How Do I Know If I Have Scoliosis?

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Scoliosis is a common disorder that impacts your posture, movement patterns, and spinal health. An estimated six to nine million Americans have scoliosis, making it a prevalent cause of back pain, poor posture, and general discomfort. 

In this article, we’ll explore the warning signs of scoliosis. If you experience these signs and symptoms, make sure to consult with an experienced orthopedic physician for a formal diagnosis. 

What is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. In most cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown. This is categorized as idiopathic scoliosis. Though rare, scoliosis can also be caused by the improper formation of the spine in the womb, spinal degeneration, or an underlying neuromuscular condition. 

Signs of Scoliosis

Scoliosis presents differently in children and adults. However, it’s worth noting that not all cases of scoliosis have obvious symptoms. Some people don’t suspect that they have the condition until it’s recognized by their physicians. 

Nonetheless, let’s consider the key signs of scoliosis in kids and adults. 

In Kids

In children with scoliosis, the following symptoms often appear around ages eight to 10 and continue to worsen as they get older:

  • Prominent ribs, or ribs that stick out to one side
  • Shoulders at different heights
  • The head doesn’t seem centered with the rest of the body
  • Arms don’t hang straight when the child is standing
  • The sides of the back are at different heights when the child bends forward 

In Adults

If you’re an adult with scoliosis, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Uneven hips and/or shoulders
  • A bump in the lower back
  • Difficulty walking or standing up straight
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Losing height
  • Filling up quickly during meals (with scoliosis, the spine may impart pressure on the stomach)
  • Spinal bone spurs

Dr. Higgins at Hernando Orthopaedic & Spinal Surgery can diagnose and treat scoliosis with today’s leading therapies. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!