Scoliosis is a medical condition that causes an abnormal curve of the spine or so-called backbone. The spine’s usual curves occur at the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions. These are normal spinal curves when looking from the side, but the backbone should appear straight when looking from the front. Kyphosis is a curve in the spine seen from the side in which the backbone is bent forward. A normal kyphosis is in the middle spine or thoracic spine. Lordosis is a curve seen from the side in which the backbone is bent backward. A normal lordosis in the upper backbone or cervical spine, and the lower spine or lumbar spine. People with scoliosis develop additional curves to either side of the body, forming a C or an S-shaped curve in the spine over three dimensions. Scoliosis can be mild when it ranges from 10 to 20 degrees, moderate when it ranges from 20 to 50 degrees, and severe when it is greater than 50 degrees. Scoliosis can be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, muscle spasms, Marfan syndrome, and tumors such as neurofibromatosis, but often the cause of scoliosis is unknown. Even though the cause of most cases is unknown, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Typically, idiopathic scoliosis is categorized by the age at which the deformity developed:
- Infantile idiopathic scoliosis develops from birth to 3 years old.
- Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis develops from 4 to 9 years old.
- Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis develops from 10 to 18 years old.
Treatment of scoliosis depends on the degree of curve, location, and cause. Rehabilitation for scoliosis can help alleviate pain and slow the progression of this condition.