Analysing what causes scoliosis

While scoliosis most commonly develops during adolescence, this debilitating condition can affect anyone at any time of life. Some people aren’t affected by scoliosis until they reach old age; others notice the symptoms far earlier. In some cases, the condition is actually present from birth (although this is quite rare).

The causes of scoliosis

In around 80% of cases, the exact cause of scoliosis is unclear. This is known as idiopathic scoliosis, which is by far the most common form of the condition. Idiopathic scoliosis is thought to occur due to genetic factors, but nobody knows for sure.

When scoliosis is not idiopathic, the cause may be one of the following:
  • Muscular dystrophy (also known as MD). This is a genetic condition that weakens the muscles over time. This gradual weakening can lead to – among other things – curvature of the spine. Learn more >

  • Cerebral palsy. This condition affects the patient’s movement and coordination, and can also cause irregular posture. Learn more >

  • Birth defects. As mentioned above, some people are born with scoliosis because their spines developed improperly in the womb. This is known as congenital scoliosis. Learn more >

  • Marfan syndrome. This is a hereditary disorder that affects the body’s connective tissues, which in turn can have an effect on the patient’s spine. Learn more >

  • Ageing. Getting older will naturally have an adverse effect on one’s body, and some previously healthy people are affected by scoliosis in their later years due to changes in the discs and joints that make up the spine. Learn more >
In the future, we may understand more about scoliosis (particularly idiopathic scoliosis), and this will hopefully help doctors to prevent some cases of scoliosis before they emerge. In the meantime, all we can do is treat the symptoms of scoliosis, such as postural deformities, decreased mobility, and chronic pain.

Surgical correction is the most common method for treating scoliosis, but many scoliotics find that they are able to overcome the symptoms of their condition through non-surgical, exercise-based physical therapy.

Click here to learn about non-invasive alternatives to scoliosis surgery; alternatively, please contact Scoliosis SOS if you wish to book an initial consultation with one of our scoliosis consultants.

Scoliosis assessment

If you suffer from scoliosis, you may have been told that you need surgery in order to correct the curvature of your spine. Many people undergo scoliosis surgery each year, but while these procedures can deliver the desired results, there are a number of reasons why a scoliosis sufferer might decide against surgical correction. Surgery always comes with a certain level of risk, and scoliosis surgery specifically can, on rare occasions, lead to complications such as vertebral degeneration and pseudarthrosis.

Should I refuse to undergo scoliosis surgery?

If your scoliosis is particularly severe (for example, if the angle of your spinal curve exceeds 45°) then surgery may be the only effective treatment option.

However, many scoliotics find that it is possible to overcome the symptoms of their condition without surgical intervention. Erika Maude, founder of the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, is a prime example: she was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 11, and was offered spinal fusion surgery when she was in her teens. At that point, her spine exhibited a 42° curve; however, Erika refused surgery and instead sought non-surgical treatment using the Schroth method.

This treatment worked, and Erika is no longer affected by the symptoms of scoliosis.

What's the alternative to scoliosis surgery?

Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we treat scoliosis sufferers using our own ScolioGold method. This 4-week programme combines elements from the aforementioned Schroth with a number of other therapeutic methods, including:
  • FITS (Functional Independent Treatment for Scoliosis)
  • SEAS (Scientific Exercise Approach to Scoliosis)
  • Kinesio taping
  • Myofascial release
  • Osteopathy
Together, these therapeutic methods help to relieve the pain caused by scoliosis while reducing the patient's Cobb angle and improving their quality of life in general.

How can I find out if non-surgical scoliosis treatment will work for me?

We recommend that you book an initial consultation at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic – this will allow our scoliosis consultants to assess the severity of your condition and make an informed decision as to whether or not ScolioGold treatment would be an effective alternative to surgery in your case.
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