> Patient and Family > Adult Idiopathic Scoliosis
Not every adult with a spinal deformity requires treatment. In fact, the vast majority of adults with deformity do not have disabling symptoms and can be managed with simple measures such as periodic observation, over the counter pain relievers and exercise. The exercises are aimed at strengthening the core muscles of the abdomen and back and improving flexibility. Some patients may benefit from short-term use of braces to get pain relief. Braces do not have any long term effect on the degree of the deformity. In general, they are discouraged since they can weaken the core muscles. For persistent leg pain and other symptoms due to arthritis and pinched nerves, injections such as epidurals, nerve blocks or facet injections may provide temporary relief. The goal of the injection(s) is both diagnostic and therapeutic. Patients should track their response to the various injections to help define their pain generators. Pain management physicians usually perform these injections and may also prescribe stronger medications. Unfortunately, stronger pain medications can also be habit forming and have to be used with caution. If narcotics are needed to control the pain, it is a good idea to see a scoliosis surgeon to learn more about the pain generators.