Skip to content

    Back Pain Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Scoliosis - Cause

    In most cases, the cause of scoliosis is not known. This is called idiopathic scoliosis. It develops mostly in the preteen and teen years. It often runs in families.

    There are two types of scoliosis: nonstructural and structural.

    Recommended Related to Back Pain

    What Are the Symptoms of Scoliosis?

    Your spine is made up of small bones called vertebrae that are stacked on top of each other. It also has a natural curve that helps you bend and move. When you have scoliosis, your spine curves more than it should. It forms a "C" or "S" shape. Usually the curve is mild and doesn't affect your appearance or health. Yet it can get worse over time. It can also cause back pain and other health problems. Scoliosis can affect children or adults. Some kids are born with it. Most of the time, the cause...

    Read the What Are the Symptoms of Scoliosis? article > >

    Nonstructural (functional) scoliosis

    Nonstructural (functional) scoliosis involves a curve in the spine that is reversible because it is caused by a condition such as:

    • Pain or a muscle spasm.
    • A difference in leg length.

    Structural scoliosis

    Structural scoliosis involves a curve in the spine that is irreversible. It is usually caused by an unknown factor (idiopathic) or a disease or condition such as:

    • Disorders that were present at birth (congenital), such as spina bifida, in which the spinal canal does not close properly; or a disorder that affects the formation of bones. These curves can be harder to correct. They often get worse as the child grows, especially during the teen years.
    • Nerve or muscle disorders, such as cerebral palsy, Marfan's syndrome, or muscular dystrophy.
    • Injuries.
    • Infections.
    • Tumors.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 05, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Woman holding lower back
    Or is it another form of back pain?
    Hand on back
    See the myths vs. the facts.
     
    Woman doing pilates
    Good and bad exercises.
    acupuncture needles in woman's back
    Use it to manage your pain.
     
    Man with enhanced spinal column, rear view
    Video
    pain in brain and nerves
    Slideshow
     
    Chronic Pain Healtcheck
    Health Check
    break at desk
    Article
     
    Woman holding lower back
    Slideshow
    Weight Loss Surgery
    Slideshow
     
    lumbar spine
    Slideshow
    back pain
    Article