How to Treat Scoliosis Neck Pain

Roughly one out of every 30 people suffer from scoliosis – which leads millions to search out the best treatment for scoliosis neck pain. 

The good news for scoliosis patients is that there exist a variety of effective treatments for scoliosis neck pain.

Below, we’ll discuss some of those treatments and, most importantly, when people with scoliosis ought to seek professional help via physical therapy

 

What Is Scoliosis Neck Pain?

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that is most often diagnosed in childhood or early adolescence. Whereas most spines have curves at the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions, scoliosis results when there are abnormal spinal curves in the coronal plane (most typically). 

This can at times appear like a sideways curvature of the spine. 

Scoliosis specific symptoms include: 

  • Uneven shoulders
  • Head not centred above the pelvis
  • Unusually raised hips
  • Uneven rib cages
  • Uneven waist
  • Unnatural lean

The above symptoms can impact the patient’s range of motion

The abnormal spinal curvature can also displace pressure on nerves and muscles which in turn can lead to debilitating tension headaches

In general, scoliosis can cause pain throughout the body, but especially in the cervical spine (what we call the neck). 

You see, while scoliosis is a spinal condition, it can also apply pressure to surrounding muscles and nerve roots due to displaced pressure. 

In the event, for instance, that scoliosis forces a change in posture, this can result in pain derived from scoliosis in the neck.

The larger the curvature abnormality, the more likely it is to result in posture changes that then can lead to pain for the patient. 

To that end, scoliosis and neck pain can be closely related. 

Learn More about Neck Pain and How Physiotherapy Can Help: 

One such condition is known as cervical kyphosis, but more colloquially as the military neck. 

This occurs when the patient’s neck is abnormally straight due to the spine’s natural forward curve being lost. 

The displacement of the head puts added pressure on the supporting muscles in the neck and spine. This can in a sense be classified as scoliosis in the neck as it is the main driver of neck pain and altered posture. 

Not everyone who has scoliosis will experience a military neck, but it is a common example of scoliosis causing neck pain. 

 

Treatment for Scoliosis Neck Pain

Considering that scoliosis in the neck can be debilitating and hinder the patient’s ability to move or even go about their daily routine due to intense headaches, finding the right treatment can be potentially life-altering. 

There exist several treatments that can help mitigate and control symptoms. 

Pain Medication 

To help manage the pain, some patients turn to a variety of pain medications like NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). While these won’t totally alleviate symptoms nor restore motion, they can at least help manage the pain. 

Posture Training 

As mentioned above, posture can be an area that is greatly impacted due to scoliosis. As such, posture training can be a great help to patients. Not only does it help you seem more natural in your stance, but can also help provide relief to the strained muscles that result from unnatural postures. 

Modified Activity

Certain activities are more likely to cause you pain if you have scoliosis due to how they affect the spine. It’s often best to identify when your pain flares up the most severely and avoid the activities that cause that increased pain. 

Weight Maintenance 

Maintaining a healthy weight can be a great help in managing symptoms caused by scoliosis. 

Exercise 

A variety of exercises can help you develop your muscles to correct for the added pressure put on by scoliosis. These exercises can be undertaken on your own, but are often much more effective when done under the direction of a physical therapist. 

Surgery 

For some, surgical treatments may be recommended depending on the severity of the curve and symptoms. 

 

Physical Therapy, Scoliosis, and Neck Pain

If your symptoms don’t respond to the above treatments, or you’re finding your pain/motion limitations to be severe, then you should see a physical therapist.

How to Treat Scoliosis Neck Pain

They will be able to walk you through a variety of exercises and stretches that can help significantly reduce the pressure your spine is putting on your muscles, which in turn can relieve pain and symptoms from scoliosis of the neck

Often it’s best that if you’re experiencing any prolonged symptoms as a result of scoliosis to seek out a physical therapist so you can get the treatment you need to get you feeling like your old self again. 

Pain in the thoracic spine can also suggest an abnormal curvature and you must consult a therapist without delay.

 

Getting Therapy for Scoliosis and Neck Pain

So now that we know the answer to “can scoliosis cause neck pain” and the treatments available, the next question is finding the right medical providers to get you that pain relief and motion restoration you need. 

The health providers at White Pine Health offer a full range of physiotherapy and rehabilitation services and are experts at treating patients with scoliosis, including idiopathic scoliosis

We only ever use patient-centred treatments, so you can trust that we never cut corners. We’ll work with you to develop a tailored physiotherapy plan that will directly address your scoliosis symptoms and begin relieving them. 

We offer in-person as well as virtual physiotherapy sessions so you can get the care you need right from the comfort of your own home. Contact White Pine Health today to book a free 20-minute video session and start living pain-free!

Tahmineh (Tammy) Kamza

Physiotherapist
Dry Needling Provider
Hydrotherapist

 
Tammy graduated from the University of Toronto with an “Honors in Science” and obtained her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in the United States.

Her thesis, ‘Effects Of Exercise In Falls Prevention In Community-Dwelling Older Adults’ took almost 2 years to complete. She finished her manual therapy designations from trained professionals of St. Augustine University in Florida. Finally, got her Dry Needling certification from the prestigious organization Kinetacore, a leading post-graduate program in North America.

Aside from manual therapy and dry needling, she is well versed in hydrotherapy, taping and corrective exercise. She is a true believer in active therapy, thus her treatment goals always include an emphasis on physical activity with aim of improving client’s functional abilities.

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