What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. The normal shape of a person’s spine includes a curve at the top of the shoulder and a curve at the lower back. If your spine is curved from side to side or in an “S” or “C” shape, you might have scoliosis. There is a normal spinal curve when looking from the side, but the spine should appear straight when looking from the front. Kyphosis is a curve in the spine seen from the side in which the spine is bent forward. There is a normal kyphosis in the middle (thoracic) spine. Lordosis is a curve seen from the side in which the spine is bent backward. There is a normal lordosis in the upper (cervical) spine and the lower spine or lumbar spine. People with scoliosis develop additional curves to either side of the body, and the bones of the spine twist on each other, forming a C or an S-shaped or scoliosis curve in the spine. Scoliosis ranges from 10-20 degrees (mild), 20-50 degrees (moderate), and severe (greater than 50 degrees).