- Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that most often is diagnosed in adolescents. While scoliosis can occur in people with conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of most childhood scoliosis is unknown.
- Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but some curves worsen as children grow. Severe scoliosis can be disabling. An especially severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly.
- Children who have mild scoliosis are monitored closely, usually with X-rays, to see if the curve is getting worse. In many cases, no treatment is necessary. Some children will need to wear a brace to stop the curve from worsening. Others may need surgery to straighten severe curves.
Signs and symptoms of scoliosis may include:
One shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other
One hip higher than the other
One side of the rib cage jutting forward
A prominence on one side of the back when bending forward
With most scoliosis cases, the spine will rotate or twist in addition to curving side to side. This causes the ribs or muscles on one side of the body to stick out farther than those on the other side.
Doctors don’t know what causes the most common type of scoliosis — although it appears to involve hereditary factors, because the disorder sometimes runs in families. Less common types of scoliosis may be caused by:
Certain neuromuscular conditions, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy
Birth defects affecting the development of the bones of the spine
Previous surgery on the chest wall as a baby
Injuries to or infections of the spine
Spinal cord abnormalities
Risk factors for developing the most common type of scoliosis include:
Age. Signs and symptoms typically begin in adolescence.
Sex. Although both boys and girls develop mild scoliosis at about the same rate, girls have a much higher risk of the curve worsening and requiring treatment.
Family history. Scoliosis can run in families, but most children with scoliosis don’t have a family history of the disease.
While most people with scoliosis have a mild form of the disorder, scoliosis may sometimes cause complications, including:
Breathing problems. In severe scoliosis, the rib cage may press against the lungs, making it more difficult to breathe.
Back problems. People who had scoliosis as children may be more likely to have chronic back pain as adults, especially if their abnormal curves are large and untreated.
Appearance. As scoliosis worsens, it can cause more noticeable changes — including uneven hips and shoulders, prominent ribs, and a shift of the waist and trunk to the side. Individuals with scoliosis often become self-conscious about their appearance.
The doctor will initially take a detailed medical history and may ask questions about recent growth. During the physical exam, your doctor may have your child stand and then bend forward from the waist, with arms hanging loosely, to see if one side of the rib cage is more prominent than the other.
Your doctor may also perform a neurological exam to check for:
Plain X-rays can confirm the diagnosis of scoliosis and reveal the severity of the spinal curvature.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) might be recommended if your doctor suspects that an underlying condition — such as a spinal cord abnormality — is causing the scoliosis.
Our expert providers are experienced and skilled at treating scoliosis and are your source for expert treatment of scoliosis in Westminster and Denver Colorado. Not only are we the premier treatment for spine injuries and chiropractic in Westminster and Denver Colorado, but we also specialize in many other advanced treatment techniques such as shockwave, cold laser, graston technique, KT Taping, activator, instrument aided spinal alignments, drop table, toggle, in house rehab services, and on site digital xrays. We are your Premier destination for scoliosis treatment in Westminster Colorado and Denver Colorado Chiropractor.