Curvature of the spine, also known as Scoliosis, is a condition where the spine curves abnormally. It can affect people of all ages but is most commonly found in children and adolescents. If left untreated, it can lead to serious health issues like respiratory problems, chronic back pain, and even heart problems. In this blog post, we will dive deep into what curvature of the spine is and its different types and causes. We will also discuss how it is diagnosed and what treatment options are available. Lastly, we will cover the common symptoms that parents should watch out for to ensure early diagnosis and effective treatment of the condition.

What is Curvature of the Spine?

Curvature of the spine or scoliosis is a condition where the spine twists and curves sideways. It can be caused by a variety of factors such as genetics or poor posture, and may present with uneven shoulders, hips, or waistline and back pain. Treatment options vary depending on severity and can include exercises, bracing, or surgery.

Types of Curvature

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis is the most common type of curvature of the spine. It is characterized by an ‘S’ or ‘C’ shape curve that can cause severe complications if left untreated. Other types of curvature include Kyphosis, which causes a hunchback appearance in the upper back and Lordosis that leads to exaggerated arching of the lower back. Congenital scoliosis is present at birth and caused by vertebral abnormalities while Neuromuscular scoliosis is caused by underlying neuromuscular conditions such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. Treatment options for scoliosis depend on the severity of the condition and may involve exercises, bracing, or surgery.

Causes of Curvature

The abnormal curve in the spine known as curvature of the spine can be caused by various factors such as genetics, spinal abnormalities and underlying neuromuscular conditions like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. Poor posture can also lead to a curvature in the upper back. Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type of scoliosis that is caused by genetic variant patterns. Treatment options for this medical condition include exercises, bracing or surgery depending on the severity of the condition.

Adolescent idiopathic Scoliosis

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis affects around 3-5% of children and can develop during their growth spurt before puberty. Although its exact cause remains unknown, it appears to be linked to genetic patterns. It is crucial to identify it early on for effective treatment as untreated curvature can lead to complications in the long term. Depending on the severity of curvature, treatment options such as rehabilitation, bracing or surgery may be recommended.

Consulting with a ScoliSMART

To learn more about how to treat the whole scoliosis condition and not only the curve, connect with our passionate providers at ScoliSMART. To explore a non-brace/ non-surgical treatment for your child’s scoliosis problem, you may schedule a no-cost Zoom or phone consultation with a ScoliSMART doctor. Please get in touch with us today!

Neuromuscular Conditions

Curvature of the spine in children caused by neuromuscular conditions like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy can be managed with early detection and treatment options that include bracing or surgery based on severity. Timely interventions via regular check-ups with healthcare providers are necessary for monitoring progression. The imbalances in muscles supporting the spine due to these medical conditions make them primary causes of spinal deformities affecting young children.

Congenital Conditions

Congenital scoliosis is a medical condition that affects children in which the spine curves abnormally at birth. It is characterized by spinal deformity caused by the abnormal development of vertebrae or spinal cord. Early detection and proper diagnosis are crucial to prevent progression-related complications such as severe spine curve, back pain, and poor posture. Treatment options available for congenital scoliosis include bracing, physical therapy, or surgery depending on the severity of curvature of the spine and other symptoms like spinal deformity. A pediatric orthopedic specialist should be consulted for proper diagnosis and treatment options.

Diagnosing Curvature

Early detection is critical in managing curvature of the spine in children before it progresses. The diagnosis involves a physical examination by a pediatrician or specialist who checks for signs of the condition while X-rays and other imaging tests help determine its degree and location. Treatment options range from bracing to surgery based on severity and age. Therefore it is essential to schedule regular check-ups with healthcare professionals to prevent any complications.

Diagnosing Curvature

Physical Examination

Early detection and treatment through a physical examination are crucial for preventing further progression of spinal curvature in children. A pediatrician or specialist checks for abnormalities in posture or spinal alignment and may perform a “forward bend test.” To confirm diagnosis and determine severity levels X-rays or other imaging tests like MRI or CT scans can be conducted. By detecting scoliosis early on parents can opt for non-invasive treatment options like bracing or exercises instead of surgical interventions such as fusion implants. Ensuring good posture can help avoid complications among young children with a family history of idiopathic scoliosis.

Imaging Tests

Imaging tests are commonly used in diagnosing spinal deformity or curvature of the spine in children. The tests such as CT scans show detailed images of the bones which enable identification of any visible abnormalities while MRI scans use magnetic fields to capture soft tissue images like muscles and nerves which aid in diagnosing spinal cord abnormalities. These imaging techniques have proven crucial in helping doctors determine the severity and type of scoliosis or curvature of the spine.

Treating Curvature

Treatment for spinal deformities such as curvature of the spine depends on various factors like age and severity. Bracing, surgical procedures or exercises to improve posture and strengthen muscles can help manage scoliosis effectively. Early detection and medical intervention are important in preventing further progression of this medical condition that affects children during adolescence. Regular check-ups with a healthcare provider help monitor progress and adjust treatment as necessary.

ScoliSMART Exercises

Children diagnosed with curvature of the spine can benefit from non-invasive ScoliSMART exercises. While these exercises use specific movements and stretches to realign the spine, they also include nutritional support and lifestyle modifications that improve overall spinal health. Studies have shown that this approach is effective in reducing the degree of curvature and improving quality of life for children with scoliosis. It’s a great alternative to more invasive treatments like surgery or injections.

ScoliSMART BootCamp

Online consultation scheduling is available!

Now it’s even easier to connect with ScoliSMART. Schedule your no-cost, no-obligation phone or Zoom consultation online with a ScoliSMART physician. Visit the ScoliSMART BootCamp page and click the “Schedule Online” button at the top of the page. Then select the best date and time to connect with a scoliosis specialist. Schedule your consultation right here!


For moderate to severe curvature of the spine, bracing is a common treatment option that can help stop or slow down its progression. A back brace is worn for several hours daily and may need to combine with other treatments such as physical therapy or surgery. Compliance with the healthcare professional’s direction regarding wearing braces plays a crucial role in determining success. Age, growth potential, and other medical conditions can affect the effectiveness of braces in treating spinal deformities.


Spinal surgery is recommended for severe cases of spinal deformity where other treatments are not effective. The most common type of surgery performed for curvature of the spine is spinal fusion, which involves fusing two or more vertebrae together using bone grafts and metal rods or screws. However, spinal surgery carries several risks such as infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. Recovery from spinal surgery can take several months and may require physical therapy to help regain strength and mobility. Surgical treatment for curvature of the spine should be considered only after weighing the benefits against potential complications.

Symptoms of Scoliosis

Some signs indicating curvature of the spine are uneven shoulders or hips or visible curves along the spine. Back pain and discomfort are also common symptoms. Seeking regular medical attention is necessary if any of these signs surface. In more severe situations, there may be nerve damage or breathing difficulties. Pediatric spinal deformity requires careful monitoring by health professionals. Seek immediate medical assistance if any of these indications occur.

Symptoms of Scoliosis

Physical Symptoms

Detecting scoliosis early is crucial as it can cause physical symptoms such as uneven shoulders and hips or waistline. A visibly curved spine may also occur. If your child shows signs of abnormal posture or spinal curvature, seeking professional medical advice early on is important. Detecting and treating scoliosis early prevents its progression. Consulting with a healthcare provider (MD or Chiropractic doctor) can help identify any signs of abnormal spine curves that may signal scoliosis.

Emotional and Social Symptoms

Emotional and social symptoms are common in children with spinal deformity like curvature of the spine. These manifestations include anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem that arise from physical appearance issues. Children may experience difficulty participating in activities and feeling left out of social events. Addressing these is critical besides their physical counterparts to ensure comprehensive treatment for the child. Timely detection helps prevent further complications.


In conclusion, curvature of the spine is a common condition in children that can have serious consequences if left untreated. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent the condition from progressing and causing long-term effects. The different types and causes of curvature require a tailored approach to treatment, which may include exercises, bracing, or surgery. It is important to be aware of the symptoms and seek medical attention if you suspect your child may have curvature of the spine. By taking action early on, you can ensure your child’s health and wellbeing in the long run. For more information on this topic, read our comprehensive blog on scoliosis.