05 Oct What You Might Not Know About Scoliosis and Chest Pain
Scoliosis is a condition that causes deformation of the spine. As such, we normally associate it with back pain. But did you know that scoliosis can cause chest pain as well? Though not the norm, chest pain is a symptom experienced by people with more severe scoliosis.
Like most forms of chest and back pain, the chest pain associated with scoliosis is treatable. It requires a specialist who knows what they are dealing with, but a doctor with the right knowledge and experience can help patients find the relief they deserve.
We invite you to visit our Weatherford, Texas pain management clinic if you are experiencing pain of any kind. In the meantime, we have put together some information you might not know about the disease and related chest pain.
Scoliosis is essentially an abnormal curvature of the spine. It is most often diagnosed in adolescents, though young children and adults can also develop the disease at any time. The good news is that most cases of scoliosis are mild. They are only slightly discomfiting.
The bad news is that some mild cases of adolescent scoliosis can grow worse as a child grows up. As such, adolescent patients are usually monitored closely through puberty. If a patient’s case is progressing, a brace might be recommended to prevent further curvature throughout the remainder of adolescence.
Scoliosis and the Rib Cage
When scoliosis does cause chest pain, that pain is related to the rib cage, its surrounding muscles, and the lungs. The pain is classified as biomechanical in nature.
Simply put, scoliosis can lead to ‘stuck’ joints that don’t move fluidly. This puts added stress on muscles and ligaments in the back and chest. Thus, sore muscles are often the cause of chest pain in scoliosis patients.
In especially severe cases, curvature of the spine can put additional stress on the bones of the rib cage. It can compress the rib cage, putting pressure on the lungs. The added pressure can cause direct lung pain as well as difficulty breathing. This would only exacerbate chest pain as the lungs are not able to fully inflate within a compressed rib cage.
Treating Scoliosis and Chest Pain
How scoliosis chest pain is treated depends on the severity of the disease. In most cases, the exact circumstances causing the pain are not life-threatening. Pain can be relieved through a variety of treatments including cardio steroid injections, medial branch blocks, etc.
If the lungs are significantly restricted, patients under the age of five can develop pulmonary hypertension as a result. This is a potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate treatment.
See a Pain Specialist
Patients suffering from chest pain they believe is related to scoliosis should see a pain specialist. Chest pain caused by rib compression and stressed muscles usually only occurs in scoliosis patients whose curvature reaches about 80 degrees. In other words, chest pain is a symptom only in the most severe cases.
If curvature is less than 80 degrees, chest pain and shortness of breath are likely being caused by something else. It is important to identify other causes as they could indicate more serious illnesses.
For other scoliosis-related pain, we offer a number of treatments that have proven effective over the years. We would be happy to sit down and discuss your case with you. Please note that Lone Star Pain Medicine specializes in treating chronic pain through minimally invasive procedures. We believe in getting to the root causes of a person’s pain in order to help achieve much-deserved relief.