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Childhood Scoliosis and Adult Low Back Pain

I had scoliosis as a kid. It hasn't bothered me much as an adult. But now I'm starting to notice more and more low back pain. Is there a connection?

Some people think that if you had scoliosis in childhood that it will cause low back in your later adult years. In fact, the rate of low back pain (LBP) isn't any different for adults with scoliosis compared to adults who don't have this condition.

When LBP occurs in adults with scoliosis, it's more likely to have a profile (characteristic look) all its own. For example, it comes on slowly with no known cause. Doctors refer to this as an insidious onset.

Severity of LBP may be linked with the severity of the scoliosis. There's some evidence to suggest screening, prevention, and early treatment of LBP in adults with scoliosis is a good idea.

Severe pain is more likely if the vertebrae rotate and dislocate. Treatment should be done to prevent this from happening. Rehab may be helpful. But surgery may be needed to stabilize the spine. Not much is really known about this topic yet. From studies done so far, it seems that every scoliosis has its own natural history (end-result).

Vincent Gremeaux, MD, et al. Analysis of Low Back Pain in Adults with Scoliosis. In Spine. February 15, 2008. Vol. 33. No. 4. Pp. 402-405.