Scoliosis. A silly word, difficult to spell, and a common back condition. It’s a condition where the spine curves abnormally to the side. It’s pretty minor and can heal over time, but on the other hand it can also worsen with time. The cause is usually unknown but it can also be a side effect of conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.

Scoliosis isn’t always prominent, especially during the early stages. One of the signs of scoliosis is uneven posture (uneven shoulders, one hip sits higher than the other, etc.) which is more visible with the degree of severity. Most people also suffer some form of back pain or discomfort with a curved spine. It’s important to see a doctor fairly soon if you are concerned you or your child have scoliosis. The sooner it is diagnosed, the easier it will be to take care of.

For mild cases of scoliosis, treatment is generally not needed but regular check ups are suggested to prevent it from worsening. For children and teens still growing, chances are high that it will worsen as the bones continue growing; this is usually when braces are suggested. Back braces cannot fix scoliosis but help prevent it from worsening or at least slow it down. It’s usually recommended for those still growing because there’s still a chance for the spine to grow straight.  For severe cases of scoliosis, surgery is pretty much the only option.

In general, scoliosis is mild, albeit annoying. Mild cases tend to sort themselves out with minimal treatment and even severe cases can expect to see the patient eventually return to full health and normal activity. The only issue many people with scoliosis find is the inability to play high impact sports: meaning you can play them, but it could make thing worse. Talk to your doctor if you’re worried about which sports you can and cannot play if you have scoliosis.

Info:

Scoliosis Australia: https://www.scoliosis-australia.org/faqs/

Health Direct: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/scoliosis

Better Health Victoria: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/scoliosis

Teens Health: https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/scoliosis.html

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