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.

Related: Scoliosis