Are scoliosis and arthritis connected?

Is there a link between arthritis and scoliosis?

Before we answer that question, let's first make sure we understand what those two conditions are:

  • Scoliosis is a condition where the spine curves or twists sideways to create a 'C' or 'S' shape. Common symptoms include back pain and reduced flexibility, but every case is different.

  • Arthritis is a condition characterised by inflammation and pain in one's joints. The most commonly-affected joints are the hands, knees, hips and spine.

So how are these two conditions linked, if at all? Research suggests that if a patient suffers from degenerative arthritis in the spine (a type of arthritis that is somewhat common in older patients), a scoliosis curve will often develop too. We refer to this kind of scoliosis as degenerative scoliosis.

Some of the symptoms that an older patient might experience if they suffer from degenerative scoliosis are:

  • Pain in the legs caused by the pinching of nerves
  • Lower back pain

That being said, symptoms may be quite severe in one degenerative scoliosis patient and very mild in the next - again, every case of scoliosis is different!

Treatment Options

For elderly patients who suffer from the above-mentioned symptoms, there are some treatments that can help to relieve the pain and improve mobility in the affected area of the body. Like most back pain, improving the patient's strength and range of motion can have huge benefits, not only strengthening the back but making it more flexible and reducing pain.

Exercise-Based Therapy

If you're suffering from degenerative scoliosis, an exercise-based programme like our own ScolioGold method may be extremely beneficial for you.

When you come to the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, our specialist scoliosis therapists will work with you to compose an exercise routine that will gradually build your strength, improve your mobility and reduce your pain. Once you have learnt the different exercises and stretches, you will be much better equipped to manage your condition independently.

Surgery

If your degenerative scoliosis becomes incredibly severe, your doctor might recommend that you have surgery to help correct the problem. Surgery might be suggested if:

  • You're experiencing intense pain
  • Your nerves are at risk

Degenerative scoliosis does not commonly become severe enough to necessitate surgery, but it's not unheard of.

If you'd like to find out more about the Scoliosis SOS Clinic and how we can help with your condition, please contact us today to arrange a consultation.