Simply put, scoliosis is a curvature of the spine. Instead of having a spinal column that is in an “I” shape, those afflicted with this condition have a spine that looks more like an “S” or “C.”
There are several different causes of scoliosis. It can be caused by neuromuscular conditions like cerebral palsy or spina bifida, or it can be congenital—a result of the bones forming irregularly during prenatal development. However, the most common form is idiopathic scoliosis, which means the cause is unknown. Idiopathic cases often occur during growth spurts that take place during puberty.
Scoliosis can also be a result of the accelerated aging processes that arise due to untreated, uncomplicated simple mechanical back pain. Keeping the mechanics of the spine working correctly can slow these processes.
From a medical standpoint, most cases of scoliosis are relatively harmless insofar as it isn’t life threatening, but some instances can become so severe that it turns into a debilitating condition. In less-severe cases, it can result in a reduced quality of life for those who have it.
Those who suffer from severe scoliosis may develop symptoms such as difficulty breathing due to less room in the chest cavity caused by the extreme curvature in the spine, while those with less-severe cases may suffer from back pain or fatigue when standing or sitting for long periods of time. These symptoms can grow worse over time if the condition is left untreated.