What Is Degenerative Scoliosis?

What is degenerative scoliosis?

Degenerative scoliosis, also known as adult onset scoliosis, refers to a side-to-side curvature of the spine caused by degeneration of the facet joint and intervertebral discs which are the moving parts of the spine.

It usually starts after age 50 as the spine continues to naturally degenerate, or wear out, due to aging.


Symptoms triggered by degenerative scoliosis may include:

  • Dull ache or stiffness in the mid to low back
  • Shock-like back pain that can radiate down the buttock and into the leg
  • Pins-and-needles tingling and/or numbness that can radiate down the buttock and into the leg
  • Sharp leg pain that develops while walking but subsides with rest


The treatment of degenerative scoliosis may include:

Non-surgical treatment

  • observation
  • avoidance of activities that exacerbate symptoms
  • exercises to strengthen muscles (physical therapy, pilates, or yoga)
  • moist heat or cold
  • acupuncture
  • manipulations
  • oral medication regimens
  • injection regimens

Surgical treatment

  • fusion
  • decompression
  • both of the above two methods

Keyword: degenerative scoliosis

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.