Causes of scoliosis
Scoliosis is where the spine twists and curves to the side.
It can affect people of any age, from babies to adults, but most often starts in children aged 10 to 15.
Scoliosis can improve with treatment, but it is not usually a sign of anything serious and treatment is not always needed if it’s mild.
Signs of scoliosis include:
A visibly curved spine
leaning to 1 side
One shoulder or hip sticking out
the ribs sticking out on 1 side
clothes not fitting well
Some people with scoliosis may also have back pain. This is usually more common in adults with the condition.
See a GP if you think you or your child has scoliosis. It’s unlikely that there’s anything seriously wrong, but it’s best to get it checked out.
The GP will examine your back and can refer you to a hospital doctor for help with diagnosis if they suspect scoliosis.
An X-ray of your back will be carried out in hospital to check whether your spine is curved and how severe the curve is.
If you’re diagnosed with scoliosis, you should see a specialist to discuss treatment options.
Treatment for scoliosis depends on your age, how severe the curve is, and whether it’s likely to get worse with time.
Many people will not need any treatment and only a small number will need to have surgery on their spine.
Children and adults may need treatment to relieve pain, such as specific chiropractic. It’s not clear whether back exercises help improve scoliosis, but general exercise is good for overall health and should not be avoided unless advised by your doctor.
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