What is scoliosis? Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine. The most common type of scoliosis is Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS for its name and acronym in English). Idiopathic, means the cause is unknown. This type of scoliosis occurs in children older than 10 years and in adolescents. The curvature makes the spine look more like an “S” or “C” than a straight line when viewed from the back. Scoliosis can also cause spine rotation, making the shoulders or waist look uneven.
What is the cause of scoliosis? Scoliosis tends to appear during growth periods in adolescence. It could be hereditary too, but the cause is unknown. Poor posture, heavy backpacks, poor diet, or playing sports can not cause scoliosis.
What are the possible signs of scoliosis? The examiner will look for certain signs during the exam like the ones below.
When the child is standing:
- Uneven shoulders
- One shoulder blade sticks out more than the other.
When the child leans forward:
- A hump of the ribs, known as rib prominence
- A hump of the lower back, known as lumbar prominence. Scoliosis usually does not cause back pain.
It is very important to look for scoliosis symptoms in children or adolescents. The longer it takes to detect this condition in children and teens, the more complex treatments will be needed.