Conditions We Treat


Scoliosis - APSM

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a condition involving an abnormal curve of your spine, where the spine appears to bend in a “C” to one side or, less commonly, an “S” shape. Scoliosis affects between five and seven million people in the U.S. and can begin at any age. It occurs in between 1-2% of adolescents and in more than 50% of people over age 60. Girls and women are more likely to develop this condition, especially if they come from a family with a first-degree relative with the condition.

What causes Scoliosis?

Scoliosis may be idiopathic, congenital, or occur as a consequence of another condition.


Most cases are considered idiopathic, as there is no clear underlying cause.


Congenital scoliosis which is present at birth is rare, and usually present in conjunction with other conditions.

Scoliosis as a secondary condition

This may occur in conjunction with such neuromuscular diseases as:
  • Spina bifida
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Hereditary musculoskeletal disorders, including osteogenesis imperfecta, Marfan syndrome, Stickler syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and muscular dystrophies
There are other less common causes including:
  • Physical trauma
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Bone collapse from osteoporosis

What are the symptoms of Scoliosis?

The most obvious symptom of scoliosis is a visual curvature of the spine in one more directions. Initially, you may notice that your clothes don’t fit properly or are uneven. Until the spinal curve becomes visible, there are some other signs, which may include:
  • Uneven musculature on one side of the spine
  • Uneven hips
  • Different leg lengths
  • Imbalance
  • Prominent rib or shoulder blade caused by rotation of the ribcage
There are severe cases, where the spine is curved at an angle of 25 degrees or more. In these cases, patients may experience difficulty breathing, pain, and reduced functionality.  If left untreated, scoliosis symptoms will continue to progress, possibly affecting the heart and lungs.  Scoliosis will worsen, if left untreated, resulting in a lower quality of life. The main diagnostic criterion for scoliosis is spinal curvature exceeding ten degrees in a single direction.  Scoliosis does occur in three different dimensions. This means that not only does the spine curve to the left or right (or both, in the case of an “S” curve), but it also moves either forward or back. These two directions are lordosis (abnormal curvature toward the front) or kyphosis (abnormal curvature toward the back).

What are my treatment options for Scoliosis?

Even though scoliosis can have an impact on overall quality of life, it can be treated with a variety of simultaneous therapies. Early intervention can help treat the condition and prevent its progression. Treatment options depend on the severity and location of the spinal curve, as well as the age of the patient. The following treatments can help minimize the impact of the spinal curvature, relieve any other symptoms, and prevent further curving.
  1. Physical therapy: Physical therapy is for patients of any age and may occur in conjunction with a spinal brace. Physical therapy strengthens the muscles of the back and the abdomen to properly support a healthy spine.
  2. Spinal braces: Braces are common for patients in adolescence. These help to direct the spine’s growth.
  3. Chiropractic careChiropractic care can help correct misalignment in individual vertebrae.
  4. Occupational therapy: Occupational therapy helps patients move properly through everyday activities to improve form and build muscle memory for the task.
  5. Surgery: Surgery is usually reserved for patients with a curve of 45 degrees or more, or those who are likely to suffer physiological impacts from the curve (i.e., difficulty breathing)

Improving Patients’ Quality of Life Through Personalized Care

If you’re struggling with neck, back, or hip pain or any other spine related issues, schedule an appointment with us today to get back to living your life the way you’d like to.

Common Conditions We Treat