While most people associate scoliosis with adolescents, adults can also develop this condition. As you age, the intervertebral discs between the vertebrae of your spine can deteriorate and become less rigid. When these discs compress, they can cause your spine to curve. An excessive lateral curvature of the spine is known as scoliosis, and when this happens in adults due to arthritis or degeneration of your intervertebral discs, it's known as adult-onset degenerative scoliosis. Here are some of its most common symptoms.
Uneven Shoulders or Hips
One of the most common symptoms of scoliosis is cosmetic—when your spine curves, your shoulders will no longer be even. One may be raised higher than the other or your shoulders may appear skewed forwards or backwards. This is caused by the lateral curvature of your upper spine shifting the position of your shoulder blades. If the curvature of your spine occurs near the base of your spine rather than the midsection, it can make your hips appear uneven.
The degree of unevenness in both your shoulders and your hips act as an indicator of the severity of the lateral curvature of your spine. Uneven shoulders or hips are one of the primary indicators of scoliosis and are a definite sign that you should visit your primary care physician for further medical imaging.
Lower Back Pain, Especially While Standing
A healthy spine distributes the weight of your body evenly. When you have scoliosis, the weight of your body tends to be concentrated more on the intervertebral discs of your lower back, which can result in lower back pain. Scoliosis can also negatively affect your posture, causing your core muscles to perform more work holding your body upright. This can quickly lead to sore and fatigued muscles, which causes lower back pain.
For people who suffer from scoliosis, the lower back pain is typically more severe while standing. Sitting will lessen the pressure on your intervertebral discs and can significantly reduce the amount of pain you experience.
Shooting Pain or Numbness In Your Legs
The excessive lateral curvature of the spine makes your vertebrae more likely to compress your spinal nerves when you move around or change positions. When these spinal nerves are compressed, they can cause a shooting pain to travel down your lower back into your legs. In some cases, spinal nerve compression can also cause your legs to feel numb.
Scoliosis can only be diagnosed with certainty through medical imaging such as an X-ray or MRI. If you suffer from uneven shoulders or hips, lower back pain while standing or shooting pain that travels into your legs, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to determine if the cause of your symptoms is adult-onset degenerative scoliosis. Both surgical and non-surgical treatment options exist for scoliosis. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best course of treatment to alleviate your pain or correct your uneven shoulders or hips. For more information talk to companies like C D Denison.
My name is Shawna Banks and this is a blog that focuses on health issues that affect women. I became interested in women's health when my sister began having medical problems. After her condition worsened, she went to see a doctor. After her diagnosis and successful treatment, I helped her research the different kinds of health conditions that are common in women. By becoming knowledgeable about these types of problems, we can keep ourselves healthier. I hope that when you read this blog, it will help you to identify symptoms that shouldn't be ignored. If necessary, you can schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible.