Adult patients with Idiopathic Scoliosis (ADIS) are generally told that their scoliosis will have stopped progressing when they stopped growing. However there is increasingly more scientific data that contradicts this premise. It has been shown that contrary to what doctors were taught in medical schools in the past 100 years; adult IS (Idiopathic scoliosis) does progress on average between .5-1 degrees per year. (Negrini et al. Scoliosis (2015) 10:20).
Once there exists an ‘asymmetrical’ load, or shift of the spinal vertebrae, then there is a high degree of potential (at least 60%) of continued worsening of the scoliosis. Especially as age brings on further degenerative changes in the spine, such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, osteopenia,etc. Surgery previously thought of as the only solution, is now being re-evaluated. Various forms of therapeutic exercises and non-surgical conservative therapies are being successfully implemented in adults, as well as children. Among them are CLEAR Scoliosis Institute Protocols (www.clear-institute.org), SEAS (scientific exercise approach to scoliosis), Schroth Exercise, SSE (scoliosis specific exercises). See below an example of an adult scoliosis that has not been treated as it worsens both posture wise and on x ray.