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Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that often occurs during a growth spurt before puberty. Everyone’s spine has some curve, but in scoliosis the spine is shaped like the letter C or S.

Risk Factors and Causes

Scoliosis is more common in girls, and they have a greater risk of the curve getting worse. In most cases, the cause is unknown. This type is called idiopathic scoliosis. Other types of scoliosis include congenital scoliosis, which is present at birth, and neuromuscular scoliosis, which is caused by a nervous system problem. Scoliosis can also be caused by disease, injury, infection, or birth defect.

Symptoms of Scoliosis

Signs and symptoms of scoliosis normally begin during the growth spurt just before puberty. They include:

  • Uneven shoulders
  • Curve in spine
  • Uneven hips
  • Backache or low-back pain that goes down the legs

Detection and Diagnosis

Free scoliosis screenings are available at Valley Care Clinics. The screening consists of a basic evaluation using a scoliosis meter to determine the angle of the curve. Based on the reading, further evaluation may be necessary.

Request a free screening


Early evaluation is optimal because curvatures worsen with growth. The more severe the curvature, the more likely the condition will worsen after the child stops growing. Depending on your child’s age and condition, a doctor may recommend a brace to prevent further progression. More severe cases can be treated with surgery, such as spinal fusion, using implanted rods and screws to correct curvatures.