National Scoliosis Awareness Month: Key Facts You Need to Know
5 (1)

national scoliosis awareness month
Click to rate this post!
[Total: 1 Average: 5]

In this blog, we will discuss key facts for scoliosis awareness. Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that most often is diagnosed in adolescents. This differs from your body’s natural front-to-back curve. It’s usually mild and doesn’t cause symptoms, but it can lead to back pain and abnormal posture.

Your spine (backbone) naturally has a slight forward and backward curve. With scoliosis, your spine curves to the left and right into a C or S shape.

Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but some curves worsen as children grow. Severe scoliosis can be disabling. An especially serious spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly.


  • Uneven shoulders
  • Uneven waist
  • One hip is higher than the other
  • One side of the rib cage jutting forward
  • A prominence on one side of the back when bending forward

With most scoliosis cases, the spine will rotate or twist in addition to curving side to side. This causes the ribs or muscles on one side of the body to stick out farther than those on the other side.


Causes for the scoliosis are not known, although it appears to involve hereditary factors because the disorder sometimes runs in families. Less common types of scoliosis may be caused by:

  • Certain Neuromuscular conditions, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy
  • Birth defects affecting the development of the bones of the spine
  • Injuries to or infections of the spine
  • Spinal cord irregularities

Risk Factors

Age: Signs and symptoms typically begin in Adolescence.

Sex: Although both males and females develop mild scoliosis at about the same rate, females have a much higher risk of the curve worsening and requiring treatment.

Family history: Scoliosis can run in families, but most children with scoliosis don’t have a family history of the disease.


While most people with scoliosis have a mild form of the disorder, scoliosis may sometimes cause complications, including:

Breathing problems: In severe scoliosis, the rib cage may press against the lungs, making it more difficult to breathe.

Back problems: People who had scoliosis as children may be more likely to have chronic back pain as adults, especially if their curves are large and untreated.

Appearance: As scoliosis worsens, it can cause more noticeable changes including uneven hips and shoulders, prominent ribs, and a shift of the waist and trunk to the side. People with scoliosis often become self-conscious about their appearance.

You may have had mild, undiagnosed scoliosis throughout your life. Symptoms can increase or appear as your body ages, which results in a late diagnosis. Specifically, adult-onset scoliosis happens when your disks and joints weaken or you lose bone density (osteoporosis). You can also refer to our blog Understanding Age-Related Disease: A Comprehensive Guide for more information.


If needed, your provider may order imaging tests. X-Rays taken from the front and side will show a full picture of your spine. Your provider can then determine if you have scoliosis and, if so, to what degree. Other imaging tests may include an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computed tomography) scan.

If your provider determines that you have scoliosis that requires treatment, they’ll refer you to an orthopaedic spine specialist.

A scoliosis diagnosis is most common during adolescence, between ages 10 and 15.

As you age, your spine curves (degeneration). For this reason, adults can get a scoliosis diagnosis later in life. This usually happens if scoliosis is mild and goes undetected during childhood.

Management and Treatment

Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and not necessarily straightening the curve. The goal is to decrease symptoms and curve progression and improve the function of your spine.

There are two types of treatment for scoliosis:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *