Throughout our lives we’re all eventually going to have an x-ray of our spines. If you have ever taken a look at any of those x-rays, you would probably notice a slight curvature to your spine. This is completely normal and we all have a curve to some degree. However, sometimes the spine curves drastically to the side and can become so severe that it becomes quite noticeable and can lead to serious problems. This extreme curving is called Scoliosis.
My twelve year old Stepdaughter has Scoliosis and there were many, many questions, fears and concerns upon her diagnosis. If you or your child have developed it, you may hear and/or read numerous things about what to expect. Some all too true and others not so much. Hopefully, this will be of some help.
What causes Scoliosis?
While there are several different types of Scoliosis, the most common is Idiopathic Scoliosis. Idiopathic is kind of an elegant word for “Unknown”. Doctors simply do not know exactly what causes the abnormality. However, the predominant amount of people typically develop it as a child or in their teenage years. Scientific studies and research (according to the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons) have shown that females are more than ten times more likely to develop Scoliosis than males by a ratio of 11:1.
When is someone most likely to develop Scoliosis?
There are several types of Scoliosis. Young children under the age of three fall under the classification of Infantile Scoliosis where as children four years old to ten years old have Juvenile Scoliosis. Finally, children between eleven years old and eighteen years old have Adolescent Scoliosis and is the most common type. If Scoliosis develops in the womb before birth it is referred to as Congenital. 
Don’t feel guilty!
You are not a bad parent or neglectful of your child if you don’t catch the abnormal curvature before it became obvious. It may be easy to blame yourself for not seeing it and getting it treated sooner and you may feel pretty guilty about that but you shouldn’t. You have to remember that during a kid’s developmental years, their bodies are constantly and rapidly changing and growing and, typically, cases of Scoliosis develop very quickly.
You probably heard it as a child quite often and if you have kids of your own, you’ve probably said it to them as well. I heard it from teachers oddly enough. “Stand up straight”, “Sit up straight” and “Don’t carry so much weight on your back” or some other form of those concerns. It’ll give me Scoliosis they would say and while all of those things can lead to back, neck and shoulder problems, scientific studies have effectively ruled them out as causes of Scoliosis.
In fact, playing sports, video games, bad posture, injuries or some sort of trauma; none of these are causes of Scoliosis.
Treatment and the Future.
Aside from seeking medical treatment, which is absolutely critical because if left untreated Scoliosis can lead to serious issues such as reduced lung functions, distortion and stiffness of the rib cage as well. I heard quite a few people say that my Stepdaughter needed take care not to exert herself because it might worsen the condition and this a horrible idea. Overexerting yourself is one thing but staying active, fit and exercising are extremely important in strengthening the muscles in the back. Those muscle play a giant role in the health of your spine.
Your Doctor or your child’s Doctor may assign you to physical therapy or a back brace to wear or both. It’s important to wear the brace, if you have one, as much as possible and equally important to follow through with physical therapy and the routine your physical therapist gives you. It doesn’t make sense to seek treatment at all if you aren’t going see it through?
If your condition is mild and if done properly and consistently, those exercises and treatments can help correct the problem and prevent further damage,
1. “Scoliosis”. MedicineNet.com. Retrieved 20 June 2014