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Symptoms of Scoliosis

Common signs and symptoms of scoliosis include shoulders that are at different heights, a waist that seems lopsided, and a hip that appears higher than the other. Although pain is rarely a symptom in children with this condition, it is one of the most common symptoms seen in adults.

An Introduction to the Signs and Symptoms of Scoliosis

Many children are sent to the doctor by a school scoliosis screening program. These children usually have no scoliosis symptoms other than a very mild spinal curve that does not need treatment.
 

Common Scoliosis Symptoms

Common symptoms of scoliosis can include the following:
 
  • Shoulders are at different heights
  • Rib cages are at different heights
  • The waist seems lopsided
  • One or both shoulder blades stick out
  • One hip appears higher or more prominent than the other
  • Leaning to one side.
 

Severe Symptoms

Severe curves (greater than 90 degrees) can cause severe symptoms that include:
 
  • Heart or lung problems
  • Pain
  • Decreased self-image
  • Premature death.
 

Is Pain a Symptom of Scoliosis?

For children with scoliosis, pain is rarely a symptom. On the other hand, pain is a common symptom for adults with scoliosis.
 

Making a Diagnosis

In order to make a scoliosis diagnosis, doctors will ask you questions about your symptoms and medical history, perform a physical exam, and order a number of tests.

(Click Scoliosis Diagnosis for more information about diagnosing scoliosis.)
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Articles on Scoliosis

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