Interesting Facts About Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a broad term which may describe a spinal curve of 15 degrees or more than 50 degrees. The condition most often effects children and teens because they are in a rapid period of growth. It is a unique condition to humans and some are more susceptible than others. The good news is scoliosis is treatable, especially when caught early. If you suspect scoliosis may be appearing in your child, make an appointment with NNC right away.

While it is a serious condition that requires medical attention to correct, there are a few interesting facts about the condition and how it has shown up over the centuries.

We are the only apes to get scoliosis.

No one is quite sure of the cause of scoliosis, but there have been no records of any other ape or chimpanzee, our closest living ancestors, suffering from a curvature of the spine. This is probably linked to the fact we are the only mammals to walk upright all the time, and the weight of our bodies on our ’S’ shaped spine may cause stress to the spine and in turn cause it to curve out of place.

Scoliosis is NOT normally caused by bad posture.

A common misconception of scoliosis, particularly those rare patients that develop the condition as an adult, is that it is a direct consequence of the patient’s posture. In almost all cases, scoliosis is idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown and it cannot be linked to posture. Bad posture can cause pain in your back, or anywhere in your body, and sometimes bad posture leads to serious health problems and seemingly unrelated issues. Scoliosis, however, is not one of these issues.

Young women are more likely to have scoliosis than men.

Scoliosis is most prevalent in young people, and becomes apparent either just before or during puberty. Girls are 10 times more likely to develop scoliosis than boys of the same age, and the reason for this is unknown. Some theories involve hormone levels, particularly ones that affect bone growth during puberty, whilst others claim it is to do with the different bone density and flexibility in males and females.

Richard III and Usain Bolt had/have scoliosis.

In August 2012, the remains of Richard III, King of England in the 15th century, were discovered underneath a car park in Leicester, England. This discovery meant physicians were able to confirm the common opinion that Richard III did have scoliosis, although we now think it was probably a lot milder than we first thought. In today’s celebrity landscape, there are many famous and renowned stars who have scoliosis, including the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt. Bolt is a symbol that having a spine deformity such as scoliosis need not hold you back in life.

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