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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).


The main causes of Scoliosis are:

Congenital – Scoliosis is present at birth
Neuromuscular – Scoliosis is caused by muscle weakness, paralysis, or disease
Idiopathic – The cause of Scoliosis is unknown.


  • What are the symptoms of Scoliosis?

    Symptoms vary depending on the degree of scoliosis. Common symptoms associated with scoliosis include:

    one shoulder blade that’s higher than the other
    one shoulder blade that sticks out more than the other
    uneven hips
    a rotating spine
    problems breathing because of reduced area in the chest for lungs to expand

  • What Scoliosis treatments are available?

    Treatment for Scoliosis at Alleviate includes personalized treatment plans designed by our expert staff. Early detection of Scoliosis is important to help monitor the curvature during growth, to make sure it does not worsen. Scoliosis treatment may include Physical Therapy, stabilization, pain management, or surgery in severe cases.

  • What do I do next?

    The first step in treating Scoliosis is to make an appointment to see a Spine Specialist for a Scoliosis diagnosis and to learn your Scoliosis treatment options.

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