Although scoliosis may manifest through visible changes in appearance, the primary concern is the potential internal impact if left untreated, especially in severe cases. The rib cage could press against organs, leading to complications such as chronic back pain, heart and lung damage, respiratory issues, nerve damage, and in exceedingly rare instances, even death.
Underlying Causes Of Scoliosis
Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type, accounting for approximately 80% of all cases. The term “idiopathic” means that the cause is unknown. This form of scoliosis typically develops during adolescence and can be further subdivided into infantile, juvenile, and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, depending on the age of onset.
It is possible to develop idiopathic scoliosis later in life as it can sometimes go undetected during adolescence, particularly in mild cases where symptoms are not obvious and difficult to identify without medical examination.
Congenital scoliosis is a rare form of the condition that is present at birth. This type results from abnormal spinal development during embryonic growth. Vertebrae may be incorrectly formed, fused, or even absent, leading to spinal curvature. Treatment for congenital scoliosis depends on the severity and specific abnormalities present.
Neuromuscular scoliosis is associated with disorders that affect the nerves and muscles, such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injuries. In these cases, the spinal curvature results from imbalances in muscle strength and function. Treatment for neuromuscular scoliosis may involve managing the underlying condition, in addition to addressing the spinal curvature.
Another form of scoliosis frequently seen in adults is degenerative scoliosis, also known as osteoarthritis or spondylosis. When spinal misalignment (subluxation) is not addressed early on, it can lead to dangerous consequences. Bones may begin to degenerate, and spinal discs can lose height, exacerbating spinal damage. If the damage occurs asymmetrically, it can cause tilting and slippage between the vertebrae, resulting in an abnormal curve.