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    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.

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    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.
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