Causes of Scoliosis

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Scoliosis is a disorder in which the spine grows into an unnatural curve. It most often occurs in children during the age of adolescence. It is rather rare, only afflicting about three per cent of the entire population. There are about four known causes of scoliosis. It can be idiopathic, congenital, neuromuscular, or degenerative. Scoliosis tends to run in a family, so if any member of your family has had it in the past be sure to have yourself checked for it if you haven’t been already.

Idiopathic scoliosis

The most common cause of scoliosis is idiopathic scoliosis. This means that there is no known cause. It is by far the most common as nearly 80 per cent of all scoliosis patents suffer from it. This can even be broken down into subcategories: infantile idiopathic, juvenile idiopathic, adolescent idiopathic, and adult idiopathic. Infantile idiopathic occurs ages infant to three. Juvenile idiopathic occurs ages three to nine. Adolescent idiopathic occurs ages 10 to 18. Once the patient as reached maturity they have what is classified as adult idiopathic scoliosis. The idiopathic groups of scoliosis are most commonly found in girls.

Congenital scoliosis

Another somewhat common cause of scoliosis is congenital scoliosis. The word congenital means that it was present at the time of birth. It is a result of the spine having not been formed correctly in utero. This usually occurs during the sixth week of pregnancy when the spine begins to develop. The main cause of congenital scoliosis is that one side of the spine will not form fully. The technical term for this affliction is ‘hemivertebra.’ Another leading reason for scoliosis to develop is when the vertebrae don’t segment as they are supposed to. They form fused together creating what is known as a block vertebra.

Other causes

The third leading cause of scoliosis is neuromuscular scoliosis. This is the result of a muscular disease such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, or muscular dystrophy. These diseases cause the children to have weak trunks which aren’t able to properly support their bodies. As a result, the spine grows into a long ‘C’ shape. The final cause of scoliosis is degenerative scoliosis. This is also known as adult scoliosis. If scoliosis is not found during the ages of adolescence, and is found later in life, then it belongs under this category. Other reasons why an adult might find themselves with this disorder include: osteoporosis, disc degeneration, spinal facture, or any combination of these problems.

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