Adolescence is a time of growth and change, but for some teenagers, it can also mean dealing with scoliosis. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is the most common type of scoliosis that affects young people between the ages of 10 and 18. It causes an abnormal curvature of the spine, which can lead to discomfort, pain, and self-consciousness. In this blog post, we will cover everything you need to know about AIS, its diagnosis, progression, treatment options including ScoliSMART treatment and spinal fusion surgery, as well as lifestyle changes for managing it effectively. We will also discuss bracing as a possible option and how it can be effective in stabilizing the condition. Lastly, we have included tips on coping with the condition as a teenager and how to maintain a positive outlook while dealing with this condition.

What is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis?

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is a spinal curvature that often occurs during puberty and is linked to a genetic predisposition. It’s the most common type of scoliosis in children aged 10 to 18. Treatment options may include exercises, bracing, or surgery. Regular check-ups with a specialist are crucial for monitoring the condition’s progression.

Diagnosis of scoliosis in teens

Early diagnosis of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is crucial for effective scoliosis treatment for teenager patients. Physical examination and imaging tests like X-rays or MRI are commonly used to diagnose the condition in teens aged between 10-18 years. The most common symptoms of scoliosis in teens are uneven shoulders, waist or hips, and back pain. Regular monitoring with spine specialists is recommended to track curve progression. Treatment options include bracing, physical therapy, and surgical intervention if necessary. Seeking early care from a specialist who understands the significance of spinal cord health can make all the difference.

Diagnosis of scoliosis in teens

Imaging tests for scoliosis

Imaging tests play an essential role in diagnosing adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), the most common type among teens. To assess the severity and measure spinal curve progression doctors use X-rays. If further evaluation of the spinal cord or vertebrae is necessary then MRI or CT scans can be conducted. Ultrasound can help diagnose congenital cases in infants. Contact your care team immediately if you observe uneven shoulders, shoulder blade or waist height, rib cage hump on one side of the body or back pain.

Understanding scoliosis progression

Scoliosis in teenagers can progress over time and cause severe back deformities if not treated carefully. That’s why regular checkups are essential during growth spurts to monitor the spinal curve progression closely. Treatment options for scoliosis will depend on various factors like age, family history, skeletal maturity and severity of the curvature. ScoliSMART exercises and physical therapy can be effective for mild to moderate cases. In very severe cases, surgical options may include spinal fusion surgery which involves fusing metal rods to the spine.

Idiopathic scoliosis treatment options

Idiopathic scoliosis is a common condition affecting teenagers that can be managed with proper care. Various treatment options such as bracing and surgery are available depending on the severity and progression of the spinal curvature. Bracing is helpful in slowing down curve progression in some cases while surgery may be necessary when other treatments are ineffective. It’s crucial to detect the condition early to prevent its worsening, thus regular monitoring by a care team is imperative. With appropriate treatment, adolescents can lead healthy lives despite this condition.

ScoliSMART treatment for scoliosis in teenagers

One non-surgical treatment option for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is ScoliSMART. It corrects underlying factors contributing to spinal curvature through customized exercises and nutritional therapy. Studies show this method effectively reduces curve progression in teenagers.


To learn more about how to treat the whole scoliosis condition and not only the curve, connect with our passionate providers at ScoliSMART. To explore a non-brace/ non-surgical treatment for your child’s scoliosis problem, you may schedule a no-cost Zoom or phone consultation with a ScoliSMART doctor. Please get in touch with us today!

Lifestyle changes for managing scoliosis

Lifestyle changes play a vital role in managing adolescent idiopathic scoliosis or AIS. Physical activities like exercises that strengthen the back muscles, good posture throughout the day, a nutritious diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, and mindfulness techniques such as meditation can aid in managing the condition. Practicing these changes will constructively influence the spinal curvature. One should follow up regularly with their care team for physical examinations and x-rays to monitor progression. Avoid contact sports that could lead to injury as it may lead to surgical intervention.

Bracing for scoliosis – Factors to consider

When exploring options for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis treatment, it’s essential to consider bracing as a viable option for mild to moderate cases. When considering back bracing for teenagers, several factors must be taken into account to ensure its effectiveness. These include the severity of the spinal curve, age and growth stage of the patient, and type of scoliosis diagnosed. Proper compliance with bracing is also crucial for success and regular follow-up care ensures effective treatment.

Effectiveness of bracing for scoliosis correction

Bracing is a common treatment option for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) with moderate to severe spinal curvature. It is an effective way to prevent progression of the condition without surgery in some cases. The duration of bracing varies based on age and severity of the curve. Compliance with wearing braces is crucial for optimal results. Studies have shown that bracing prevents further curvature in most common types of AIS. Depending on the care team’s evaluation, regular follow-up checkups are necessary to monitor progression effectively.

Scoliosis surgery for teens

Surgery for the condition is the most common treatment option for severe spinal curvature that heavily impacts everyday activities. It involves a surgical procedure called spinal fusion that utilizes metal rods and screws to join the vertebrae together. The recovery process typically lasts several months with physical therapy as an essential component of recuperation. Adhering to post-operative instructions from your care team is crucial for a successful outcome. While surgical treatment is frequently effective, non-surgical options such as bracing or physical therapy should be explored before opting for surgery.

Scoliosis surgery for teens

Risks and benefits of spinal fusion surgery

Spinal fusion surgery is a common surgical treatment option for severe scoliosis in teens that involves fusing two or more vertebrae to straighten the spine. Although there are risks associated with spinal fusion surgery like infection, nerve damage, and blood loss, it has potential benefits such as improved appearance and function, relief from back pain and better quality of life. It’s crucial to discuss all surgical options with your care team before making any decisions.

Vertebral Body Tethering Surgery

A minimally invasive surgical treatment known as Vertebral Body Tethering Surgery provides an alternative to traditional spinal fusion surgery for teenagers with moderate scoliosis who are still growing and have not yet reached skeletal maturity. During the procedure, screws and a flexible cord are inserted along the spine which gently pulls on the spine to straighten it over time. This surgery has a shorter recovery time and less risk of complications compared to other surgical options.

Consulting with a ScoliSMART

Online consultation scheduling is available!

Now it’s even easier to connect with ScoliSMART. Schedule your no-cost, no-obligation phone or Zoom consultation online with a ScoliSMART physician. Visit the ScoliSMART BootCamp page and click the “Schedule Online” button at the top of the page. Then select the best date and time to connect with a physician. Schedule your consultation right here!

Coping with scoliosis as a teenager

Managing the condition during adolescence can be difficult, but there are effective ways to cope. It’s crucial to comprehend the causes and symptoms of this condition. Collaborate with your healthcare providers to develop an appropriate treatment strategy tailored to your individual needs, which may involve physical therapy or wearing a brace. Regular checkups, staying physically active while avoiding contact sports, and proper nutrition can help manage the condition effectively. Don’t forget to seek emotional support from friends and family when needed.


In conclusion, the condition can be a difficult diagnosis to manage, especially for teenagers. However, with the right treatment plan and lifestyle changes, it is possible to manage scoliosis effectively. It’s important to work with a specialist who can monitor your condition and recommend the best course of treatment for you. Whether it’s braces or surgery, there are options available that can help correct the curvature of your spine and alleviate pain. Remember that it’s also essential to take care of your mental health while coping with scoliosis. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support from loved ones or a mental health professional. To learn more about scoliosis treatment options and how to cope as a teenager, read our comprehensive guide now.