Scoliosis – causes, symptoms and treatment

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A curve we do not want in our body. By the end of the blog, the reader will understand

  • The types of Scoliosis
  • Symptoms of Scoliosis
  • Causes of Scoliosis
  • Diagnosis and treatment of Scoliosis

What is Scoliosis?  

Scoliosis is when there is an abnormal curvature of the spine. Unlike the normal spine shape that is curved at the top and curved at the bottom, the spine would be curved from side to side.

Most Scoliosis have no specific cause. This condition is commonly diagnosed in children.  

What are the types of Scoliosis? 

The most widely prevalent type of Scoliosis is idiopathic Scoliosis. This is a term used to refer to a condition with no definite causes.  

When it occurs in children 0 to 3 years, it is infant Scoliosis.

When it occurs in children 4 to 10 years, it is juvenile Scoliosis.

When it occurs in children 11 to 18 years, it is adolescent Scoliosis.

When it comes to people who are above 18 years, it is adult Scoliosis.

Some of the other types of Scoliosis are:

  • Congenital spine deformation that appears at birth
  • Neurological abnormalities due to nerves.

Scoliosis is either structural or nonstructural. In structural scoliosis, the spine is curved, which is caused by disease or an injury. At times, it is caused during birth. It is permanent.

Nonstructural Scoliosis is when the spine curve is temporary and can be treated.  

What are the symptoms of Scoliosis?

The symptoms of Scoliosis may be mild to severe. The most commonly exhibited symptoms are:

  • Uneven shoulder levels
  • Uneven hips
  • Rotating spine
  • Back pain
  • Experiencing difficulty in breathing and
  • Poor posture

What causes Scoliosis?

Usually, the causes of Scoliosis can’t be determined. Common causes that are identified by doctors include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Muscular disorders
  • Birth defects
  • Injuries and
  • Infections

These causes may be the primary reason for Scoliosis, but there is no conclusive evidence to tell the exact cause.

How to diagnose Scoliosis? 

A medical professional would examine the spine and check for Scoliosis. Few imaging tests are performed to get a closer look at the spine.

The doctor will ask the patient to bend forward to look for curvature. The curvature may be found in the upper or lower back.

Diagnosis is done with  

  • X-ray
  • MRI scan
  • Bone scan and  
  • CT scan

These are performed as imaging tests to get a closer look at the spine.

How can we treat Scoliosis?

Treating Scoliosis depends on various factors as follows:

  • Age
  • Curvature in the spine
  • Type of Scoliosis  

The two main treatments for Scoliosis includes bracing and surgery.


A person with Scoliosis is advised to use a brace if they are at a growing age. The brace is used for curvatures more than 25 to 40 degrees. This doesn’t mean that a brace would straighten the spine. It prevents additional curvature.

The most popularly used braces are the underarm braces and the Milwaukee braces.


Surgery is performed for people who have curvature more than 40 degrees. Spinal fusion is the basic surgery performed on a patient to treat Scoliosis. The surgeon would fuse the vertebrae with the help of a bone graft.

A bone graft is a bone-like material or a bone used to fuse the vertebrae. The bone graft and the bone would fuse over time.

Surgery may pose the risk of:

Once the surgeries are performed, medications are prescribed to combat pain.

To sum up

Scoliosis and symptoms may vary from person to person. Living with it is difficult. Early treatment is required. People with severe Scoliosis have physical limitations.

The most pinpointed causes of Scoliosis are:

  • Birth defects
  • Genetic conditions and  
  • Neurological abnormalities.

Treatment is given considering various factors. If you find a person exhibiting any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is important to visit a doctor. Seeking support from your peers and family will help a person cope with Scoliosis.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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