Scoliosis is a medical term used to describe a curvature of the spine that usually causes a sideways bend in the body. This curvature can either be congenital or acquired during life.
The most common form of scoliosis is idiopathic scoliosis, which means the cause of the curvature is not known. This is common in adolescents, especially girls during puberty. Other forms of scoliosis can be caused by diseases or injuries such as muscle diseases, cerebral palsy or osteoporosis.
The symptoms of scoliosis can vary depending on the degree of curvature, but common signs include an uneven back, shoulders that are uneven or different heights, a tilted hip, or a body that leans to one side. In some cases, scoliosis can also cause back pain or breathing difficulties.
The diagnosis of scoliosis can usually be made through a physical exam, X-rays or MRI. Treatment depends on the degree of curvature and can vary from observation, physical therapy, scoliosis orthoses (supportive corsets) to surgery in severe cases.
It is important to treat scoliosis as early as possible to prevent the curvature from becoming more severe and causing health problems in the future. Regular follow-up with a doctor or orthopedist can help monitor the scoliosis and determine if further measures are needed.
Strengthening the back muscles through regular exercise can also help reduce the risk of scoliosis or prevent an existing scoliosis from getting worse. Furthermore, it is important to avoid heavy lifting and too much sitting, as this can increase the risk of pain or an aggravated condition.