Most people have heard of scoliosis, or perhaps even know somebody who has it. Scoliosis is a condition that often develops in childhood where the spine curves rather than appearing straight up and down. While this condition is fairly common and treatable, it’s imperative to catch it early on. That way, it won’t progress and cause further discomfort.
While mild scoliosis cases can be treated through external methods like bracing and physical therapy, more severe instances need additional medical intervention like definitive fusion or vertebral body tethering. While the condition is centralized to the spine, it can impact the body in various ways. So much depends on the backbone, from the surrounding joints to the abdominal organs. The body is interconnected — which means scoliosis can come into play all over.
The Spinal Curve
The most obvious way that scoliosis affects the human body is through the spinal curve itself. Usually, the curve will appear in the center of the spine and cause the shoulders, waist and back to appear uneven. Sometimes, one shoulder blade or hip will appear more prominent.
Scoliosis spinal curves are often referred to as either a C or an S curve based on the shape and severity. These shapes can appear subtly or much more severely, depending on each unique case. S curves are often referred to as double curves, due to the additional turn they create in the spine.