Treatment options for adults with thoracic scoliosis include physical therapy, spinal mobilization techniques, acupuncture, pain medications, spinal injections and surgery, according to the Virginia Spine Institute. Unlike adults, for children and adolescents whose spines are still in the process of growing, the most common treatments for thoracic scoliosis are observation and back braces, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Thoracic scoliosis is a medical condition in which the thoracic portion of the spine is curved, according to Spine-health. This is the most common location for curvature in scoliosis. Most adults with scoliosis do not experience any symptoms, so treatment is not necessary for them, reports the Virginia Spine Institute.
For those whose scoliosis causes symptoms or a decrease in the ability to function, there are several non-surgical options to relieve pain and regain function, such as physical therapy and acupuncture. Doctors can also prescribe medications for patients with this condition, or can give spinal injections to relieve pain caused by the curvature in the thoracic spine. Spinal surgery is required for those patients whose pain persists despite trying these options or if their scoliosis is caused by nerve compression.
Most children also do not require any treatment for scoliosis, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Some growing children may need to wear back braces for some or most of the day in order to stop the spine from becoming more curved. If this doesn't work, surgery is often the solution.