Approximately 2% to 3% of adolescents are diagnosed with scoliosis with at least a 10-degree spine curvature. If you or your child has scoliosis, you may think surgery is the best way to correct the problem.

Although surgery is sometimes necessary and can straighten the spine, there are other options for treatment.

If you’re dealing with a scoliosis diagnosis, knowing your options is essential. Read on for a guide to scoliosis treatment without surgery.

What Is Scoliosis?

In most cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown. In other cases, there is a clear classification and cause.


This type of scoliosis occurs because of a problem in another part of the body besides the spine. If one leg is shorter than the other, scoliosis can develop.


Neuromuscular scoliosis occurs when the spine forms incorrectly. It may fail to separate or form completely.

In some cases, scoliosis is associated with neuromuscular disorders such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy.


This type of scoliosis affects older individuals. It is usually caused by changes in the body related to arthritis or osteoporosis.

Symptoms of Scoliosis

People with scoliosis don’t always have symptoms. Scoliosis can make your body feel off-center.

You may notice one shoulder looks higher than the other. Depending on the severity, scoliosis can lead to back pain, muscle spasms, and shortness of breath.

Getting a Diagnosis of Scoliosis

Scoliosis can develop slowly over time. You may not notice it until there’s a significant problem.

It’s often discovered during a routine checkup or physical exam. A friend or family member may notice it before you do.

If your doctor suspects scoliosis, they will order imaging such as an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI. Women and individuals with “S-shaped” curves are more likely to have scoliosis that worsens over time.

The curve’s positioning makes a difference too. A curvature in the center spine is more likely to get worse over time than one in the lower or upper spine.

Non-Surgical Scoliosis Treatment

Every case is unique, and a conservative approach won’t work for everyone with scoliosis.

A non-surgical intervention involves integrating various treatment disciplines and customizing the treatment for each patient. In some cases, scoliosis does not require treatment.

In these cases, it’s important for patients to have regular physical examinations and imaging of the spine to monitor the condition.

In-Office Therapy

The muscles surrounding the spine play a critical role in maintaining the spine’s natural curvature. Physical therapy and scoliosis-specific exercises (SSEs) may help realign the spine and the surrounding structures.

With a variety of SSEs, a patient’s core strength can increase. This helps support the spine, reduces pain, and improves balance.

These exercises help keep the body’s muscles loose and strong while helping to counteract muscle imbalance. Certain exercises activate parts of the brain to improve brain-body communication, body positioning, and pastoral remodeling.

No exercise alone can correct scoliosis. Combining other proactive treatments with SSEs can help improve scoliosis at a structural level.

Corrective Bracing

Modern bracing methods have improved over the years. They are more effective in young people with moderate scoliosis whose bones are still growing.

Braces for scoliosis are typically worn all day. Some types of braces are discrete and are hardly visible under loose clothing.

Modern braces are customized to the patient’s body. The brace works with the spine’s curvature, pushing it to its correct position.

Today’s braces address the three-dimensional nature of scoliosis and improve the unnatural sideways bend and the spine’s rotation.

Custom At-Home Exercises

Scoliosis is a progressive condition, but it’s treatable. If non-surgical intervention is successful and core strength is improved, the next phase is rehabilitation.

With custom-prescribed exercises, patients can engage in a home rehabilitation program to stabilize the spine and maintain long-term results. It’s a similar concept to patients having to wear a retainer after having braces.

Although the spine’s curvature has been reduced, the unnatural curve will return without follow-up medical care and regular at-home exercises.


If scoliosis gets worse over time, spinal surgery or Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT) may be the best option.

VBT is a surgical approach to treat scoliosis that prioritizes maintaining spinal flexibility. Unlike conventional scoliosis operations that utilize spinal fusion, VBT employs a non-fusion technique to bring about improvement.

Not every scoliosis patient needs surgery. Fortunately, there are non-surgical approaches for treating scoliosis that can help realign the spine and preserve its function.

Scoliosis Treatment Without Surgery

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with scoliosis, you may be wondering what the options are for treating scoliosis. Surgery is available, but it’s not always necessary.

Scoliosis treatment without surgery is effective for many patients. At Advanced Spine Center, we specialize in surgical and non-surgical treatment of neck and back pain and spinal disorders.

The key to successful scoliosis treatment is early diagnosis and intervention. If you notice a change in your spine or are experiencing back problems or pain, we are here for you.

Contact The Advanced Spine Center today to schedule an appointment.