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Scoliosis: What every parent needs to know

How much do you know about the spine condition scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine which develops as a child grows.
It is more common than you may think. Studies have shown that between 0.5 and 5% of adolescents worldwide have scoliosis, with girls more affected than boys.
As scoliosis develops gradually it is often detected late.

Get up to speed on scoliosis with this myth-busting guide.

In the early stages, scoliosis is difficult to detect. A small sideways curve or rotation in the spine may not be noticeable until it becomes worse.

Before a spine curvature is visible, the first subtle signs may be:

  • A prominent shoulder blade, or uneven shoulders
  • One hip appears higher or more prominent
  • Uneven posture
  • Ill-fitting clothes

Pain is uncommon with scoliosis, especially in the earlier stages. 

Although other back problems may result from slouching or carrying a heavy bag, these behaviours do not cause scoliosis.

The cause is unknown for most children and adolescents found to have scoliosis. Genetic factors may play a role in some cases.

Less common types of scoliosis may be related to birth defects or neuromuscular conditions, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy.

If scoliosis can be diagnosed in the early stages, ideally before the pre-pubertal growth spurt between the ages of 10 to 13 years, it more likely that simple treatments such as exercise programmes and back braces will be able to prevent the condition getting worse. 

While it is true that scoliosis is associated with growth, it does not always stop progressing when growth ceases. In some cases, scoliosis does progress into adulthood. This is more likely with bigger existing curves.

Most children with scoliosis can play sports and participate in normal activities with their friends, even if they wear a brace. In fact, regular exercise is beneficial for general fitness and well-being. 


If detected early, scoliosis is a very manageable condition. Children and teens with scoliosis can enjoy a full and active life.
Keep an eye on your child’s growth for any abnormalities.
Early diagnosis and treatment for scoliosis can prevent the condition getting worse.
Don’t hesitate to consult a doctor if you notice uneven shoulders, hips or waist, or a curve in your child’s spine.

If you have questions or concerns about arthritis, contact our team of Scoliosis Specialists at Neuro Spinal Hospital Dubai

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