Scoliosis (from the ancient Greek word "σκολιός (scolios)" = crooked) is the lateral inclination of the torso, on one or more levels.
It is distinguished into structural (relating to the vertebrae) and functional (bad posture).
Structural scoliosis may be of known or unknown cause.
Known causes are, for example, congenital scoliosis. These are scoliosis that is due to incomplete formation or separation of the vertebrae during pregnancy. There is no hereditary background and they manifest as early as the infant stand on his feet, where a lateral inclination is created due to the bad formation, with the problematic vertebra at the top of the angle.
Other scoliosis of known causes are neuromuscular scoliosis which are created as a result of the atrophy of a muscle group in the torso, in a child that is suffering from a neurological disease such as cerebral palsy, spinal atrophy, syringomyelia et al, or from scoliosis that are due to wedged fractures or a destruction of the vertebrae from microbial infections or tumors.
Scoliosis of known causes constitute only about 20% of all scoliosis in general. Most are scoliosis without a known cause (Idiopathic). In 2013 it was discovered the gene GPR126, leading to the conclusion that heredity and gene reasoning seems to be the answer.
Idiopathic scoliosis begin their appearance with an initially imperceptible rotation, which slowly grows, dragging the adjacent vertebrae; in rapid growth phases in infants, children or particularly in adolescents the spine begins to form an inclination by creating curves in the back (thoracic scoliosis), the waist (lumbar scoliosis), between the back and the waist (thoracolumbar scoliosis) or both (double thoracic and lumbar).
The usual classification is Infantile, Juvenile and Adolescent. It seems that the Scoliosis is one. Simply could deteriorate in infants, children or adolescents, so be directly noticed by their parents or pediatricians.
We usually categorize scoliosis depending on the angle of the lateral inclination (which holds half the truth on scoliosis, provided the rotation is participating in the three-dimensional deformation).
Thus, we have small scoliosis, of up to 25°, medium scoliosis, of up to 35°, big scoliosis, of up to 45° and very big scoliosis, at more than 46°.
After many years, usually 15 to 20 after growth end scoliosis increases dramatically, especially in women after pregnancies and an increasing in weight, working conditions etc. This is what is called Adult Scoliosis.