What is it?
Scoliosis is a twisting or curving of the spinal column that gets progressively worse.
Causes, Symptoms and Risk Factors
Typically, scoliosis affects girls more often than boys and symptoms gradually begin appearing after age 10. People with a family history of scoliosis are at particular risk. As the condition progresses, back pain may occur, the chest may become sunken in and the shoulders may become rounded. While the cause is unknown, scoliosis can result from:
- Diseases, such as cerebral palsy
- A difference of leg length
- Birth defects
A doctor will diagnose a scoliosis by examining the spine, reviewing symptoms and conducting X-rays.
Many scoliosis cases do not require treatments, but the doctor will monitor the condition to see if it is worsening. If the spine’s curvature exceeds 25 degrees, treatment may include:
- Wearing an orthopedic back brace
- Physical therapy
In cases of severe curvature of the spine, the doctor may recommend surgery.