Lumbar Scoliosis

By Sally Ann Quirke, Chartered Physiotherapist | Filed under: Scoliosis


Lumbar Scoliosis
Scoliosis in the spine

Lumbar scoliosis may be congenital or idiopathic. Congenital is where you are born with it, while idiopathic develops over time from an injury or from a condition.

Congenital lumbar scoliosis is where you are born with a structural deviation in your lumbar spine. It means that your lower back will twist either to the right or to the left. It is present since birth and becomes apparent when you are growing. Common ages of identifying it are 2-5, or else in the early teenage years (also see Scoliosis in Children).

Lumbar Scoliosis


The cause of your congenital scoliosis is not clear. It is due to a hereditary reason and involves bones in your back known as vertebrae sometimes fusing and growing in a crooked manner.

Identified early, congenital scoliosis can be operated on and an influence on the growth of your spine can be achieved. However, this is a complex surgery, where timing and great consideration are required. Please note that serious consideration should be done if you are involved in a condition of congenital scoliosis as surgical intervention can influence your whole quality of life. Seek professional opinion on this and more than one if needed. It is time and money well spent.

Imbalances in the muscles of your spine will occur also in congenital scoliosis. Treatment is directed towards symptomatic relief (see more on scoliosis and back pain) in most cases, unless structural correction has been achieved through surgical intervention.

Physiotherapy post surgical intervention is a necessity in the management of congenital scoliosis. Early post-operative physiotherapy is critical in my opinion.

Idiopathic Scoliosis

Idiopathic scoliosis is where you develop a twist in your spine secondary to an injury, or condition. Common examples that I see are in clients are:

  • those over the age of sixty with osteoporosis and
  • in clients with disc injuries in their lower backs, where a deviation occurs in their spines to reduce the load on the affected disc.

Most of these idiopathic scoliosis can be reversed and corrected with good physiotherapy management and other effective scoliosis treatments. Left untreated for longer than 2 weeks can make a full resolution more difficult.

Although there are many causes of lumbar scoliosis, identifying the cause of your lumbar scoliosis is the most important aspect in the management of your spinal condition. Seek specialist help, both medically and from a physiotherapy perspective from the outset. Early diagnosis is the key!

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While the content and materials contained in the articles on this website have been written & researched by Sally Ann Quirke, a professional, practising & fully qualified Chartered Physiotherapist (Physical Therapist) based in Ireland, they are provided for general information and educational purposes only. They do not constitute medical advice on any particular individual situation. Please see your Chartered Physiotherapist or other medical practitioner for full and individual consultation.

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