Written by Jakob van Vlijmen: profilepic

Scoliosis is a bend in your spine, when viewed from the side your back should have a double S shape. However when viewed from behind the back should be straight. If this isn’t the case  it is called a scoliosis. At least 4% of the world population has a scoliosis, however, this figure is likely to be higher, as in many cases the deformity is so minimal that it is  missed and it does not cause symptoms.


A scoliosis might be present at birth due to a structural abnormality; however, most often it is something that develops during growth. A scoliosis is most likely to become present at the age of 10. Incidentally, it can present later in life.

 In 10% of cases an underlying illness is the cause of the scoliosis; usually this is an illness affecting the nerves or muscles causing a twist in the spine. However, in over 60% of the cases the cause is unknown.More research in the future will shed some light on possible causes and if family genetics play a role.


Children are often not troubled by a scoliosis. They are quite flexible and their bodies are able to compensate. At a later stage in life a scoliosis can be a possible contributing factor to back pain.

 When you have a scoliosis you might notice some of the following things:

-More tension on one side of your back

-One arm or leg seems longer

-One shoulder blade that sticks out further

-At times the tension in your back can cause headaches or back pain


The earlier a scoliosis is identified, the earlier treatment can be started and the better the outcome will be. Especially with children, it is good to stay vigilant as there is a greater chance for their scoliosis to worsen as they develop and grow. Luckily in most cases the severity of the scoliosis remains limited and surgery or a body cast is not needed. To determine if these measures are needed however, the angle of the scoliosis must be measured on an X-ray.  When the scoliosis is more than 25 degrees, a cast or corset might be needed. If the scoliosis is more than 45 degrees, surgical intervention may be indicated.


To help prevent the scoliosis and diminish pain, there are a few different options. A Chiropractor can help decide which steps are necessary. Furthermore, a Chiropractor can treat the problems that occur as a consequence of the scoliosis such as, back pain and headaches. They will also help you become more aware of your posture, as this is even more important in patients with a scoliosis! Certain exercises can also help. Home exercises can be sufficient; however, some patients, especially children, might need more guidance and can benefit from occupational therapy or physiotherapy. Your chiropractor can advise you on the best course of action.


A scoliosis might not be that bad, however, it is imperative to keep an eye on it, especially in children, to make sure it doesn’t deteriorate. Remain vigilant and consult a Chiropractor if you have any concerns.