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Can Bad Posture Cause Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a medical condition that refers to the abnormal curvature of the spine typically curving into a ‘C’-shape or ‘S’-shape when look at from the back (which becomes exceptionally clearer with spine X-ray).

Then comes the common questions that our patients and friends ask us:

If my back is curved and/or if my shoulders/back is tilted to one side...will I develop scoliosis if I keep having poor sitting posture and keep leaning oneside?

Simple and short answer: No.

One doesn't and cannot develop scoliosis due to:

unknown causes

The most common form of scoliosis is called "idiopathic scoliosis", which basically means that the cause is not known or confirmed yet.

Studies are pointing in the direction that scoliosis is linked to genetics, and this means that scoliosis isn't caused by external/any factors other than it being genetically pre-disposed.

In the same vein, because idiopathic scoliosis is more likely to be genetics related, it is highly likely that:

  • non-invasive treatments such as joint manipulation
  • non-invasive treatments such as exercise

- will not be very helpful or successful...though regular sessions with spine physiotherapist will help to:

  • loosen tight joints and muscles
  • strengthen weakened/weaker muscles
  • strengthen core muscles
  • stretch out joints and shortened muscles
  • etc

Only when the degree of scoliosis curvature in the spine is very severe then patient would need/consider surgical interventions.

Most times, patients with mild scoliosis will/do not experience back pain due to this curvature.