Unfortunately, scoliosis can affect anyone and may occur at any time of life for a variety of different reasons. However, the condition usually develops during adolescence and the majority of sufferers are female.
No one has a perfectly straight back - everyone’s spine is a little bit curved, and this causes no problems in most cases. Scoliosis is only diagnosed when the angle of curve exceeds 10 degrees.
So who is affected by scoliosis? This condition actually affects roughly 4% of the population, making it quite a bit more common than some people realise.
Most cases of scoliosis are diagnosed between the ages of 10 and 15. During this time, most teenagers are going through a growth spurt, and this is where scoliosis tends to become more pronounced. However, it is not clear why the condition affects more women than men (although multiple theories have been put forward). As mentioned above, scoliosis can affect a range of people for a range of different reasons, such as those listed below.
Causes of Scoliosis
Idiopathic – If the patient has no other health problem that might have caused their spine to curve, then they are said to have idiopathic scoliosis. This is the most common form of scoliosis, and while the cause is not known, it is thought to stem from genetic factors.
Ageing – While the majority of scoliosis cases are diagnosed early on in life, getting older also causes your body to change quite dramatically. Deterioration of the spine with age may result in a sideways curvature.
Scoliosis can sometimes be caused by other health conditions. Unfortunately, those affected by the following conditions (among others) may also be affected by scoliosis:
Birth Defects – Although it is rare, sometimes the condition is present from birth. This happens when the baby’s spine doesn’t develop properly in the womb.
Muscular Dystrophy (MD) – This is a condition where the muscles weaken over time. This is a genetic problem that may eventually cause the spine to start curving.
Marfan Syndrome – A hereditary disorder where the body’s connective tissues deteriorate. This can eventually affect the spine.
Cerebral Palsy - This condition is associated with muscle weakness, and a weakening of the muscles around the spine can lead to scoliosis.
If you are worried that you might be affected by scoliosis, our expert team would be happy to talk to you and discuss your options. To book a consultation, please click here.