Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves sideways, which is not normal. The spine is normally s-shaped when looked at from the side, but when looking from behind the spine should be straight. The scoliosis curvature is often shaped like the letter S or C, and the spine is sometimes also twisted. It can start in early childhood but may go unnoticed, as it rarely causes problems at an early age. Parents may see an uneven waist or shoulders, particularly prominent shoulder blades or shoulders, elevated hips or leaning to one side. The rib cage can also become more prominent on one side, this becomes more evident if you ask the person to bend forward while observing them from behind.
In some cases, the scoliosis is caused by underlying biomechanical imbalances in the spinal column such as muscle spasm, differing leg lengths, osteoporosis, and arthritis. This is called a functional scoliosis. These factors may cause the spine to become curved and can be decreased or even reversed through chiropractic care.
Most cases of scoliosis are idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown. Chiropractic care can help relieve the pain caused by idiopathic scoliosis and may even lessen the severity. Adults who had scoliosis as children are more likely to have chronic back pain than people in the general population. Early detection is important to diagnose the cause of the scoliosis and then treat it appropriately. Scoliosis can run in families. A child who has a parent, brother, or sister with idiopathic scoliosis should have regular check-ups.