The causes of scoliosis

The causes of scoliosis are mostly unknown. Many patients with scoliosis may seem normal at birth, but the symptoms gradually develop as they grow up. Adolescents, especially females, are at high-risk for scoliosis, with the onset of symptoms usually appearing at around the age of 10. Since the body structure of teenagers would continue to develop during adolescence, in case the problem of scoliosis is overlooked, the lateral curvature would increase as the body grows, thereby causing rapid deterioration of the condition. In some rarer cases, scoliosis is caused by congenital bone defects or neuromuscular diseases.

What are the influences of scoliosis?

What are the influences of scoliosis? The main influence of scoliosis is on the patient’s appearance. When the lateral curvature is less than 20 degrees, the condition is considered mild. Due to the imbalance of muscles on both sides of the spine, the patient may have problems such as uneven shoulders and kyphosis (rounded back). When the lateral curvature deteriorates to 20 to 40 degrees, the patient's symptoms will become more noticeable. For females, breast asymmetry may occur and it may have a negative effect on patient's psychosocial development as well as social interactions with others. If the lateral curvature reaches 40 degrees or more, the back will be deformed and may affect the cardiopulmonary function.

How do I know if I am suffering from scoliosis?

Since mild scoliosis normally has no distinctive symptom and our bodies are mostly covered with clothes, an obviously curved spine is usually not shown until a later stage of scoliosis.

To find out if you are suffering from scoliosis, you can pay more attention to the following symptoms:

  • The two sides of the shoulder are uneven
  • The left and right scapula appear asymmetrical or stick out
  • The hip, pelvis or waist appear asymmetrical
  • The body leans toward one side

Please consult your doctor for professional advice in case of doubts. If necessary, you can undergo an X-ray examination in order to learn more about the condition of your spine.

How can scoliosis be treated?

Treatment for scoliosis may vary with factors such as the patient’s stage of scoliosis, age and bone structure. The first type of treatment is to keep it in check through detailed examinations and assessments while encouraging the patient to undergo physiotherapy, targeted exercise and stretching exercise. Another type of treatment is to wear a tailor-made scoliosis brace around their waist to prevent any worsening on the condition of scoliosis. As for patients with severe scoliosis, surgery might be required.

Adolescence is the golden time for treating scoliosis. Early treatment can control the condition of lateral curvature within a certain degree and prevent deterioration of the condition. People should maintain a correct posture when sitting and lifting objects. Strengthening the spine and core muscles through regular exercise is also recommended. Should there be doubts, please consult a doctor to control the condition as soon as possible.

Last Updated: Sep 2019
Please note that all medical health articles featured on our website have been reviewed by Quality Healthcare doctors. The articles are for general information only and are not medical opinions nor should the contents be used to replace the need for personal consultation with a qualified health professional on the reader’s medical condition.