Scoliosis Can Be Caused Muscular Dystrophy and Cerebral Palsy


Definition of Scoliosis: Scoliosis is a disorder characterized by a sideways curvature of the backbones or vertebrae of the spine. This curvature can occur as an S-shape or a C-shape.

In the general population of the United States, the prevalence of scoliosis is approximately 2-3%. This is equal to as many as 9 million people in America with the disorder. Know more about scoliosis prevalence...

Causes. Most cases of scoliosis are idiopathic, which means there isn’t a known cause for why it occurs, but sometimes it occurs because of other diseases like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy.

Idiopathic Scoliosis is the type of scoliosis that is the most common. When a disease is called "idiopathic," this means that no reason has been found to be the cause. Idiopathic scoliosis usually occurs in children. 

One way to classify idiopathic scoliosis is by the age at which it is diagnosed. Using this system, if a child less than 3 years old has the condition, it is classified as infantile idiopathic scoliosis. If children are diagnosed between the ages of 3 to 10 years old, the condition is classified as juvenile idiopathic scoliosis, and in children above the age of 10, a diagnosis of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is made. It is important to note these distinctions because more children who are diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic scoliosis have a progressive form of the disease than those who have either infantile or adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.  Know more about idiopathic scoliosis...

Scoliosis is most likely to happen in children who are nearing the onset of puberty. This is related to the rapid period of growth that occurs during this time. Girls are more likely than boys are to develop scoliosis. If the curves are mild, a person with scoliosis may only need periodic visits to their doctor for follow up examinations. People with more serious curves may require treatment.

Scoliosis can tend to run in families. Children who have a parent, sister, or brother with idiopathic scoliosis should be checked on a regular basis by a physician for evidence of the disorder.

Classification. Scoliosis is sometimes classified as structural or nonstructural.

  • Nonstructural scoliosis: In this type of scoliosis, the vertebrae and structures of the spinal column are structurally normal and the abnormal curve is only temporary. Once the cause is determined, the curve can be corrected.
  • Structural scoliosis: In this form of scoliosis, the abnormal curve is fixed or permanent. The cause in these cases could be an injury, a disease, a birth defect, or an infection.

Often, there are no painful scoliosis symptoms, but occasionally the condition does cause back pain due to the changes it brings about in the structure of the spine. In some cases, the spinal curvature is so mild, even the parents of a child with scoliosis don't notice changes. In other children with scoliosis, symptoms that might be noted can include the following:  


Treatments for scoliosis focus on preventing the curves from progressing and on helping to realign the vertebrae. Scoliosis treatment also focuses on adding stability or strength to the spine in conditions that involve severe curvatures. In most cases, scoliosis treatment is not needed. When treatment for scoliosis is needed, it is based on the cause of the condition. 

Nonstructural treatment for scoliosis involves treating the condition, which is responsible for causing the scoliosis. When the underlying condition is treated, improvement in scoliosis is often noted. Structural scoliosis, typically caused by an unknown condition, is more likely to require treatment.   

Scoliosis treatment is usually based on:

  • The age of the patient
  • How much more the patient's spine is likely to grow
  • What type of scoliosis has been diagnosis
  • The severity of the curvature

Depending on these factors, bracing, surgery, or observation may be recommended.   Know more about scoliosis treatment....

Image drawing of scoliosis spine compared to a normal spine