Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curve of the spine. Everyone’s spine has natural curves, helping to round the shoulders and curve our lower back. However, those suffering from scoliosis have spines that also curve from side to side, independent from posture. The spine of a person with scoliosis looks more like an “S” or a “C” rather than a straight line. It usually does begin as a postural distortion but may eventually become a permanent deformity. Allowed to advance, it may interfere with the lungs, heart and many other vital organs.
It is more common in females and begins in childhood. Most scoliosis curves are initially detected on school screening exams by a child’s pediatrician. Approximately 2-3 % of Americans have scoliosis by age 16. If detected early, proper treatment will prevent it from worsening over time.