This is where the spine has a sideways curve usually “S”- or “C”-shaped. Sometimes the curve is stable, occasionally it increases over time. Mild scoliosis does not typically cause problems with many of us having it without ever knowing. It is found in about 3% of people and mostly between the ages of 10 and 20. Girls more than boys. Typically, no pain is felt but there can be more postural aches and pains when sitting and sometimes issues with certain sports such as tennis or swimming.

Case courtesy of A.Prof Frank Gaillard, From the case rID: 49513

We don’t really know why it happens but it is likely to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Diagnosis is confirmed with X-rays and is classified as either structural with a fixed curve, or functional where the underlying spine is normal but it moves oddly.

Treatment depends on the degree of curve, location, and cause. Alongside the more traditional treatments of monitoring, braces and even surgery, there are benefits in manipulation, mobilisation, and exercises. Having the condition regularly monitored and mobilised to help the aches and pains that come from daily living, as well as strength work targeted at the imbalances and weaknesses.

We are very used to treating youngsters with this and have seen many through their adolescent years as well as rehabilitated several people following surgical corrections.