What To Do When Your Back Hurts From Scoliosis? – A Complete Guide

Narayani Bhardwaj
Narayani Bhardwaj Guide
15 Min Read

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Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine’s structure is not straight. Due to the abnormal structure, the nerves and muscles around the spine often strain, leading to pain and discomfort.

It often appears in children, and it can be congenital. This condition can also be earned at early onset, degenerative, or adolescent idiopathic1 (teenager stage).

Mild Scoliosis pain can be treated by following several healthy habits in your daily routine. There are various remedies and medical treatments that help treat back pain. 

1. Know the Symptoms of Scoliosis

There may not be many symptoms shown during the early stages of Scoliosis. It is stated quite true for children. The conditions of Scoliosis can remain unrevealed until children reach the speedy growth stage in adolescence.

what to do when your back hurts from scoliosis
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Further, Scoliosis is often misunderstood as back pain, making it difficult to identify it in adults. This is a fact, even in mild back pain.

However, some small signs can indicate the abnormal curvature of the spine. The following are the symptoms that can be observed in children to diagnose Scoliosis.

  • I was having an abnormal posture.
  • Uneven hips can be observed while walking or sitting.
  • A shoulder that is lower or higher than the other or when the shoulders are not symmetrically aligned.
  • Observe the spine that may not be visible straight.
  • A head that is not visibly straight or centered on the body.
  • Hips that often sit on a specific angle.

Scoliosis symptoms to observe in adults.

  • Fatigue
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Stiffness in the spine or back

You should contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of the following conditions. These conditions can occur due to advanced stages of Scoliosis.

  • Pain that intrudes on your routine activities.
  • Back pain that does not get relief after using home remedies for a week.
  • When the pain is observed going down your legs.

2. What Causes Scoliosis Strain in the Back?

Scoliosis pain in adults is more likely to result from pressure on facet joints, spinal disks, and muscle pain. However, pain due to Scoliosis can also be caused by various other factors.

An abnormal or unusual spine curve can irritate or stretch the nerves. It can also develop strain in joints, which causes inflammation in the back and eventually leads to pain.

what to do when your back hurts from scoliosis
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Scoliosis also influences Posture, resulting in muscle tightening and stiffness, frequent fatigue, and pain. Children may face increased spinal curvature without treatment.

3. How To Detect Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a serious disorder that a doctor must check. Treatment received as soon as possible can prevent the spine curve from deteriorating.

It would be best to tell your doctor the following things to diagnose Scoliosis.

  • Areas where you feel the pain often.
  • Unusual symptoms that you might have observed.
  • Clarify your personal medical case history.
  • It is also essential to know if you have a family history of Scoliosis.

After getting clarification, the doctor will perform a physical diagnosis. This diagnosis involves a few physical tests to observe any abnormality in your spine and nearby bones.

Ch.2 - How to detect scoliosis?

You might be suggested to have an X-ray. An X-ray thoroughly shows the curve of your spine, which helps detect Scoliosis. An instrument known as a scoliometer can also be used to identify the rotation in your spine.

4. Measures to Treat Scoliosis Back Pain Without Seeing a Doctor

Scoliosis back pain can occur anytime due to various problems, like overexerting yourself physically. To treat this pain, remedies can be considered to relax the body and treat back pain from Scoliosis.

4.1. Hot Pack

The unusual curvature of the spine in Scoliosis often leads to back pain and muscle cramps. Using a hot pack for at least 20 minutes can help reduce the pain in the muscles around the spine. Wrapping a towel around the hot back is necessary to protect your skin from burning and rashes.  

4.2. Exercising

A stretch can be applied by the spine on the back muscles; it is crucial to keep your back muscles robust and flexible enough. Plank exercises are recommended to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles of the body.

what to do when your back hurts from scoliosis
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However, warming up is essential before performing any exercise while maintaining a straight back. You can start with a push-up position by holding it for 30 seconds and gradually increasing it by 60-90 seconds daily. Repeat the position several times daily to swiftly strengthen the core muscles.  

4.3. Rest

Sometimes, scoliosis pain can occur in the back due to overdoing physical work. To overcome these conditions, rest is the best remedy to treat pain. Give yourself 30-60 minutes of relaxation by lying down to support your neck and lower back.

You can also maintain your spine by keeping a pillow under your back to support the spine’s natural curve and reduce back pain. 

4.4. Over-the-Counter Medications

A continuous mild pain in your back that goes down and up your back can sometimes be so annoying that it is better to take some over-the-counter painkillers.

what to do when your back hurts from scoliosis
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These painkillers help provide quick relief. Ibuprofen is a painkiller that easily blocks pain and lowers inflammation in the body, but it should only be taken on the recommendation of your doctor.

4.5. Sleeping Habits

If you feel morning pain and stiffness in your back, it can be due to sleeping habits. Back pain often responds well on firm or moderate-firm mattresses. It is better to sleep on firm mattresses to treat Scoliosis pain. 

4.6. Warm Joints

Scoliosis pain can occur more in the winter due to muscle stiffness. Wearing warm clothes, exercising, and a comfortable room temperature can help lower the pain. Hot water baths and sunbathing are also helpful in overcoming this condition.

4.7. Balanced Diet

People who have Scoliosis often experience spinal inflammation. A balanced diet that contains anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce back pain. The diet recommended for treating Scoliosis is given below.

what to do when your back hurts from scoliosis
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  • Drink green tea.
  • Eat fresh vegetables and fruits every day.
  • Eat nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and cashew nuts, as they contain anti-inflammatory properties.
  • You can also add some flavor to your food by adding fenugreek, cinnamon, and turmeric.
  • Consume healthy fats in a certain limited amount, like olive oil, avocados, and coconut oil.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids in fish like sardines, salmon, and mackerel are also suggested for your diet.

It is recommended to avoid foods like vegetable oil, added sugars, processed meat, alcohol, trans fat, and refined carbs.

4.8. Morning Stretch Routine

Morning is the best time to do exercises and yoga. Daily stretching in the morning can help treat Scoliosis conditions and improve spinal health. You can try performing the Tadasana pose, which is the easiest way to do stretching, and hold this pose for a while.

what to do when your back hurts from scoliosis
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Shalabhasana, side plank, and half forward bend are recommended poses to treat Scoliosis.

4.9. Acupuncture 

Acupuncture2 is a traditional Eastern medicine technique that has been thoroughly tested by numerous scientists to provide relief for back pain. It is known to be effective in cases of back pain from Scoliosis and helps restore the usual functionality. 

5. Ways to Treat Scoliosis Pain

It is better to treat scoliosis pain. Various treatments are available to treat Scoliosis; you can choose the type of treatment based on the intensity of the pain you feel.

5.1. Medicinal Treatment

Over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help treat scoliosis pain. However, if these medicines do not work well, it is crucial to consult with a doctor.

Scoliosis Treatment, Symptoms, and Causes

They can prescribe more effective drugs or medicines based on your pain symptoms or may refer you to a pain clinic.

Further, several antidepressants3 can also be used to lower the pain. These provide an immediate effect on the pain and improve an individual’s mood. 

5.2. Alternative Therapies

Those therapies that do not directly have a connection with the main problem but can help relieve the condition. These therapies include:

  • Massage and hydrotherapy.
  • Particular types of braces help support your spine.
  • Exercising regularly is one of the best alternative therapies. Exercise that strengthens back muscles and stomach is most useful in these conditions. These exercises include yoga, swimming, and stretching, which can relieve back pain.

5.3. Counseling

Counseling is another technique that some doctors may prefer. When medical treatments cannot treat the pain well, counseling can help treat chronic pain issues.

Scoliosis, Side Tilt & Pelvic Torsion - CBT Coaching 1/24/24

You may encounter CBT4 counseling, which stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This therapy does not change the intensity of the pain you suffer, but it can assist you in figuring out ways to keep up with it.

A CBT counselor may help you learn effective methods to deal with the pain. 

5.4. Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic Treatment enhances flexibility and reduces back pain. This treatment does not cure Scoliosis, but it does lower the symptoms of pain.

One must receive this treatment from a chiropractor who is well-experienced with Scoliosis.

5.5. Peripheral Nerve Inducement

A percutaneous electrical nerve stimulus device can be helpful for people who experience pain due to damaged nerves. This treatment involves mild electrical currents used by electrical wires on the peripheral nerves, which are located near the spinal cord.

ASSI Master Series - Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis - Dr. Abhay Nene

5.6. Spinal Vaccinations

Inoculating steroids around the spinal joints and nerves can reduce the pain. However, injections do not provide long-term benefits to the body as these are often used to relieve chronic pain.

6. Tips to Reduce Scoliosis Back Pain

Below are a few tips to lower the Scoliosis back pain.

6.1. Improve Posture

It is often misunderstood that poor Posture can cause Scoliosis. However, poor postures can cause back pain for both types of people, whether they have Scoliosis or not. A good posture reduces back pain and symptoms of Scoliosis as well.

what to do when your back hurts from scoliosis
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Awareness of Posture is crucial for every individual. Self-observation techniques can improve Posture. Instead of rolling down the back, it is better to keep the back straight always, whether you are sitting, standing, or working.

6.2. Be Active

Being physically active can help reduce pain and improve overall health. Although scoliosis may prevent you from doing a few activities, you should try to be as active as possible.

However, if the pain is already unbearable enough, some low-impact exercises like yoga can help lower the pain and stiffness in the spine.

Moreover, swimming is another way to stay fit and active and can also help treat Scoliosis.

6.3. Massage or Light Stretching

Massage and light stretching are beneficial for treating Scoliosis back pain. They can be done as part of daily yoga activity or targeted stretching training.

Soothing Scoliosis: A Massage Guide to Spinal Wellness

Stretching mainly focuses on lengthening the spine. However, to perform stretching exercises that improve flexibility, one must consult a scoliosis healthcare provider.

Further, stretching exercises or massages should be done properly on both sides of the body. Repetitive movements from only one side can exacerbate the condition and pain. 

6.4. Avoid Prolonged Standing/Sitting

Avoiding prolonged sitting during work hours, studying, or other activities can be beneficial. One must consider changing Posture every 20-30 minutes, whether standing or sitting. Regardless of scoliosis treatment, it is a practical approach to keep the back healthy and active, contributing to reduced pain.

7. Conclusion

Diagnosing Scoliosis early and receiving valuable and effective treatments as soon as possible is beneficial to treating scoliosis pain thoroughly. Severe curvature of the spine can lead to damaged muscles, tissues, or nerves that might be permanent.

Permanent tissue damage can cause long-term pain, and the treatment received may not completely eliminate that pain. However, after a precise examination, a well-crafted treatment plan suggested by a doctor can be considered for treating scoliosis conditions and pain.

  1. Kuznia, Angela L., Anita K. Hernandez, and Lydia U. Lee. “Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: common questions and answers.” American family physician 101.1 (2020): 19-23. ↩︎
  2. Zhu, Jiajie, et al. “Acupuncture, from the ancient to the current.” The Anatomical Record 304.11 (2021): 2365-2371. ↩︎
  3. Yuan, Ziqi, et al. “Application of antidepressants in depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Journal of clinical neuroscience 80 (2020): 169-181. ↩︎
  4. Nakao, Mutsuhiro, Kentaro Shirotsuki, and Nagisa Sugaya. “Cognitive–behavioral therapy for management of mental health and stress-related disorders: Recent advances in techniques and technologies.” BioPsychoSocial medicine 15.1 (2021): 16. ↩︎

Last Updated on by Sanjana

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