Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. When viewed from the rear, the spine curves sideways to form a “C” or an “S” shape. The cause is not fully understood; however, genetics, birth defects, or spinal injuries may play a role.
Scoliosis tends to develop gradually in early childhood, just before puberty and is usually not painful. A child may not realize it is happening, and the parents may overlook it. In severe cases, the spine may twist so much it causes back pain and even affects breathing.