Scoliosis is a bending
and twisting of the spinal column affecting mainly the thoracic (middle
spine) or the lumbar (lower spine)it is sometimes progressive and
distorts the chest and back. Scoliosis affects mainly adolescents
of both sexes, but is more common in girls.
There are no obvious symptoms or signs, but scoliosis can be detected
by a doctor or school nurse with a simple screening test in it's
early stages. Later stages of scoliosis may show visible curving
of the upper body where the spine becomes S-shaped, shoulders becoming
uneven and rounded and the chest sunken. The pelvis may thrust forward
on one side and back pain will be present.
Scoliosis is sometimes a result of:
- Diseases of the central nervous system, such as polio or muscular
- Congenital defects of the spine.
- Uneven leg length.
Risk of scoliosis increases with family history of the disease
and cannot be prevented at present.
Many cases of scoliosis are minor and require little treatment
except physical therapy aimed at strengthening back muscles and
For children needing further treatment, it usually involves wearing
a orthopedic back brace (sometimes for several years). Newer type
braces are less visible and permit the person to wear regular clothes.
For adults needing treatment, exercises to strengthen back muscles
are recommended (exercises will not correct the curvature). A brace
is not effective in adults since the spine has stopped growing.
If legs are of unequal length, a shoe lift for the shorter leg may
In severe cases surgery may be performed to correct the deformity.
When diagnosed early, scoliosis can usually be corrected completely.
Often a back brace may be required and worn daily for several years.
A Simple test to recognise Scoliosis
Children should be examined bare-backed for scoliosis from time
to time. This is easily done by getting the child to bend over from
the waist while keeping the legs and arms straight and the palms
together. From the rear, a clear rib bulge (as in the picture) will
be visible if the child has scoliosis. A common sign of the problem
is one shoulder blade being more prominent than the other, with
the child tending to lean a little to one side. The hips may be
uneven. The condition will not go away as the child gets older and
the earlier the scoliosis is detected and treated, the better for
Other infomation can be found at:
Socliosis Association (UK)
Scoliosislife.net - A
Place to live with Scoliosis
Your Orthopaedic Connection: Scoliosis in Children and Adolescents
Scoliosis Research Society (The)
Information about the Scoliosis Research Society, a non profit organization
dedicated to education, research, and treatment of spinal deformity.
This illness turns the spine forward, backward, and around. Very
painful disease requires pro-active pain treatment and sometimes