The spine, or backbone, is made up of small bones (vertebrae) stacked -- along with discs -- one on top of another. A healthy spine when viewed from the side has gentle curves to it. The curves help the spine absorb stress from body movement and gravity.
When viewed from the back, the spine should run straight down the middle of the back. When abnormalities of the spine occur, the natural curvatures of the spine are misaligned or exaggerated in certain areas, as occurs with lordosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis.
We've all experienced back problems from time to time -- lower back pain or strain of the neck. In fact, problems from back pain are among the most common physical complaints of American adults and are a leading cause of lost job time -- to say nothing of the time and money spent in search of relief.
Back pain includes sore muscles, ligaments and tendons, herniated discs, fractures, and other problems. Most often, the causes of back pain have developed over a long period of time.
Doctors do not know what causes the most common type of scoliosis seen in adolescents. However, doctors do know that scoliosis tends to run in families. A disease, injury, infection, or birth defect also may be to blame.