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Scoliosis and Spinal Curvatures

What Is Scoliosis & Other Spinal Curvatures?

Scoliosis causes an abnormal curving of the spine. It most often affects children during growth spurts and can also be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. Fortunately, most cases of scoliosis are mild, but severe cases can be disabling or cause serious side effects, such as breathing problems, heart damage or chronic back problems.

Scoliosis isn’t the only condition that causes the spine to curve. Other spinal curvature disorders include lordosis, where the spine curves inward at the lower back and kyphosis, where the upper back is abnormally rounded.


The symptoms of scoliosis can range from mild to severe. Oftentimes, parents do not realize a child has mild scoliosis until a doctor, teammate or coach recognizes the signs and symptoms, which may include:

  • Uneven shoulders

  • One shoulder blade is more prominent

  • Uneven waist

  • Uneven hips

  • Spine that curves and twists (scoliosis)

  • Rounding of the spine at the shoulders (kyphosis)

  • Inward curving of the spine at the lower back (lordosis)

Treatment Options

Many mild cases of scoliosis require no treatment outside of close monitoring. In moderate to severe cases of scoliosis, and other spinal curvature disorders, your provider may recommend:

  • Braces – A brace can help prevent scoliosis from worsening, particularly when a child is still growing and maturing.

  • Physical therapy – Physical therapy may help strengthen the back and its muscles, and prevent additional curving of the spine.

  • Surgery – Severe scoliosis and spinal curvatures may require surgery to help straighten the spine. Your provider will discuss surgical options with you. Those options may include:

    • Spinal fusion to stabilize and straighten the spine

    • Inserting a rod to help prevent further damage and complications from scoliosis and other spinal curvatures

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of scoliosis or other spinal curvatures, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat scoliosis and other spinal curvatures.