Low Back Pain in Adults with Scoliosis Compared to Adults Without Scoliosis: A Systematic Review

Back pain in patients with scoliosis is quite prevalent. It is also possible that patients with scoliosis present with specific features of low back or leg pain.

ScoliCare Head of Education, Rose Marchese, and CEO Dr. Jeb McAviney, were part of a systematic review that looked at signs, symptoms and features associated with back pain in adults with scoliosis in comparison to adults without scoliosis.  The paper was published in The Journal of Clinical Medicine special issue Spine Rehabilitation in 2022 and Beyond. 

The paper can be downloaded here

What type of pain do patients with scoliosis commonly present with?

Patients with scoliosis presented with asymmetrical pain, most often found at the apex of the curve. The pain from here would eventually radiate to one leg, localised on the front of the thigh in patients with scoliosis, whereas in adults without scoliosis, sciatica (pain running down the back of the leg) was a more common occurrence. The reason for the radiating thigh pain seemed to be the rotational olisthesis (slipping or sliding) of the vertebra.

The type and location of the curve also had an impact on the symptoms, with those found in the lumbar and thoraco-lumbar spines being more painful than curves in the thoracic spine.

The most specific feature of pain in adults with scoliosis is that it is typically asymmetrical in its location and occurs together with anterior thigh pain.. At this time, there is still no clear differentiation in pain intensity and duration in adults with and without scoliosis. More research is needed in this area but this paper gives us some indication into some of the differences between back pain in adults with scoliosis compared to adults without scoliosis.

Visit https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0383/12/16/5182 to read the full research.

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