Q. Can a back injury lead to scoliosis?

Answered by
Dr. Vivek Chail
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 24, 2017 and last reviewed on: Aug 02, 2021

Hello doctor,

I sustained a back injury three years ago. I was standing on the staircase of a bar when a large woman lost her balance, she grabbed and twisted my arm while placing her full body weight on my back. I have had recurrent muscle spasms all the way down to my back ever since, and I have to go frequently to a physiotherapist to treat this pain. I had an MRI of my thoracic and lumbar spine last year. I was told that there was mild scoliosis in the thoracic spine and that there was no large disc herniation.

Could this scoliosis have been caused by the injury or by the fact that I have pectus excavatum? I have attached my MRI scans. Can you please clarify whether there are any bulging discs which may be causing, or contributing to the recurrent muscle spasms and muscular pain in my back? I have been unable to clarify this issue with the radiologist who assessed my scans. I would also be very grateful if you could advise an effective treatment in eradicating these recurrent painful muscle spasms.



Welcome to

  • I have seen your MRI scans (attachment removed to protect patient identity), and find that there is no large disc bulge either in the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine.
  • The scoliosis is there, but it is not causing any significant nerve compression or condition relating to the muscle spasms.
  • The pectus excavatum usually will also not cause any such symptoms.
  • It is important to note that muscle spasm can take place due to electrolyte imbalances like changes in potassium or calcium levels. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause it.
  • I suggest that you discuss it with your doctor and get blood tests done if required.

For further queries consult a radiologist online -->

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the prompt reply. Does no large disc bulges mean that there are no bulges in any of the discs (large or small) of my thoracic and lumbar spine? Did I include my cervical spine MRI or was it included in the images I sent you? The radiologist at the center, where I got the scan done, said that there is a minimal bulge in C5 and C6. Can you please look at this for me and let me know your view? Could scoliosis have been caused by the injury when the woman who lost her balance grabbed my arm and twisted it, placing her weight on my back? Could the C5 and C6 bulge have also been caused by this? Can a C5 and C6 bulge cause pain and cervical headaches?

I will ask my doctor about the electrolyte imbalances. Do you think that these muscle spasms should have settled down now three years after the injury? It is a long time for muscles to be still going into spasm as a response to the injury. Does the MRI tell you anything about the muscles of my cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine or any damage to them that may be causing pain? Can these muscles ever be returned to normal after an injury? Would you recommend an osteopath to see if these spasms can be stopped?



Welcome back to

Thanks for writing back with an update.

  • The C5-C6 disc bulge is mild, and this location is commonly affected in many people as we grow. This is not from the injury and is more likely an early degenerative process. This can cause slight discomfort in the neck and arms but is not significant enough to be causing any serious distress and does not require any treatment.
  • Your disc bulge can be said to be the mildest form, and there is no significant pressure on the nerves. However, symptoms can vary, and your occasional aches can be from it.
  • Scoliosis in unlikely from the injury and might have been there for a long time.
  • There is no muscle abnormality in the spinal regions. You can consult your osteopath and attend physiotherapy sessions for relief from the symptoms.

For more information consult a radiologist online -->

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