What causes it?

Only rarely is the cause of scoliosis of known origin. Usually scoliosis without known cause is detected in children, who are otherwise completely healthy.  This type of scoliosis is called idiopathic, which means  ‘of unknown cause’ and accounts for about 80% of all scoliosis cases.

Scoliosis can become manifest at a certain age. If it appears after birth until 3 yrs of age it is called infantile (idiopathic) scoliosis. If it appears at any time after that until the onset of puberty, it is called juvenile (idiopathic) scoliosis, and if it appears during puberty – adolescent (idiopathic) scoliosis. This division is very unprecise, because not always is it possible to determine the time of onset. Most frequently, scoliosis is detected in adolescence, because   it is at this time that it progresses most rapidly.

Scoliosis affects girls more  often(80% of idiopathic scolioses) than boys (20%). On the average,   2- 3 % of all teenagers have scoliosis, but only 0,3-0,5% have curvatures over 20 degrees. Since it is not possible to determine the cause, a multifactorial origin, including genetic factors  and inheritance has to be considered. It does not seem to arise from  diet deficiency, physical activity or the carrying of heavy bags .

Parents, be aware!

The earlier a scoliosis is detected, the greater the risk of progression. It is important to treat scoliosis before it progresses!

Medical professionals attempt to examine the spine, but parents should also look at their children’s backs in order to detect  signs of developing asymmetry.  It is relatively simple to see these signs  in a forward bent position. Have your child bend forward and look for signs of a rib hump next to the spine.  If your child is a girl age 10-14, you should do this regularly.

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