In today’s world of insurance-driven health care, face time with the actual doctor is becoming more and more limited. Time to ask questions ⁠— let alone get an answer ⁠— is non-existent. It is no wonder the idiopathic scoliosis condition, a common spine condition often found in adolescents, is wrought with confusion and misinformation. Below are six interesting facts about scoliosis that the ScoliSMART doctors feel are important to know. Severe scoliosis can cause breathing problems, significant pain, nerve damage, leakage of spinal fluid, and difficulty with movement. If scoliosis can be diagnosed before the child has a growth spurt, the provider can determine a treatment plan that prevents a bigger curve from forming during times of growth. Scoliosis facts of common signs include uneven shoulders or hips, but it is generally, a painless condition that may go unnoticed until a routine exam or physical.

Scoliosis Facts Your Specialist Probably Isn’t Telling You

Fact #1

Small Curvature of the Spine Respond to Treatment Better Than Bigger Curves

It has become clear this knowledge isn’t used in clinical practice. The standard watch-and-wait method continues for a mild to moderate curvature of the spine. A success rate published by the doctors of ScoliSMART reported an impressive 93% success rate in curvatures less than 50 degrees. Get recommendations on how genetic testing is helping with early diagnosis and intervention sent directly to your email. If your child has a mild case of scoliosis, your healthcare provider may choose to monitor it over time and recommend regular checkups. When treatment is necessary, doctors recommend noninvasive treatments first, such as scoliosis braces, which we at ScoliSMART do not agree as the best course of action. For severe spinal curves, scoliosis surgery may be an option. Surgery to implant growing rods is used for younger children who are still growing, and spinal fusion is used for teens who are near the end of their growth period.

Identical Twins Scoliosis Success Story

“Early-stage intervention seems to be a critical but underutilized strategy.”

Clayton J. Stitzel DC


Fact #2

Back Brace Can Make the Rib Hump Worse

The concept of rigid braces has been around since 1575. The brace designs have improved since that time, the idea of temporary forced “correction” with the brace has not.

It is essential to understand that back braces do not apply their compressive force to the spine. The forces must travel through the soft tissue, intestines, and rib cage to push the spine curves into a straighter position. The rib cage (being round) flattens out the angle of the ribs, even more, when compressed. It increases the very hump it is supposed to prevent.

Treatment with braces is one of the options that most limit patients’ everyday activities.


Fact #3

Scoliosis Can, and Often Does, Progress in Adulthood

Many patients are misinformed that their curve will not worsen after they finish growing—people with curves less than 30 degrees may be true before menopause. But, curves over 30 degrees have a 68% risk of slow and steady curve progression in adulthood (especially as they approach menopause). Many patients try physical therapy with little or no success.

This risk of adulthood curve progression can be reduced with rehabilitation. For example, the Adult ScoliSMART Boot Camp or ScoliSMART Activity Suit. also maintains healthy bone metabolism with Scoli StrongBone Formula.

This is a lifelong journey for many adults.

Scoliosis Can, and Often Does, Progress in Adulthood

Fact #4

Idiopathic Scoliosis = Family Genetics

  • Recent research breakthroughs conducted by ScoliSMART have uncovered 28 functional genomic variant groups. These may be the root cause of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Genetic variants affect the bodies ability to make critical compounds, including:
  • enzymes
  • vitamin absorption at the cellular levels,
  • and even normal neurotransmitter/hormone production.
Scoli Fact-7

Click on the Scoli-Fact to see the rest of the Scoliosis Facts!

Most patients don’t notice these disturbances daily (either because they are minor or have always been the baseline for normal for that person). Yet, these undetected issues can become very clear as a patient begins rapid growth spurts in adolescence. The genetic-variant-affected genes can’t keep up with growing demands, especially involving the areas of brain and body communication via chemical messengers (neurotransmitters and hormones).

The end result is a mis/under-communication between the automatic postural control centers. This happens between the brain and spinal alignment muscles, resulting in the spinal curvature.

Genetic research is our greatest hope for finding a cure.

Idiopathic Scoliosis Family Genetics

Fact #5

Facts about Scoliosis Pain and does it cause it.

A recent study found that 54% of adolescents with a curved spine reported pain symptoms (source). A 50-year follow-up of untreated adults with spinal curves found 61% reported mild to moderate chronic pain (source). It isn’t clear if the pain reported by patients is directly related to the condition itself. But such high correlations strongly suggest they are somehow linked. One leading theory revolves around the mis-coordination of spinal muscle firing patterns. This is most likely a result of altered biomechanics due to the spinal curvature, leading to muscle fatigue and spasms. In some cases, patients have curves but the other way (reverse). It is important to note that back pain is also a symptom of adult degenerative curves, which occurs when the discs that normally cushion the bones of the spine begin to wear out, causing the spine to rearrange itself into an abnormal shape (source).

This could explain why the ScoliSMART Activity Suit effectively reduces related pain. The suit activity engages the patient’s reflex-controlled spinal muscle groups. This causes them to begin firing in the standard coordinated patterns again, reducing stress on individual muscles.

Adult Scoliosis Pain Management Tips (Without Surgery)

Fact #6

Anxiety and Depression Are More Common in Patients with Scoliosis

  • Anxiety, depression, and scoliosis are a complex “nature vs. nurture mix.” But they do seem to have at least some traits in common.
  • Low serotonin is often found in patients with depression and those with spinal curves, while high norepinephrine is linked to anxiety and scoliosis. Idiopathic scoliosis may share a common genetic variant with each of these conditions.
  • Scoliosis and depression may be linked environmentally as well.
get more information on our scoliosis exercise programs

Interesting facts about scoliosis; how common is it, and who is at risk of developing it?

This condition affects about 2-3% of the population, or roughly 6 to 9 million people in the United States alone. It can develop in both children and adults, but is most commonly diagnosed during adolescence, with girls being more likely to develop it than boys.

Don’t know where to start? Take our FREE “ScoliQuiz.” (No x-ray required)

Interesting facts about scoliosis; how common is it, and who is at risk of developing it


Scoliosis is one of the most common types of incredible medical mysteries with far more questions than answers. Yet, science still knows and continues to discover a great deal about the most common type of scoliosis. Innovations in genetic variant testing, studies on neurotransmitter and hormone patterns, and a greater understanding of links between scoliosis and other common conditions will lessen the uncertainty and help patients live better lives. Roughly 3 million new cases of the condition are diagnosed in the United States each year, with a majority of them identified as idiopathic scoliosis — the most common type of scoliosis that presents in children between 10 to 12 years old. Most cases of scoliosis have no known cause, which can be frustrating for parents who often wonder what they could have done to prevent it. That being said we at ScoliSMART understand it to be because of genetic variances creating issues with hormones and neurotransmitters.