What Is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is marked by an abnormal sideways curvature in the spine. Unlike natural curves in our spine that run in the parallel direction of our nose, perpendicular curvature causes unevenness in other perpendicular skeletal structures such as the pelvis and shoulders. The unevenness can cause the shoulder or hip to sit higher on one side of the body. Scoliosis can affect any of the four spinal regions: cervical (neck), thoracic (mid back), lumbar (lower back), and sacrum. It may affect more than one area at a time though it most commonly affects the lumbar and thoracic regions. Curvature can occur to the right (dextroscoliosis) or to the left (levoscoliosis) and occurs as an ‘S’ or ‘C’ shaped curvature. The severity of scoliosis can range from mild to severe and is determined by a specialized measurement known as the Cobb angle. Most scoliosis patients experience mild scoliosis though more severe cases of scoliosis can lead to other spinal conditions such as herniated discs and spinal stenosis. There are four main types of scoliosis based on different causes, risk factors, and age groups: congenital, idiopathic, neuromuscular, and degenerative. Females and adolescents are more prone to scoliosis.
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