As a parent, you want your teen to be healthy and happy. However, scoliosis can be a challenging condition to deal with for both the teenager and the parents. Scoliosis is a medical condition that causes the spine to curve sideways, which can affect posture, mobility, and cause discomfort or pain. It is more common in teens than any other age group. In this blog post, we will cover everything you need to know about scoliosis in teens – from its causes and symptoms to diagnosis and treatment options. We will also discuss how parents can support their teens as they cope with the condition and navigate through this difficult time.

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves sideways, affecting people of all ages but commonly diagnosed in female children and teenagers. Treatment options range from rehabilitation to surgery, depending on the severity. Emotional support and early treatment can help young patients navigate scoliosis.

How does it affect teens?

The condition can affect teenagers and children, with various causes. Current studies suggest a genetic connection. Symptoms include uneven shoulders, uneven waist, and back pain. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the curve and may range from exercise to surgery.

sid new to scoliosis

Causes of scoliosis in teens

Scoliosis in teens can have a variety of causes. While idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type with no known cause, congenital and neuromuscular scoliosis also exist. Other factors such as poor posture and carrying heavy backpacks may also contribute to the condition. Treatment options range from exercises to surgical procedures depending on the severity of the curvature of the spine.

Genetics and family history

Scoliosis in teens can develop due to various reasons such as growth spurts, neuromuscular conditions like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, injuries or other medical conditions. Genetics and family history also play a significant role as children of parents with scoliosis are more prone to developing it too. Thus early diagnosis followed by an appropriate treatment plan is crucial for managing the condition effectively and preventing long-term complications.

Mark Discuss genetic testing for scoliosis

Neuromuscular conditions

Scoliosis in teens may be caused by neuromuscular conditions such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. These medical issues can create an imbalance in spine alignment due to affected nerves and muscles. It’s essential to detect it early for proper treatment like bracing, physical therapy or surgery based on the patient’s condition severity. Emotional support from parents can help alleviate stress while maintaining healthy habits improves quality of life. Stay informed about treatments including injections or spinal fusion surgery if necessary.

Symptoms of scoliosis in teens

To ensure quality of life for adolescents with the condition, it is crucial to understand its symptoms. Signs include uneven shoulders, a curved spine, and back pain or muscle fatigue. Encourage an active lifestyle while maintaining good posture and seek medical advice immediately if symptoms arise. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the curve and can range from bracing to spinal fusion surgery. Don’t ignore cases of scoliosis as even mild cases can progress over time.

Back pain

Teens with the condition often experience back pain. Pain may be sharp or dull and worsen with prolonged standing or sitting. The ScoliSMART Activity Suit offers relief for this condition. Encouraging communication between teenagers and parents regarding discomfort is essential. Ascertaining whether an adolescent has developed idiopathic scoliosis requires X-rays and physical exams by orthopaedic specialists. Specific exercises are necessary for mild to moderate cases while severe cases may require surgical treatment like spinal fusion.

ScoliSMART Activity Suit

ScoliSMART Activity Suit™

Uneven shoulders and hips

Noticing uneven shoulder and hip levels in your teen’s posture? It could be a sign of scoliosis in teens, which may cause further complications like back pain and fatigue. Early detection can have a positive impact on their treatment plan. Seek medical advice from an orthopaedic surgeon who may recommend X-rays or MRI to examine the spinal curve type. Treatment options such as bracing or injections can help manage mild cases while severe cases may require surgery like spinal fusion.

Diagnosis of scoliosis in teens

Early detection of the condition is crucial to ensure appropriate treatment plan and quality of life for adolescents. An orthopaedic surgeon should be consulted if any signs of scoliosis are observed such as uneven shoulders, posture issues, or back pain. Diagnosing scoliosis involves understanding the symptoms, undergoing X-rays, MRI scans, and physical exams. Treatment options include bracing for mild cases or surgical procedures like spinal fusion for severe cases like idiopathic or neuromuscular scoliosis.

X-rays and physical exams

Doctors typically diagnose scoliosis in teens through both physical examinations and X-rays. During an examination, doctors check for any unusual spinal curvatures while X-rays reveal their degree and location. Early detection is crucial for avoiding further complications. Parents play a vital role in managing their child’s scoliosis by encouraging proper posture and regular exercise. In severe cases of back braces or surgical procedures such as spinal fusion may be required to rectify spinal deformities.

Scoli Fact-4

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

Referral to a specialist

After confirming scoliosis in teens, referral to a specialist is necessary for further evaluation and determination of the severity of the condition through X-rays and other imaging tests. Treatment plans are developed based on age and overall health, including bracing or surgical procedures like spinal fusion surgery. Good posture maintenance, regular exercise, and follow-up medical care can improve quality of life for those with the condition. Other conditions like muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy can contribute to scoliosis development.

Treatment options for scoliosis in teens

Treatment options for scoliosis in teens include exercises, bracing, and surgery, depending on the severity of the curvature of the spine. The ScoliSMART Boot Camp program can help reduce the spinal curvature, while chiropractic care may manage symptoms. Emotional support from parents is crucial during adolescence when the condition can impact quality of life. Bracing may prevent progression in mild cases of scoliosis, while surgical procedures such as spinal fusion correct severe spinal deformities. Other treatment plans involve vertebral body tethering or metal rods to straighten the spine. Seek medical advice if back pain or uneven shoulders persist.

Parents Discuss Their Scoliosis Treatment Experience-01

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!

Bracing and its effectiveness

Wearing a brace for 18-23 hours daily is a common non-surgical treatment option for scoliosis in teens. Its effectiveness depends on the degree of curvature and proper compliance with instructions from doctors. Although it’s not always successful in avoiding surgery, close communication with medical professionals regarding your child’s case can help determine if bracing is best. Parents should prioritize their teenager’s quality of life while managing this spinal deformity.

Surgery and its risks

When addressing scoliosis in teens, surgery is usually considered only as a last resort. The most common type of surgical treatment for the condition involves spinal fusion where orthopaedic surgeons use metal rods and screws to fuse two or more vertebrae together. While this procedure can correct curvature of the spine associated with the condition, it does carry some risks such as infection, bleeding and nerve damage. It is essential that parents explore different treatment options available before deciding on any particular course of action.

Surgery Should always be the last option

How parents can support their teen with scoliosis

Parents can offer crucial support for their adolescent suffering from the condition by learning about its causes and treatment options. Encouraging good posture and regular exercise can help relieve discomfort and improve quality of life. Providing emotional assistance is also recommended to keep teens positive during this challenging time. Joining support groups or connecting with other families experiencing similar situations may help create a valuable network of resources. Working with a specialist can result in effective personalized treatment plans tailored to meet the unique needs of each adolescent.


Scoliosis is a condition that can have serious implications for your teen’s physical and emotional health. As a parent, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and causes of scoliosis so that you can help your child manage their condition. With the right treatment and support, teens with the condition can lead happy and healthy lives. Encourage them to talk about how they’re feeling and what they need from you as a parent. Offer support in any way you can, whether it’s scheduling appointments or just being there to listen. Remember that scoliosis is a journey, but with your help, your teen can learn to cope with it and thrive.