When the spine is viewed from behind, it usually appears straight from the head to the pelvis. In an individual with scoliosis, however, one or more curvatures are apparent: The spine is curved laterally and partially rotated, which reduces mobility. The cause of the curvature is usually unknown.
A slight scoliosis is often not noticed. However, if the curvature increases, the shoulders and pelvis appear to be leaning. A pronounced lateral curvature puts stress on the spine and can lead to deterioration, resulting in back pain.
Treatment depends on the severity and probable progression of the disease, as does the age of the patient. When possible, deterioration should be avoided; an existing scoliosis should be corrected if necessary. Depending on the severity, scoliosis can be treated with physiotherapy or by using a corset. In severe cases, surgery can correct the shape of the spine, and it can be secured with implants.