Can Scoliosis Cause Neck Pain?

Experiencing neck pain is a common occurrence. People seem to feel pain in their necks every once in a while. But could something serious be the cause of your discomfort?

To help put your mind at ease, let’s discuss what scoliosis is, what symptoms to look for, and how your neck pain can be treated.

If you are considering seeing a neurologist to address your neck pain, schedule an appointment at Virgin Islands Neurology today! Our specialists located in the U.S. Virgin Islands look forward to helping you resolve your discomfort.

A woman wondering if scoliosis is causing her neck pain.

About Scoliosis and Pain

Scoliosis can occur anywhere along the spine. Scoliosis is characterized by an abnormal spinal curvature.

This curvature of the spine can cause painful muscle strains. The most common section to be affected by scoliosis is the thoracic spine. However, the curvature can also develop in the cervical spine and the lumbar spine.

There are several types of scoliosis. The most common type of scoliosis is idiopathic scoliosis. It has no known cause and usually develops during adolescence. Other types include congenital, which happens at birth, and neuromuscular, which is related to muscular weakness.

What Is Scoliosis Neck Pain?

Scoliosis-related neck pain can be attributed to an abnormality in the spine’s biomechanics. Scoliosis causes the neck, or the cervical spine, to lose its kyphosis or natural curve.

This results in a straight neck, otherwise known as a military neck or cervical kyphosis. This straightening in the neck causes tension in the surrounding muscles, leading to neck pain, loss of motion, and headaches.

A female patient being treated for scoliosis neck pain with physical therapy.

What Are the Symptoms of Scoliosis Neck Pain?

Scoliosis neck pain is felt in the muscles of the neck that support the head. You may experience the following symptoms:

  • Stiff neck: A straight neck can cause tension in your neck muscles. The tension can make the muscles feel very stiff.
  • Decreased range of motion: Muscle tension can also reduce the range of motion you have in your neck.
  • Chronic headaches: The source of headaches with scoliosis is partly due to the muscle tension at the base of the head. The extra muscle contractions can interfere with the sensitive nerve fibers in the neck that lead to the brain and spinal cord. Scoliosis can also affect the flow of cerebrospinal fluid through the spinal canal. Normally this would cushion and protect the brain and spine. When the flow is interrupted, it can lead to severe migraines.

To identify neck pain as caused by scoliosis, you could look out for any scoliosis symptoms. The following signs could indicate that you have scoliosis:

How to Treat Scoliosis Neck Pain

At Virgin Island Neurology, our scoliosis patients receive personalized treatment to help them with their symptoms according to the severity of the condition.

The following methods can help treat scoliosis neck pain:

  • Pain medication: You can get some mild pain relief with the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Pain medications only go so far in relieving pain. Other treatments may also be necessary to help restore function.
  • Training your posture: Correcting your posture can help restore your neck’s healthy curve and relieve pain caused by adverse spinal tension. Posture training can include strengthening and stretching surrounding muscles. 
  • Modifying your activity: Some activities will cause more neck pain than others. Identifying which activities cause more pain can help you limit or avoid these activities.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight: Carrying excess body weight can add further stress to the supporting muscles around your spine. Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight can do much to relieve your pain. 
  • Physical therapy: Exercises can be given to you to strengthen the muscles that support your spine. This can help to reduce adverse mechanical tension.
  • Brace: A brace can help prevent an abnormal curvature in a child’s spine from worsening.
  • Surgery: Surgical treatments may be recommended if you have severe scoliosis.

Get Relief From Scoliosis Neck Pain Today

The good news is that you can get the relief for your neck pain that you’ve been looking for! A trained neurologist has the training to help you ease your pain.

If you are considering seeing a neurologist for help with your neck pain, schedule an appointment at Virgin Islands Neurology today! Our team of doctors located in the U.S. Virgin Islands can help you get back to doing the things that you love!