Common back diagnoses

Identifying the typical spine conditions

Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine, meaning the curve goes from side to side. Curvature of the spine is measured in degrees, like angles, and scoliosis that is less than ten degrees rarely requires treatment. Scoliosis can be diagnosed in children, teens and adults. The vast majority of childhood scoliosis is idiopathic—which means we don't know what causes it—and it is classified as either infantile, juvenile or adolescent, depending on the when the child is diagnosed. One concern in younger adults whose skeleton is still growing is that scoliosis can progress at varying rates, and sometimes fairly quickly. It makes it difficult to diagnose because it rarely causes any pain or symptoms. Treatment works best when started before the bones mature. Scoliosis in adults usually progresses more slowly than childhood scoliosis.