Scoliosis and Low Back Pain: Is There a Connection?

Does my scoliosis contribute to my low back pain?

We get this question from many of our patients. The answer is that it depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your scoliosis. We see tons of patients with scoliosis, but it’s rarely the case that it’s causing their issues. It’s usually a combination of joint, muscle and fascia issues that have not been properly worked on in a sequential way that makes sense.

Mild Scoliosis and Low Back Pain

Mild scoliosis is rarely the cause of ongoing back issues. Pain in your low back is usually caused by another part of your body that is compensating due to an imbalance. Persistent back pain could be the result of not properly treating the root cause.

Moderate to Severe Scoliosis and Back Pain

If you have a moderate to severe scoliosis, your scoliosis could be playing into your low back issues. However, it could be one of many things creating the issues that you’re having.

There are three main things you have to look at in terms of musculoskeletal dysfunction:

1. Joints

Any place where the spine connects, either to the vertebrae or the ribs, is a joint.  Layered on top of the joints is musculature. Dysfunction in the muscles can pull and tug on the joints and cause back pain.

2. Muscles

The muscles can cause the joint dysfunction. If the muscles become tight and irritated, they can also cause pain locally or referred pain.

3. Fascia

Between the muscles and the joints, there is something called fascia. Fascia is like a cobweb that penetrates underneath your skin and surrounds all your muscle fibers and even your organs. Restrictions in the fascia can form, also resulting in joint dysfunction.

All three of these elements need to be evaluated. If your scoliosis is severe, it might predispose some of the muscles to be tight and contribute to the imbalance.

Figuring out the Root Cause of your Low Back Pain

Everyone is different in how their body will compensate for their imbalance – you might have issues front and back, you might have neck and shoulder issues or issues in the pelvis. All these factors might contribute to WHY you are having back pain.

It’s important to be evaluated by a holistic integrative physical therapist to determine the imbalances in your body and treat the source of the problem. Click here to schedule a complimentary phone consultation with one of our physical therapists to discuss your symptoms. 

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