Scoliosis is a condition where the spine, when looking at a posterior view, is curved sideways and not the normal straight anatomical position. This abnormal curvature may also be causing a rotation of the spine (Huether &McCance, 2007, p. 1078). The deformity is seen with the years of puberty in both males and females, but can happen at any age. As the condition progresses, it may cause long-term health problems if it not treated immediately (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2012a). The normal spine may progress to scoliosis for different reasons, as it can cause pain and physical manifestations, which should be treated as soon as scoliosis is diagnosed.
Normal Spine Physiology
The spine is a long structure, made up of many smaller bones, that provides the main support system for the body. Consisting of 5 different sections called the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, and coccyx region, there are roughly 26 bones that make up the long spine, which 2 of the bones are fused from even smaller bones. Each section of the spine has its own purpose, in which together provide the support of the upright body. The cervical region is designed to support the head and allow rotation. The thoracic region is where the ribs are attached and it provides stability. The lumbar region is the lower region of the back, which is the most common area injured of the spine. The sacrum links the spine and the pelvis and the coccyx is considered the tailbone and the base. The spine allows for movement of the body and posture. The spine also is purposed to protect other organs, such as holding the ribcage to protect the heat and lungs. Specifically, the spine protects the spinal cord. The spinal cord is what relays information to the body from the brain and vice versa (Swann, 2012, p. 324-325). The spine provides a protection and place for the spinal cord to run all the way through. Overall the spine offers support for posture and protection of organs and the entire body.
The location of the spine should be straight down the middle of the body and has a certain position it sits at. There is a slight curvature of the spine in a lateral view, with four natural curves. From a posterior view, the spine should be relatively straight down the center of the back. The natural curves support the body in any position, as it should provide weight distribution (Swann, 2012, p. 326). The spinal curves and position provide the body with reinforcement to sustain a healthy posture and movement.
Causes of Scoliosis
There are three types of causes that may lead to scoliosis: idiopathic, congenital, and teratologic. The most common type of scoliosis, which yields about 80 percent of all cases, is idiopathic. Idiopathic means that the cause is unknown and there is still a question to why it occurred. Theories to could include being genetically passed or a problem with normal growth of an individual. While a child is still undergoing the normal growth process, scoliosis can be more prominent at...