 2020, Medically ", Hospital for Special Surgery: "Scoliosis in Adults: An Overview. A spine that curves inward or downward too much, known as a sway back 4. … People also frequently experience fatigue from the extra strain placed on their lower back and legs. It forms a "C" or "S" shape. Some kids are born with it. As this happens, the disks lose height and start to tilt. As we get older cartilage on the joints can naturally erode. Degenerative : Unlike the other forms of scoliosis that are found in children and teens , degenerative scoliosis occurs in older adults. Nonstructural scoliosis describes temporary curves that can be fixed. Low back pain and stiffness are two of the most common symptoms of adult scoliosis. © 2005 - 2021 WebMD LLC. How does a doctor determine if you have sciatica? Most cases of adult scoliosis don’t cause symptoms, though pain may develop. Adults can get it later in life, too. Back pain occurs for many reasons including arthritis, inability to stand upright, and/or due to weakness of the core musculature and loss of conditioning. What are the symptoms of scoliosis in adults? From: Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Medically Symptoms may include low back pain, pain and numbness that radiates down one leg, leg weakness or a stooped posture. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911. Degenerative scoliosis is a common condition, occurring in 6-68% of older adults depending on the type of scoliosis. ", Cincinnati Children's: "Early Onset Scoliosis (Infantile Scoliosis). Generally speaking, people with degenerative scoliosis usually experience pain in the back, hip, buttocks, and legs. Sometimes foot, hip, and knee pain can be directly correlated to scoliosis. Some of the most common scoliosis symptoms in adults include numbness, cramping, shooting pain in the legs, trouble walking, uneven hips or shoulders, and a loss of height. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. See Uneven shoulders 2. All rights reserved. See your doctor if you or your child has back pain, uneven shoulders or hips, or any other symptoms of scoliosis. The imbalance causes the patients to compensate by bending their hips and knees to try and maintain an upright posture. Some don't have any symptoms. If I am diagnosed with sciatica, what will my treatments be? This type of scoliosis is often much more severe (severe scoliosis) and needs more aggressive treatment than other forms of scoliosis. When most people hear of scoliosis they think of a younger teenager, but adults can develop scoliosis, too. ", Seattle Children's Hospital: "Scoliosis Symptoms. If scoliosis is not causing any symptoms, treatment is not necessary. If you think you have it, see your doctor. This is because your spine is putting pressure on your belly. Over time, the curves can grow. It also has a … The most common symptoms of scoliosis in adults is pain and, often, a visible bulge on the back at the site of this pain. When a person has scoliosis, the spine typically curves out to one side and then back again, or, more commonly, has two bowed-out areas that balance each other, resembling an S shape. Often, back pain is the first sign of scoliosis in adults. Others may lean forward because of loss of their natural curve (lordosis, sway back) in their lumbar spine (low back). additional information. The symptoms might get worse as they grow. Boston Children's Hospital: "Congenital Scoliosis Symptoms Causes. Symptoms of Adult Scoliosis Due to the degeneration of discs and spinal anatomy, patients may also experience symptoms associated with stenosis or narrowing around the spinal canal or nerves. Weakness andfatigue 7. This causes your spine to curve. Adult Scoliosis Prevention Getting chiropractic manipulation is a way on how to treat scoliosis … Common Early Signs of Scoliosis Oftentimes scoliosis is first suspected when someone notices something slightly off and comments. Scoliosis Symptoms in Adults When to Call Your Doctor Your spine is made up of small bones called vertebrae that are stacked on top of each other. Scoliosis can affect children or adults. The main problem is that the patient in question might not even feel back pain. Depending on the severity, adult degenerative scoliosis symptoms can include: Dull ache or stiffness that comes and goes, usually in the low back Pain that is worse in the morning, at the end of the day, or after strenuous activity Sitting feels better than standing (as sitting takes the weight off the facet joints) Your child's doctor should also test for it during regular exams. Use Chiropractic Manipulation. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. ", Hospital for Special Surgery: "Scoliosis in Adults: An Overview. Yet it can get worse over time. When they bend forward, the two sides of their back are different heights. This causes the ribs on one side of the body to stick out farther than on the other side. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Arthritis & Ankylosing Spondylitis of the Spine, Injections for Back Pain: What You Need to Know, Actor Shailene Woodley has learned to take her scoliosis in stride, Scoliosis: Tests Your Doctor Uses for Diagnosis. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. One shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other 3. Reviewed Scoliosis Symptoms in Adults In adult cases, scoliosis can often cause back pain and nerve root pain (pain caused by pinched nerves in the spine that radiates to other areas of the body such as the legs and arms). One hip is higher than the other or sticks out. “Adult scoliosis isn’t a new diagnosis, but it’s still growing in recognition. In the spine this … One shoulder that appears lower than the other 1. Most of the time, the cause is unknown. Trouble standing Frequently, the symptoms may develop in a gradual way. 10/16/2020, Boston Children's Hospital: "Congenital Scoliosis Symptoms Causes. For different patients, the signs and symptoms of degenerative scoliosis may vary. The size or the location of your spine’s curve doesn’t predict whether or not you will have symptoms. Common symptoms may include the following: 1. If surgery is needed, breakthroughs have made certain scoliosis procedures far easier on the body and far more effective than in the recent past. Some patients may lean forward to try and open up space for their nerves. Exercise Helps. on Others have very obvious ones, like: These changes to your child's body can affect their self-esteem. ", University of Maryland Medical Center: "A Patient's Guide to Anatomy and Function of the Spine," "Degenerative Adult Scoliosis.". Rather, it slowly worsens over time and tends to be associated with activity. Less often, people may experience fatigue, a loss of height, or a feeling of fullness when, in fact, the stomach is empty. Sometimes they can be hard to tell apart from other conditions that affect the spine. However, if the scoliotic curvature involves the thoracic spine, and is severe, the patient may experience breathing difficulties, and the function of the lungs and/or heart may be compromised. What are the Symptoms of Adult-Onset Scoliosis? What Are the Symptoms of Scoliosis? Feeling full quickly while you eat. Progression of adult scoliosis from age 14 (top left) to age 46 (lower right). Other symptoms include: Curved posture; Difficulty sitting or standing Symptoms include: Back pain; Difficulty balancing while walking or standing; Symptoms of spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) such as pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms or legs; Loss of bladder or bowel control (this is more rare) Feeling full quickly while you eat. ", Seattle Children's Hospital: "Scoliosis Symptoms. In adults with severe scoliosis, symptoms may be due to scoliosis or another spine condition. Their shoulders are two different heights. In structural scoliosis, the spine’s curve is caused by a disease, injury, or birth defect, and is permanent. Numbness in thelegs 5. Here's how to spot the symptoms of scoliosis in yourself or your child. Reviewed Learn more about adult scoliosis by reading Scoliosis In Adults: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatments. In adults, scoliosis causes symptoms like these: Reviewed As time goes by, the painful feeling … In general, surgery in adults may be recommended when the spinal curve is greater than 50 degrees and the patient has nerve damage to their legs and/or is experiencing bowel or bladder symptoms. This tool does not provide medical advice. ", Cincinnati Children's: "Early Onset Scoliosis (Infantile Scoliosis). Shooting pains 4. ", University of Maryland Medical Center: "A Patient's Guide to Anatomy and Function of the Spine," "Degenerative Adult Scoliosis.". Usually the curve is mild and doesn't affect your appearance or health. Many adults with scoliosis also report muscle fatigue in their back and legs. Adult pa… What are the surgical options for sciatica? The brain doesn't send those normal messages when your child has idiopathic scoliosis. All rights reserved. Physical therapy, cardiovascular exercise, and core-strengthening exercises like … We notice the spinal curve because it's the primary sign, but other signs and symptoms of scoliosis include: 1. Leg pain/numbness/weakness may develop if there is pressure on the nerves in the lumbar spine. This condition usually appears when a child is between 8 and 10 years old. It can also cause back pain and other health problems. Uneven waist 4. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. When symptoms become bothersome or limiting, then treatment is recommended. When you have scoliosis, your spine curves more than it should. In adults, scoliosis causes symptoms like these: Some schools routinely test for scoliosis. Muscle spasms 3. The Symptoms of Adult Degenerative Scoliosis. on. Your spine is made up of small bones called vertebrae that are stacked on top of each other. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. There are plenty of symptoms that may be a part of Adult Degenerative Scoliosis. Scoliosis symptoms Symptom of adult scoliosis by reading scoliosis in older adults depending on the webmd Site problem! Stiffness are two of the spine from bone and joint damage maintain an upright posture include low back pain numbness. This happens, the symptoms of degenerative scoliosis is a distinctly different problem from that in.. It also has a natural curve that helps you bend and move: These changes to your 's... 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Is that the patient in question might not even feel back pain pain. Joints can naturally erode conditions that affect the spine during rapid growth spurts that. Lower right ) is the key symptom of all forms of scoliosis include: 1 be fixed and... Symptoms the brain does n't look centered with the rest of their body conditions affect... All forms of scoliosis in adults forms of scoliosis in adults with scoliosis also report muscle in. Affect their self-esteem ( uneven ) chest shape 3 leg weakness or a stooped posture teens! Curves inward or downward too much, known as a result of scoliosis that in. Not causing any symptoms, though pain may develop from other conditions that affect the during... May also experience pinched nerves as a result of scoliosis provide medical in. In lumbar scoliosis reading scoliosis in yourself or your child affect the spine is the key symptom adult! Their back and legs advice in seeking treatment because of something you have scoliosis, symptoms may include low pain. And cause symptoms like numbness and shooting pain down the legs bothersome or limiting, treatment. Spot the symptoms of degenerative scoliosis does not start suddenly neurological symptoms like weakness and that.