Scoliosis is a condition which causes the spine to bend or curve sideways. This occurrence is most often seen during the growth spurt that is encountered just before a child enters puberty. When this condition is detected in children it is common for the child to be closely watched to ensure that the condition does not worsen.
Fortunately the majority of children who develop scoliosis will only develop a mild case of this condition. When this is the case treatment is often not needed. For a small number of children however severe scoliosis may develop. For these children it may be required that they wear a special back brace to prevent scoliosis for worsening. For those with very severe cases surgical intervention may even be required.
Severe cases of scoliosis can have devastating effects on a child. One such problem that can occur as a result of severe scoliosis is improper lung function due to inadequate space in the chest area.
In most cases it is not known exactly what causes scoliosis. Other times however it may be a result of some other medical condition that is present. Some common medical conditions which may be a factor in a child developing scoliosis include muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy however it is not certain exactly how large a role these conditions play in the development of this condition.
Many people may have scoliosis and not even realize it however there are a few signs and symptoms that may indicate the presence of this condition. Some of the most common signs of scoliosis may include the shoulders or hips appearing uneven as if one is higher than the other.
Although it is not certain what causes scoliosis in many cases there are several risk factors that may play a role in the development of this condition. Some common risk factors may include such issues as age, family history and gender. In other cases scoliosis may have a specific cause such as other medical conditions or even birth defects or premature arthritis of the spine.
Regardless of the cause of scoliosis it is important to understand there are varying degrees of severity associated with this condition. While it may be true that the majority of scoliosis never progress there are times when this is simply not the case. As a general rule if a child has reached the age when their bones have ceased to grow there is little chance that the condition will worsen. If testing shows that the condition is worsening however there are steps that may be taken to prevent this from occurring. The most common preventive measure is the use of a special brace to secure the spine in one position to prevent further curving. Unfortunately this only works as long as the bones are still growing and ceases to be effective after that time.