Scoliosis is a sideways curve of the spine that often occurs during the growth spurt before puberty. Though most cases are mild, some children may develop deformities that can worsen as they grow older.
Last Updated: February 24, 2024

In most individuals, the cause of scoliosis is unknown. Having family members with scoliosis may increase one’s chances of developing it. Other less common causes include problems with the nervous system, having differing leg lengths, injuries, infections, and tumors.

Since most cases are mild, scoliosis usually goes unnoticed. Those that present with symptoms usually have: • Uneven shoulders and/or hips • One shoulder blade that sticks out more than the other • Uneven waist • Back pain • Trouble walking • Trouble standing up straight • Loss of height • Problems with breathing (rare)

Scoliosis can be easily diagnosed during a routine physical examination, but an x-ray of the spine is also taken to further examine the severity of the scoliosis. Those with mild scoliosis, especially children, should be monitored closely with spine x-rays to make sure the curve does not worsen. Some children may need to wear a brace to stop the curve from worsening, but in many cases, there is no necessary treatment. Severe cases of scoliosis may warrant surgery to straighten the spine.

Usually, nothing can be done to prevent scoliosis. However, one can immediately consult a doctor if a mild curve of the spine is suspected. Recently, research has shown that specific exercises called physiotherapeutic scoliosis specific exercises (PSSE) may help prevent scoliosis from worsening.
Last Updated: February 24, 2024