Have you noticed one of your shoulders look higher than the other when you look at the mirror, even when you are standing upright? If so, you might have scoliosis!
What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a description of a side curvature of the spine that is usually classified as structural scoliosis or non-structural scoliosis. Structural scoliosis has many subtypes based on the cause of the curvature, such as idiopathic (unknown cause), congenital, neuromuscular, etc. Non-structural scoliosis is usually caused by poor postural, muscle imbalances or leg length discrepancy, etc. The most common type of scoliosis is idiopathic (unknown).
Should I be concerned?
The symptoms of scoliosis are usually mild or just affecting your outlook. However, in severe cases, it can cause breathing difficulty and back pain. If you are skeletally immature (usually under the age of 25), there is a chance that your scoliosis might progress, be sure to go check with your therapist or chiropractor for monitoring the curvature.
Can my spine be straightened again?
If the cause of scoliosis is due to muscle imbalances, strengthening the weak muscles and stretching the tight muscles might help with decreasing the curvature or prevent worsening of the curvature. If the cause of scoliosis is due to leg length discrepancy, using orthotics might be helpful. If the cause of scoliosis is idiopathic or congenital, conservative care such as manual therapy, bracing and exercise are recommended to manage mild to moderate curvature. In severe cases, surgery is needed to correct the spine.