Scoliosis- Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors and Prevention

Scoliosis is a sideways curve of the spine. Kids and teens with scoliosis have an irregular spine curve in S-shaped or C-shaped form. The curve will occur on either side of the spine, and in different spine locations.

Symptoms can manifest at any age, but it mostly occurs from 10 to 12 years of age, or during adolescence, although it may also show symptoms in children.

The causes for the shapeshift are generally not understood, although certain cases are associated with cerebral palsy, muscle dystrophy, spine Bifida, or a birth defect.

A structural curve is permanent and could be due to a different condition. A non-structural curve is transient, and will, therefore, vanish over time.

Most children and teens with scoliosis have normal, active lives with the treatment, observation, and follow-up with the doctor.

What Are the Most Common Scoliosis Symptoms?

Symptoms of scoliosis can differ greatly, depending on curve severity. Symptoms can be purely cosmetic in mild situations and can involve:

  • Visible difference in hip and shoulder height
  • One or both hips are raised or noticeably high
  • Uneven shoulders one or both shoulder blades may stick out
  • Head is not centered right above the pelvis
  • Asymmetry between rib cage heights on either side.
  • Waistline appears uneven
  • Changes in the appearance or texture of the skin overlying the spine changes, such as dimples, hairy patches, or color abnormalities.
  • The entire body leans toward one side

More severe cases of scoliosis may cause:

  • Back pain
  • Inability to stand upright
  • Leg pain, numbness, and/or weakness due to radiculopathy, or pressure on nerves in the lumbar spine
  • loss of height in adults
  • Bowel or bladder dysfunction in more severe cases

When to seek medical help

See your doctor if you think you have scoliosis or your kids have scoliosis. It is doubtful there will be something medically wrong, but it is best to get it checked out.

Whether you or your child has back pain, uneven shoulders or knees, or any other scoliosis signs, consult with your doctor. These can also be hard to tell apart from other spine-affecting disorders. An exam will reveal what triggers the issues.


The cause of scoliosis isn’t clear in most cases. A child may be born with it. Or it could develop later in life. It’s most frequently seen in children aged 10 to 18. It appears to have more effect on girls than boys.

Possible causes of scoliosis include:

  • Nervous system problems like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy
  • Inherited conditions that tend to run in families
  • Differences in lengths of both leg
  • Injury
  • Infection
  • Tumors

Risk Factors for Scoliosis

The risk factors of scoliosis may include:

  • Children of age 9-13 years, that is just before puberty
  • Female, and mainly in teenage girls
  • A family history  and geneticsof scoliosis
  • cerebral palsy,
  • Marfan syndrome,
  • Tumors such as neurofibromatosis
  • Within an individual the presence of one or more of the above risk factors can increase the risk of scoliosis incidence.


While most people with scoliosis have a mild form of the condition, often scoliosis can cause complications, including:

  • Lung and heart damage: The rib cage will press against the lungs and heart in serious scoliosis, making it difficult to breathe and also difficult for the heart to pump out.
  • Back problems: Adults who have had scoliosis as children have a greater chance of having chronic back pain than people in the general population.
  • Appearance: When scoliosis worsens, it may cause more visible changes — including uneven hips and shoulders, pronounced ribs, and a sideward move from waist to neck. Persons with scoliosis often become self-conscious about their appearance.

Prevention of Scoliosis

Some of the following preventive measures can help prevent spinal deformities from happening. Included below are:

  • Regular scoliosis screening (or any other spinal deviations) in schools;
  • Routine screening of the spine in neonates and all children under the age of 15
  • Effective diagnosis of spinal cord diseases
  • Do not lift heavyweights with one hand

Scoliosis is not a life-threatening condition. Early scoliosis identification is vital to prevent damage to the internal organs, such as the heart and lungs.

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