Prevalence of Scoliosis in a Pelvic Pain Cohort

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Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis has a reported prevalence of 0.16% to 3.26% overall, is higher in females than in males, and higher with age. The relationship between pelvic pain and musculoskeletal dysfunction has been reported. However, the presence of scoliosis in patients with pelvic pain has not been reported in the literature to date. The purpose of this pilot study is to determine the prevalence of scoliosis in a cohort of patients who were referred to physical therapy for musculoskeletal pelvic pain.

Study Design:

This was a retrospective cross-sectional study.


A retrospective chart review was performed to identify patients referred with a diagnosis of pelvic pain. Scoliosis was defined by the presence of an observable spinal deformity in the transverse, frontal, and sagittal planes, including a positive Adam's forward bend test, and/or a positive history of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Data about age and number of therapy sessions were calculated for this cohort.


Sixty-one patients, mean age 41.3 (15.4) years, were referred for pelvic pain. Of this cohort, 22 (36%) were diagnosed with scoliosis. In this cohort, no significant differences were observed between those with and without scoliosis for age and number of intervention visits.


The prevalence of scoliosis in this cohort of patients with pelvic pain was higher than expected. It is possible that scoliosis contributes to pelvic pain by influencing pelvic joints and muscles. Standard screening during evaluation for pelvic pain may be warranted. Further research is needed to identify optimal treatment interventions and to establish the association between scoliosis and pelvic pain.

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