In most cases, the cause of
scoliosis is not known. This is called idiopathic
scoliosis. It develops mostly in children and teens and appears to be related
to several things, including genetics as it often runs in families.
There are two types of scoliosis: nonstructural and structural.
Nonstructural scoliosis involves a curve in the
spine, without rotation, that is reversible because it is caused by a condition such as:
- Pain or a muscle spasm.
inflammatory condition, such as
- A difference in leg
Structural scoliosis involves a
curve in the spine, with rotation, that is irreversible and 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. Between 5% and 7%
of scoliosis cases are caused by congenital abnormalities of the spine, which
cause curves in the spine that are more rigid than those caused by idiopathic
scoliosis. These curves often get worse as the child grows, especially during
the teen years.1
- Nerve or muscle
disorders, such as
Marfan syndrome, or
In adults, scoliosis may result from changes in the spine
due to aging (degenerative changes). These degenerative changes may be caused
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
Thanks for your feedback.
1248 of 1366 found this helpful
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise 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.
© 1995-2011 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.