Scoliosis still presents a challegence for scientists. Despite a significant body of research in this area, there is still no convincing evidence about the instigator of this disease. On-going research concerns the cause of scoliosis and the mechanisms, which are associated with its progression. The main direction of inquiry concerns the influence of biological and biomechanical factors. Growth factors, the influence of the central nervous system, the influence of melantonin on muscle tone and maturity inhibition, changes in bone density, the resiliancy of connective tissue, asymmetrical skeletal growth and genetic factors are the topics of research. There is currently no generally accepted theory on the cause of idiopathic scoliosis.
In the research concerning the mechanisms related to progression, the evaluation of biomechanical factors is of great significance. A simplified biomechanical model of progression is the so-called ‘viscious cycle concept’ in which an unknown triggering event causes a sideward curve and leads to asymmetric spinal loading, which in turn favors further deformation, asymmetrical growth and an increase of curvature. However, this research does not fully explain the development of spinal torsion and vertebral rotation.
In order to coordinate and compile on-going studies, there are several international institutions who cooperate on scoliosis research.
- SOSORT – Society on Spinal Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Treatment
- SRS – Scoliosis Research Society
Many scientific articles on scoliosis can be found in the Pub Med electronic journal called www.scoliosisjournal.com