The irregular side-to-side curvature of the spine is called scoliosis and cannot be corrected with better posture. It is generally a hereditary condition and affects only a small percentage of the population. Scoliosis usually develops during middle to late childhood and the vast majority of cases are considered Ňidiopathic,Ó or of unknown cause. While it can occur in children with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or spinal bifida, it is most often found in otherwise healthy children.
Adult scoliosis may represent the progression of an undiagnosed condition that began in childhood. A slight curve may, in adulthood, have progressed to a more severe curvature in the absence of treatment. It can also be caused by the degenerative changes of the spine. Other spinal deformities may be associated with osteoporosis, or bone softening.
The usual scoliosis curve is a Thoracic curve (chest level). Treatment of this condition varies on the patient and severity of the scoliosis, but generally concentrates on muscle imbalances and bony deformities of the spine, ribs and pelvis
If left untreated, severe adult scoliosis can lead to chronic severe back pain, deformity and difficulty breathing. Some early signs in children may be: uneven shoulders, obvious leaning to one side, uneven waist, prominent shoulder blade(s), and elevated hips.