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Chiropractic Care for Scoliosis - Treatments and Benefits

Published Date: 
January 23, 2023
An adult woman with scoliosis.

Chiropractic care is one of the most effective options for treating scoliosis. It’s safe and natural, making it a popular choice among adults.

Can Chiropractic Care Help Scoliosis in Adults?

Adult scoliosis is a spinal curvature that develops after childhood. It can range in severity but is typically categorized by the angle of the spine to determine treatment. Treatment for adult scoliosis has improved in recent years, making it easier for patients to find relief from pain and discomfort and improve their quality of life.

The cause of adult scoliosis is not always known. Some cases are due to degenerative conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis, and others are caused by abnormal spine development while the patient was a child. Adult scoliosis is typically detected after symptoms begin because there are not always physical signs.

The most common symptom associated with adult scoliosis is back pain. This pain may result from the curvature or the strain on other parts of the body caused by compensating for a curved spine. Many patients also experience numbness, tingling, and muscle spasms in their back and legs.

There are several treatment options available depending on the severity of the condition. Bracing is usually recommended for mild cases to help correct the curve over time using a combination of exercises and physical therapy. A halo brace is typical, as it applies pressure to the spine to correct the curve.

Patients with moderate or severe cases may need surgery to prevent further curvature of their spine. Depending on their condition, there are several options available to patients, but one popular choice is spinal fusion surgery. This surgery involves removing the damaged parts of the spine and joining healthy discs to form one rigid unit. This treatment can improve movement in severe cases while relieving pressure on other areas caused by compensating for a curved spine.

While adult scoliosis won’t stop you from living your life to the fullest, it can cause pain and discomfort. With the right treatment plan in place, you can overcome your symptoms and enjoy the things you love most. Whether hiking with friends or playing your favorite sport, adult scoliosis doesn’t have to get in the way of an active lifestyle.

Is Chiropractic Treatment Safe for Scoliosis?

Chiropractic treatment involves the manipulation of the joints, tissues, and muscles to restore function and relieve pain. The specific techniques used will depend on which health issues are present. For example, if a spinal injury is the cause of an individual's discomfort, the chiropractor may focus on correcting this injury via manual spinal adjustment. This technique is particularly effective for reducing back and neck pain and headaches.

Chiropractic treatment is an effective form of scoliosis treatment. Researchers have found that chiropractic care can improve spinal alignment and reduce pain, especially when combined with other forms of treatment like bracing or physical therapy. While there is no definitive cure for scoliosis, chiropractors focus on improving function, decreasing pain, and preventing further progression of the condition.

An image of the spine is overlaid on a woman's back to demonstrate her scoliosis.

Common Scoliosis Symptoms in Adults

Symptoms of scoliosis in adults can include:

  • Back pain: Back pain is especially problematic at the base of the spine or in the upper back area. It is often caused by uneven pressure due to the spines' abnormal curvature.
  • Muscle spasms: Muscle spasms occur in the areas surrounding your spine and may be caused by the tension in these muscles as they attempt to support and stabilize your back.
  • Restricted range of motion in your spine: This can lead to problems with mobility and overall flexibility. A limited range of motion can be especially noticeable when performing tasks involving twisting or bending movements, such as picking up objects off the ground or reaching for something on a high shelf.

Chiropractic Treatments for Scoliosis

There are several different methods that a chiropractor might use to treat your scoliosis, including:

  • Massage therapy to relieve back pain, improve your range of motion, and ease muscle tension
  • Spinal adjustments to realign the spine and reduce pressure on the nerve roots or spinal cord
  • Exercises and stretches explicitly designed for scoliosis patients to strengthen core muscles, stretch tight muscles, and improve posture
  • Postural retraining to help correct poor posture habits

A chiropractor may recommend any of these treatment methods, depending on the severity and type of scoliosis. You should schedule a consultation with a qualified chiropractor in your area if you have been diagnosed with scoliosis and want to learn more about treatment options to decide which option is best for you.

A chiropractor is treating a woman for scoliosis.

Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor for Adult Scoliosis

Can Be Combined with Other Treatment Approaches

One of the biggest benefits of chiropractic treatment for scoliosis is that you can combine it with other methods, such as bracing, to help manage the condition. This can reduce the need for more invasive treatment options and improve the quality of life for patients.

Safe to Use with Medication

Many experts agree that when using chiropractic care and taking medication for a condition, you must work closely with your doctor or another healthcare provider to ensure that any potential interactions between the two therapies are monitored and managed safely.


Many people are drawn to chiropractic care because of its natural approach, which does not involve drugs or invasive procedures. Chiropractors typically rely on manual adjustments and manipulations to enhance joint movement and relieve tension in surrounding muscles. These techniques can also help address underlying causes of pain, such as joint misalignments or muscle tightness.

Addresses the Root Cause

Unlike traditional methods like medication, which only mask the symptoms, chiropractic care seeks to provide long-term healing and help patients avoid further injury and discomfort in the future. Some common causes of pain that you can address through chiropractic care include injuries, poor posture, and stress.

In addition to treating patients with long-term goals in mind, chiropractors also focus on preventative measures designed to keep you healthy and free from pain in the future. For example, they may recommend lifestyle changes such as improved nutrition and more regular exercise, as well as regularly monitoring your posture to help you avoid painful injuries associated with poor posture.

Overall, a chiropractor can relieve pain while also helping you prevent future problems by addressing the root causes of your discomfort.

Can Replace the Need for Surgery

Chiropractic care can be just as effective – or even more effective – than surgery in some cases.

One key reason for this is that chiropractors focus on the musculoskeletal system, which means they can target problems at the source of pain rather than merely addressing the symptoms. Thanks to their training and expertise, they can get to the root of a problem and address it from there. This is particularly true when it comes to issues with the spine, as these are one of the main areas that chiropractors focus on.

Chiropractic care can be effective in cases where surgery might otherwise be recommended because it is much less invasive than surgery. Patients can heal more quickly and have a lower risk of experiencing complications during the healing process.

Not only this, but since chiropractic care focuses on getting to the root cause of an issue rather than simply covering up the symptoms, patients often find that the problem resolves more thoroughly than they had hoped.

A chiropractor is helping a woman ease the symptoms of adult scoliosis.


If you have scoliosis, it's a good idea to schedule a consultation with your chiropractor. Scoliosis is typically treated using either physical therapy or surgery, and both of these options can be highly effective at treating the condition.

Your chiropractor will work with you on an individualized plan best suited to address your specific symptoms and needs. In some cases, chiropractic care for scoliosis can be as simple as learning exercises and stretches to help realign your spine and improve your overall posture. However, in severe cases of scoliosis, surgical or physical therapy treatments may be required.

You can expect to undergo a physical exam and discuss your symptoms and treatment goals at your first appointment with a chiropractor specializing in scoliosis care. Your chiropractor will develop a personalized plan to help alleviate your pain and maintain good posture. If surgery is recommended, they can refer you to an orthopedic surgeon specializing in scoliosis surgery.

If left untreated, scoliosis can cause long-term damage to your spine and posture. If you have any concerns about scoliosis, consult with a chiropractor right away so that you can get the treatment you need.

Dr. Darren Faherty D.C.

In 2004, Dr. Darren Faherty graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UWEC - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Dr. Darren continued education at the highly esteemed University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) where he obtained his chiropractic degree in 2007. He has been helping people recover from injuries and return to their normal lifestyles ever since.

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