Scoliosis curves are often C-shaped or S-shaped. The curve can also occur in the upper or lower regions of our back, causing the spine to curve in different directions depending on the location of the curve.
Signs of scoliosis become more noticeable as a child grows in age or as the curve progresses, but that doesn’t mean that mild scoliosis is impossible to notice. Generally, you would want to look out for signs of:
- uneven shoulders
- uneven waistline/hips
- one shoulder blade protrudes more than the other side
Scoliosis in children is often discovered during medical checkups when consulting doctors or during a health check-up at school. Clothes can cover up the signs of mild scoliosis.
Adult scoliosis cases are often undiscovered adolescent curves that are noticed only after the skeleton has reached complete growth. Similar to scoliosis in teenagers and children, the signs of scoliosis can be observed when standing straight or bending forward.
In the elderly, pain can be a potential symptom of scoliosis. You might experience one or a combination of the following caused by aging and scoliosis:
- Stiffness or a dull pain in the mid or lower back area.
- A pins-and-needles type of back pain that reaches down to the buttock or legs.
- Shock-like pain that reaches down to the buttock or legs.
Doctors will often use physical exams to check the shape of the spine and test the mobility of the patient. They will also conduct further investigation such as an X-ray or MRI of the spine to determine the severity of the scoliosis and to decide which form of treatment is appropriate.