Chronic back pain can limit your daily productivity. If not managed properly, it can lead to disability later in life. The doctors in our Pain Clinic in Minneapolis and Burnsville have years of experience dealing with a variety of back pain cases. We know the negative effects that back pain can bring into the life of our patients and we do our best to provide the best treatment customized to each patient’s unique health condition.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20.4% of adults in the United States suffered from chronic back pain in 2016. Aside from factors such as lifestyle, occupation, and posture, some 2-3% of the American population suffer from back pain caused by scoliosis. In fact, approximately 6-9 million people in the U.S. have scoliosis, according to 2007 data from the National Scoliosis Foundation.

Scoliosis in a nutshell

Scoliosis is a condition characterized by an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. A normal spine should look straight when viewed from the front or back (frontal plane). In patients with scoliosis, it can appear C- or S-shaped. The curve can be towards the left or right.

The degree of curvature determines the severity of scoliosis.

  • Mild scoliosis

In mild scoliosis, the curvature of the spine is less than 25°. Patients may notice that their clothing hangs lopsidedly and their shoulders, or hips appear uneven. It may or may not be associated with back pain.

  • Moderate scoliosis

In moderate cases of scoliosis, the spinal curvature is between 26-40°. One shoulder blade may appear higher than the other, clothing may hang lopsidedly, and shoulders, or hips may look uneven. A rib hump may also appear. Patients often experience headaches and pain between the shoulder blades.

  • Severe scoliosis

Severe scoliosis cases have curves above 40°. Patient’s belly button may look off center, a rib hump looks prominent, and one shoulder blade may appear higher than the other. Patients with severe scoliosis have frequent headachems and pain between the shoulder blades and in the lower back. Standing and sitting for long periods can also cause fatigue and back pain. In some cases, breathing may also be affected.

Many cases of mild scoliosis, especially those without obvious signs and symptoms, go undiagnosed. However, a mild case of scoliosis can progress to moderate without proper management. It's best to get a proper diagnosis and treatment in our pain management in Burnsville clinic, if you suspect you might be developing the condition.

Causes of back pain in scoliosis

Back pain is common in patients with scoliosis due to many factors. When the spine is curved towards one side, this disrupts the balance and alignment of the soft tissues attached to it and surrounding it. It can stress and strain the joints, causing them to swell or inflame. The curvature can also stretch and irritate the nerves in your back.

Scoliosis can also affect the patient’s posture and gait, making the muscle load unbalanced. This forces the muscles of the back to compensate, making them fatigued and strained, causing back pain.

The intervertebral discs are located between your vertebrae. They act as ligaments that hold the vertebrae together, absorb shock, and allow slight movement and flexibility. Patients with scoliosis can suffer from worn out discs, which can lead to back pain.

Learn more about Pain Management Minneapolis & Burnsville – Valley Medical and Wellness Clinic

Valley Medical and Wellness is a Clinic with two locations - one in Minneapolis and another in Burnsville - that specializes in pain management and addiction medicine.

Our involvement begins with a comprehensive evaluation to create a treatment plan suited to your specific needs. Then, we select from a variety of therapies and medication to manage your care as you work towards recovery. It is our continued care management, which changes with your needs, allowing you to progress and achieve your treatment goals.

If you have any additional questions, or you would like to find out more about our available pain management options, please contact us by calling at (612) 444-3000.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.