"What is Scoliosis?"


Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine.  The abnormal curvature could involve the thoracic spine, the thoracic and lumbar spine or just the lumbar spine alone.  If the thoracic spine is involved, it can cause a distortion of the rib cage as the vertebral bodies will rotate and thus affect breathing.  Back pain usually correlates with curve severity.

There are two types of scoliosis:

  1. Structural
  2. Non-structural

Structural scoliosis that is idiopathic (unknown etiology) is the most common, frequently affecting young girls between the ages of 12 and 16 years of age.  Females are affected by scoliosis as much as 60% of the time over males.  Prognosis of an abnormal curvature primarily in the lumbar region is the most benign and least deforming of all idiopathic curves.  Left lumbar curves are more likely to occur than right lumbar curves.

Non-structural scoliosis is less common and may present secondary to muscle spasms, and leg length discrepancies.  This type of scoliosis may be correctible.

Treatment options may include physical therapy, the use of a brace, or in severe cases, surgery.  If you suspect scoliosis for either youself or someone you know, seek professional advice by a licensed physician specializing in the lumbar spine.



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