Scoliosis: Symptoms and Types – 2022


Scoliosis: Symptoms and Types

The ability of the spine to “adjust” and take any shape can be dangerous with a lack of movement and regular stay in an uncomfortable position. Gradually, the curvature is fixed, and the displaced vertebrae can no longer return to their original position.

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How to tell if you have scoliosis

The spinal column is a complex structure, the flexibility of which is provided by the vertebrae and discs between them. It has 4 physiological curves in the sagittal plane, or in the anterior-posterior direction. These bends are located in each department, forming cervical and lumbar lordosis, thoracic and sacral kyphosis.

What is scoliosis

The ability of the spine to “adjust” and take any shape can be dangerous with a lack of movement and regular stay in an uncomfortable position. Gradually, the curvature is fixed, and the displaced vertebrae can no longer return to their original position.

Pathological may be an increase in lordosis or kyphosis, but scoliosis is a deviation of the spine not forward or backward, but sideways. It must be treated, and the sooner you start, the higher the chances of success.

Scoliosis of the spine in adults: symptoms

The leading manifestation of lateral curvature is back pain, the intensity of which depends on its degree. The early stages of deformation do not cause pain, and the destructive process can be recognized only by external signs.

Even with minor scoliotic changes, the symmetry of the shoulders and shoulder blades is disturbed, the pelvic crests are also displaced relative to the horizontal axis. One shoulder blade sticks out on the side in which the spine has deviated.


Scoliosis is classified according to the presence of structural changes in the spine, the causes of occurrence, as well as the location and rate of progression.

According to the first classification, the curvature is structural and non-structural. The latter is easier to cure, since there is every chance to eliminate the root cause.

Types of non-structural scoliosis:

  • postural, due to a violation of posture. If you take an x-ray in the supine position, it will not be possible to diagnose scoliosis due to the absence of structural deformity. Curvature is not visible even when a person leans forward;
  • reflex, which appears as a result of a long stay in a forced position due to a pain symptom;
  • compensatory, when the skew of the back equalizes – compensates – the difference in the length of the legs;
  • hysterical, having a psycho-emotional nature and occurring in rare cases.

Types of structural scoliosis:

  • congenital, due to underdevelopment, wedge-shaped vertebrae, fusion of ribs and / or transverse processes;
  • neuromuscular, arising against the background of spinal cord injuries, myopathies, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis;
  • dysplastic, the cause of which lies in the dysplasia of the connective tissues. Diagnosed with Marfan and Ellers-Danlos syndromes;
  • post-traumatic, provoked by fractures, surgical interventions, cicatricial contractures. It can develop after burns, as a result of purulent complications and after operations on the chest organs;
  • rare species, the culprits of which were a violation of bone formation, osteomyelitis, homocystinuria or tumors;
  • idiopathic, when the cause cannot be determined. This type accounts for 80 to 90% of all cases of scoliosis.

How to know if there is a curvature of the spine

There is a special test to detect signs of scoliosis in adolescents and children. To pass it, the child must stand up straight and lower his arms along the body. Curvature will be indicated by:

  • asymmetry of the left and right sides of the body;
  • different heights of shoulders and shoulder blades;
  • protrusion of one of the shoulder blades is stronger than the other;
  • deviation from the vertical of the cervical, thoracic and / or lumbar vertebrae;
  • different level of dimples on the upper back of the buttocks;
  • difference in the height of the ears, crests of the pelvic bones;
  • skewed triangles at the waist, noticeable by the unequal distance between each of the arms and the waist.

All these symptoms are more pronounced in the inclined position of the patient. But they are also characteristic of violations of posture. To distinguish one from the other, you need to consider the body of the child in the prone position. If the asymmetry has not disappeared, then there is every reason to suspect scoliosis.


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