Scoliosis is far more serious and prevalent than the American population realizes. This spinal issue affects up to 3 percent of the United States. While this figure seems small, it equates to approximately 9 million people across the country.

The issue is so common that nearly 40,000 surgeries are performed each year. More than 600,000 office visits are scheduled annually to diagnose and treat the spinal disorder. Women are more likely than men to suffer from scoliosis.

Read on to learn how to recognize scoliosis. Explore 5 must-know signs of scoliosis that will help you get the necessary treatment.

1. Uneven Shoulders

The vast majority of scoliosis cases emerge during puberty. This is why school districts across the nation perform routine checks of students’ spines.

One of the first things that doctors look for is uneven shoulders. They are starting their evaluation from the top and working down the spine.

If the shoulders are uneven, this is a clear sign that the spine is unnaturally curving. During the evaluation of the shoulders, the doctor will also look for protruding blades. If one or more of the shoulder blades is sticking out, a scoliosis curve may be the underlying cause.

2. Uneven Waist

Starting at the shoulders, the doctor will work down to the waist. Like the shoulders, an uneven waist is a sign of scoliosis.

The doctor may observe that one hip is higher than the other. Uneven hips are caused by an unnatural curvature of the spine.

Treatment options vary on the severity of the scoliosis curve. For mild cases of scoliosis, the doctor is likely to prescribe a series of X-rays on the afflicted area. Some of these cases do not require treatment, while others are candidates for non surgical scoliosis treatment.

3. A Noticeable Lean

It is difficult for parents to detect slight unevenness in the shoulders or waist. This is especially true for parents that are struggling to get in a conversation with their teenager, much less a physical evaluation.

One sign that a parent can pick up on is a noticeable lean. If your child is having difficulty standing upright, it could be a cause for concern. You should schedule a professional evaluation upon observing this.

4. Difficulty Breathing

If your child is having trouble breathing, you should ensure he or she has a proper physical evaluation. However, this is a far more advanced symptom than the others described above.

Trouble breathing means the lungs are not functioning properly. A severe scoliosis curve can cause this by reducing the amount of space in the chest

A Recap of 4 Must-Know Signs of Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a serious disorder that requires immediate medical attention. Many people are under the misconception that people are born with scoliosis.

The truth is that scoliosis curves often develop in pubescent teenagers. A scoliosis curve can be exacerbated by rapid growth spurts during this time.

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