What Kind of Pain Does Scoliosis Cause

What kind of pain does scoliosis cause?

Scoliosis is a deformity which results in the growth of one or both of the lower legs on top of another part of the body. Scoliosis may result from birth defects, congenital abnormalities, surgery, trauma or other medical conditions. The most common form is known as short-legged type (or type I) and affects approximately 1 out of every 10,000 births. Other types include long-legged type (type II), which occurs in only 0.5% of cases, and extra-long-leg type (type III). Type I scoliosis is characterized by the growth of the bottom two feet on top of the top foot. Type II scoliosis involves the growth of both feet on top of each other. Type III scoliosis involves the growth of all four limbs on top of each other.

Types of scoliosis:

Type I scoliosis – Short-legged type. This condition is characterised by the growth of the bottom two feet on top of the top foot. A person with this type will have some degree of curvature in their spine. Most often, it results from birth defects such as spina bifida or hydrocephalus.

People with this type are usually shorter than average height at birth and may grow up to 5’7″ tall. It is also linked to skeletal dysplasia and muscular dystrophy.

Type II scoliosis – Long-Legged Type. This type of scoliosis is a rare type causing the baby to be born with overly long legs, and may be due to cerebral palsy or other neuromuscular conditions.

Type III Scoliosis – Extra Long-legged type. This type of scoliosis is also a less common birth defect and is the most severe. The infant will be born with extremely long legs, and have major curvature in their spine.

Other types of scoliosis are:

Neuromuscular Scoliosis (type IV Scoliosis) is due to muscular dystrophy or other neuromuscular conditions.

Neurodegenerative Scoliosis (type V Scoliosis) is due to a neural disease like multiple sclerosis or spinal muscular atrophy.

Metabolic Scoliosis (type VI Scoliosis) is due to a metabolic condition like glycogen storage disease.

What does scoliosis feel like?

Scoliosis is a condition in which there is a sideways curve in the spine that resembles the Greek letter ‘S’. It is also known as ‘secondary’ or ‘adult’ because it usually develops after puberty. Although it can affect anyone, it is most common in girls between the ages of 10 and 20 and occurs most commonly in women between the ages of 15 and 25. The bottom part of the letters ‘C’ or ‘S’ curve toward the left or right. A person who suffers from this condition may have pain ranging from minor to severe, which can be felt in the back, hips, legs and even the ribs. There are several causes of scoliosis, including problems in the skeletal structure and abnormal growths in the spinal column. The causes of scoliosis are not fully understood.

What are the symptoms of scoliosis?

The main symptom of scoliosis is a sideways curve in the spine. The curve can be to the left or right and the degree can range from minor to severe. While many people may not experience any pain at all, others may suffer from back, hip, leg or rib pain. People with severe scoliosis may experience shortness of breath or other respiratory issues.

What causes scoliosis?

The exact cause of scoliosis is not known, although it is believed that it may be caused by an abnormality in the spinal column. It may also be caused by a defect in the bones or muscles. In some cases, it may be caused by a neuromuscular disease or a cerebral dysfunction. Scoliosis can also occur during growth spurts and puberty or after a spinal injury or infection of the bone or spinal cord.

Who is at Risk of Scoliosis?

Scoliosis can affect anyone, but a person is more likely to get it if other people in their family have it. Girls are also more likely to suffer from scoliosis than boys. Other factors that increase your risk of scoliosis include the following:

Risks linked to your genes

Age – Scoliosis is most common in girls between the ages of 10 and 20.

Sources & references used in this article:

A long term follow-up study of non-treated scoliosis by A Nachemson – Acta Orthopaedica Scandinavica, 1968 – Taylor & Francis

The adult scoliosis by M Aebi – European spine journal, 2005 – Springer

Why do we treat adolescent idiopathic scoliosis? What we want to obtain and to avoid for our patients. SOSORT 2005 Consensus paper by S Negrini, TB Grivas, T Kotwicki, T Maruyama, M Rigo… – Scoliosis, 2006 – Springer

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis by SL Weinstein, LA Dolan, JCY Cheng, A Danielsson… – The lancet, 2008 – Elsevier

Scoliosis by HA Keim – The Adolescent Spine, 1976 – Springer

Rehabilitation of adolescent patients with scoliosis—what do we know? A review of the literature by HR Weiss – Pediatric Rehabilitation, 2003 – Taylor & Francis

A dangerous curve: the role of history in America’s scoliosis screening programs by B Linker – American journal of public health, 2012 – ajph.aphapublications.org

Adolescents’ experience with scoliosis surgery: a qualitative study by AC Rullander, S Isberg, M Karling, H Jonsson… – Pain Management …, 2013 – Elsevier