Can Scoliosis Be Treated Without Surgery?


Between 6 to 9 million adults in the United States live with scoliosis. This typical spine curvature may be diagnosed in childhood, and the symptoms might remain mild.

Yet, some cases might be more severe. Typically, surgical correction is used only in severe cases. Surgery is the go-to treatment for severe scoliosis, but many nonsurgical options might help, too.

Physical therapy and other nonsurgical treatments can help improve your quality of life and physical ability. Keep reading to learn more.

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a muscular disorder in which the spine curves abnormally to the left or right into a “C” or “S” figure. An x-ray diagnoses this; any curve over 10 degrees is considered scoliosis. Approximately 80% of scoliosis cases are idiopathic, meaning doctors don’t know what caused the curvature.

“The most common type of scoliosis is known as adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, which appears in active, healthy teens and preteens, sometimes boys, but more often girls,” says Dr Puneet Girdhar. “Scoliosis is more than just a bending of the spine. It is a three-dimensional deformity of the bones in the back with twisting and rotating of the spine.”

How to Treat Scoliosis?

The first step in treating scoliosis involves a comprehensive physical exam by a physician. Diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays, may be necessary to assess the spine’s condition, determine the curvature’s extent, and develop a treatment plan.

“Our focus is on halting scoliosis progression. For instance, if the curvature is 15-20 degrees, we aim to prevent it from reaching 45-50 degrees,” explains Dr. Puneet. “Treatment selection depends on the curve’s magnitude, its location in the spine, and the patient’s skeletal maturity.”

Treatment options for scoliosis, regardless of age, include observation, physical therapy, the Schroth method, bracing, and Mehta casting.

Is Nonsurgical Correction Possible for Scoliosis?

Fortunately, not all scoliosis cases will need surgery to correct the condition. Most instances, particularly in children and adolescents, do not necessitate immediate treatment and are instead closely monitored as they grow.

Non-operative options such as physical therapy, bracing, and specialized exercises like the Schroth method can prevent the curvature from worsening. These nonsurgical approaches aim to manage symptoms, improve spinal alignment, and enhance overall quality of life.

However, the effectiveness of nonsurgical treatments varies depending on the severity and progression of the curvature, and surgical intervention may be recommended in severe cases or when nonsurgical methods prove ineffective.

What Are the Nonsurgical Treatment Methods for Scoliosis?

These methods include:

Observation: No immediate treatment may be necessary for curves under 20 degrees. Regular monitoring is essential to ensure the curve does not worsen.

Physical Therapy: Helps strengthen back and leg muscles, increase flexibility, and alleviate discomfort. Manual therapy and core-focused exercises are commonly used.

Schroth Method: This is a specialized form of physical therapy that involves specific breathing, stretching, and strengthening exercises tailored to individual spinal curves. It aims to improve mobility, reduce pain, and prevent further curvature progression.

Bracing: Custom-made braces are prescribed for curves more significant than 20 degrees, particularly in growing children, to prevent further curvature progression. Bracing requires consistent wear for at least 18 hours a day.

Mehta Casting: Primarily used in infants and toddlers with severe curvature, Mehta casting involves gradually applying a cast around the back and chest to correct spinal deformities. This treatment is performed under anesthesia and requires regular cast changes as the child grows.

“The nonsurgical treatments can be effective in managing scoliosis, especially when implemented early and combined with regular monitoring by a healthcare professional. Each treatment option is tailored to the individual’s curve severity, skeletal maturity, and overall health,” says Dr Puneet.

What Degree of Scoliosis Requires Surgery?

Surgical treatment for scoliosis is rarely needed, as most cases can be managed effectively with nonsurgical methods. However, if the spinal curve progresses to more than 40-50 degrees or if it is advancing rapidly, surgery may be recommended.

In cases where the child has completed their growth and the curve is less than 40-50 degrees, surgery is usually unnecessary and should not significantly impact their quality of life. If surgery is required, many advanced surgical techniques are available that can safely correct the curve as much as possible.

Ananya Sharma shared, “I was devastated when my daughter was diagnosed with scoliosis at a young age. Dr. Puneet Girdhar’s expertise and compassionate care made all the difference. Through nonsurgical treatments like physical therapy and bracing, my daughter’s condition has improved significantly. We are grateful for Dr. Girdhar’s guidance and support.”

Rahul Khanna shared, “Living with scoliosis was challenging until I met Dr. Puneet Girdhar. His knowledge and understanding of the condition were reassuring. With his recommended Schroth method exercises, my back pain has reduced, and I feel more confident in managing my scoliosis. I highly recommend Dr. Girdhar to anyone seeking effective scoliosis treatment.”

What is the Cost of Scoliosis Treatment in India?

The cost of nonsurgical treatments in India, such as physical therapy, bracing, and medication, can range from INR 10,000 to INR 50,000 (approximately USD 135 to USD 675) per year.

The cost of surgical treatments, including spinal fusion surgery, can range from INR 3,00,000 to INR 10,00,000 (approximately USD 4,000 to USD 13,500) or more.

The cost of the treatment can vary significantly depending on the severity of the condition, the type of treatment required, the hospital or clinic chose, and the city or region where the treatment is sought. The cost of post-operative care, including rehabilitation, should also be considered.


Scoliosis can often be effectively managed without surgery, especially when diagnosed early and monitored regularly. Nonsurgical treatments can help improve symptoms and prevent curvature progression. However, surgery may be recommended to correct the curvature in severe cases or when nonsurgical methods are ineffective. With advancements in surgical techniques, individuals with scoliosis can benefit from personalized treatment plans prioritizing their health and quality of life.


1. Can scoliosis be cured completely?

Scoliosis cannot be completely cured but can be effectively managed through various treatments.

2. Is scoliosis more common in men or women?

Scoliosis is more common in women, especially during adolescence.

3. Can scoliosis be prevented?

There is no known way to prevent scoliosis, but early detection and treatment can help manage the condition.

4. What are the long-term effects of scoliosis?

Severe scoliosis can lead to back pain, respiratory issues, and decreased mobility if left untreated.

5. Can adults develop scoliosis?

Adults can develop scoliosis, although it is more common in children and adolescents.

Explore More Blogs: What is the Right Age to Correct Scoliosis?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright by 2024. All rights reserved.

Copyright by BoldThemes 2018. All rights reserved.