What It Is
Everyone’s spine has natural curves. These curves round our shoulders and make our lower back curve slightly inward. Some people have spines that also curve from side to side. Unlike poor posture, these curves cannot be corrected simply by learning to stand up straight.
This condition of side-to-side spinal curves is called scoliosis. On an X-ray, the spine of an individual with scoliosis looks more like an “S” or a “C” than a straight line. Some of the bones in a scoliotic spine also may have rotated slightly, making the person’s waist or shoulders appear uneven.
Scoliosis affects approximately 2% of the population. However, if someone in a family has scoliosis, the likelihood of an incidence rises to approximately 20%. If anyone in your family has curvature of the spine, you should be examined for scoliosis.