Scoliosis is a general term which describes lateral curves in the spine in excess of 10 degrees, often in combination with rotation of the vertebrae. These curvatures may be in the cervical, the thoracic and the lumbar regions of the spine.
This is usually caused by external factors such as wrong postural habits, spasm in the back muscles, and variations in the structure of the skeleton, such as uneven leg length. In functional Scoliosis the lateral curve of the spine is reversible, and there are no structural or rotational changes in the alignment of the vertebrae. If postural misalignments continue over a long time, the curves may increase and structural changes take place in the spine. Especially in children, continued postural misalignments may negatively affect remodeling of the bones.
In Structural Scoliosis, the lateral curvature of the spine is combined with rotation of the vertebrae. The greatest rotation of the vertebrae occurs at the apex of the curve. The vertebral bodies rotate towards the convex side of the curve, and the spinous processes deviate towards the concave side of the curve. The ribs on the concave side of the curve are compressed, while those on the convex side of the curve separate .The ribs follow the rotation of the vertebrae, and the posterior ribs on the convex side are pushed to the back, producing the characteristic rib hump seen in thoracic Scoliosis. This is even more noticeable when forward bending.Other structural changes in the spine, such as wedging of the vertebral bodies on the concave side of the curve, may occur, especially in curves above 25 degrees.
Other symptoms of Scoliosis
Shoulders are not level
Prominence of one scapula
Uneven hip level
One hip more prominent than the other
One side of the rib cage is more prominent
Waistline is uneven
Body tends to lean more to one side
Unequal distance between body and arms
Clothes do not “hang right“