(a sideways curvature of the spine) can be caused by all sorts of different factors. For example, if your muscles are weakened by a condition such as cerebral palsy
or Guillain-Barré syndrome
, this can lead to a curvature of the spine that progresses over time. Some children are born with scoliosis because their spines didn't develop properly in the womb; on the other hand, scoliosis sometimes develops much later in life due to the deterioration of the spine's intervertebral discs with age. Of course, the vast majority of scoliosis sufferers have idiopathic scoliosis
, which usually arrives with puberty and has no known cause.
But now that we've covered some of the things that do cause scoliosis, let's talk about something that definitely doesn't.
Bad posture doesn't cause scoliosis...
Bad posture can have a very detrimental effect on your general health, but there is no evidence that slouching in a chair or hunching over your laptop can cause scoliosis. As we recently clarified in our Scoliosis Myths
blog post, the same goes for:
- Wearing a rucksack on just one shoulder
- Playing a heavy guitar
- Carrying weighty loads on your back
The causes of scoliosis are many and varied, but generally speaking, the condition only ever arises as a result of genetic factors or neuromuscular / skeletal deterioration. Poor posture is not a recognised cause of scoliosis.
...but bad posture is still bad for you!
Of course, just because something doesn't cause scoliosis doesn't mean that it can't affect your health in other ways. We've discussed the effects of bad posture
in previous blog posts, but we'd like to briefly revisit the potential consequences of postural health now, just to make sure you understand them.
Bad posture CAN cause:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Arm pain
- Hyperkyphosis (another curvature of the spine - hyperkyphosis is a forward curve, whereas scoliosis goes sideways)
treatment courses can help hyperkyphosis sufferers as well as scoliosis patients - in fact, one of our most famous patients came to us for help combating his hyperkyphosis. Nick "Topper" Headon, who was the drummer for British punk band The Clash (of 'London Caling' and 'Rock the Casbah' fame) from 1977-1982, developed a kyphotic spinal curve after years spent hunching over a drum kit; he completed a two-week course at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, and this enabled him to come off the medication he had been taking to help him cope with his back pain.