Scoliosis refers to a curvature of the spine to either side that resembles an S when viewed from behind with an x-ray. It can onset at any time of life, throughout adolescence and into adulthood. In some people it can cause no disturbance to their day to day lives for others it can pose serious health risks.
Around 65% of cases of scoliosis are idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown. Although in many of these idiopathic cases there have been relatives that have also suffered from the condition, suggesting there may be genetic links.
Scoliosis can be brought on by other conditions that affect the nerves or muscles such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy and occasionally can be a result of a birth defect.
Symptoms of Scoliosis include one shoulder being higher than the other, a visible curvature of the spine, uneven hips, leg or arm lengths, a prominent shoulder blade and leaning to one side.
Back pain is surprisingly not a common symptom of scoliosis but in some cases it does occur if the curvature of the spine worsens. The pain normally appears at the site of the curve and in the surrounding muscles and can be aggravated by sitting or standing for long periods of time.