Because the severity of scoliosis can vary from person to person, the symptoms of scoliosis will vary in intensity. A curve of more than 20 degrees may require treatment (conservative or eventually operative).
Common Signs and Symptoms
- Uneven shoulder blades; sometimes one shoulder blade will stick out further than the other
- Head off center from the pelvis, along with an uneven alignment or asymmetrical-looking spine
- Unevenly aligned hips; one hip may be higher than the other
- Uneven rib cage
- Uneven waist
- Overall leaning to one side
- Difficulty breathing (especially in cases of severe congenital or neuromuscular scoliosis)
When to See a Doctor
Mild cases of scoliosis usually go unnoticed, but if there is pain or visible symptoms, it is important to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Pediatricians may note signs of possible scoliosis during a routine checkup. These patients are usually referred to a specialist for further evaluation.
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