Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine and can occur in people with conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. In most cases, however, the cause of most childhood scoliosis is unknown. Scoliosis generally shows during the growth spurt that comes just before the onset of puberty. The condition affects about 3% of adolescents. While it may come on gradually, if it is left to develop, it can be disabling later in life and affect the internal organs, posture, and the ability to function normally. Some cases of scoliosis can clear up on their own, and some can be cured with just the application of a brace as an effective treatment.
Every parent should know the symptoms of scoliosis. If a child is presenting any of these symptoms, the scoliosis may already be advanced, as mild scoliosis may not cause pain or exhibit any outward symptoms.
The main symptoms of scoliosis are:
- Uneven waist or shoulders
- One hip is higher than the other
- One shoulder blade sticks out more than the other one
Most of the causes of scoliosis are unknown, however some may be hereditary.
Scoliosis can be rarely caused by the following:
- Neuromuscular diseases such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy
- Birth defects affecting the development of spine. Previous surgery on the chest wall as a baby
- Spine injuries or infections
- Spinal cord abnormalities