Postural Scoliosis


Last Thursday (08/03/2018), the BACS team was at Honeyland College, Ipaja to raise Scoliosis Awareness. During the Q & A session, a question was asked and that’s our inspiration for writing this post today.

Question: Can Abnormal sitting positions cause scoliosis?

Answer: Yes…

There is such a thing as POSTURAL SCOLIOSIS and that’s the focus of this piece today. Perhaps we should first establish,

What Causes Scoliosis?

There are many different causes of scoliosis. However, for most people with Scoliosis the cause is unknown so the term ‘Idiopathic’ is used. Scoliosis can also be present from birth (Congenital) or be caused by a muscle disorder (Neuromuscular). Scoliosis is associated with lots of other syndromes (e.g. Cerebral Palsy) and can occur as part of the condition. (Source: The British Scoliosis Society)

Fact: There are different causes of scoliosis but idiopathic scoliosis remains the commonest type of scoliosis.

What is Postural Scoliosis?

As with it’s term, postural scoliosis is a type of scoliosis that is formed as a result of bad posture. A Postural Scoliosis is different to all other types of scoliosis as it is a mild curve which is not fixed i.e. a in the case of postural scoliosis, the curved spine is not fixed unlike in the case of other types of scoliosis. It is common in adolescent girls and disappears on bending forwards.

What causes Postural Scoliosis?

Postural scoliosis can be caused by a difference in leg length or repeated poor posture over a period of time. This can cause the muscles on one side of the back to be tight which pulls the spine away from the centre line or the muscles on the opposite side to be too weak.

Can Postural Scoliosis be changed?

YES!!!! Unlike all other types of Scoliosis, a Postural Scoliosis can change as the spine is not fixed. All other types of Scoliosis will not change without bracing or surgery, although surgery is only carried out for more severe cases.

How can I treat Postural Scoliosis?

PHYSIOTHERAPY!!! If you notice/suspect you’ve got postural scoliosis, see a physiotherapist.

A physiotherapist will be able to carry out an assessment and identify what may be causing the Postural Scoliosis. This will involve discussing your different postural habits, looking at your posture, looking at the movement in your back and measuring your leg length.

A physiotherapist will then be able to:

  • Advise you on your posture
  • Give you exercises to help stretch tight muscles
  • Give you exercises to help strengthen weak muscles
  • Recommend further assessment if your leg length is not equal


#kNOwScoliosis, Africa!

(90% of information on blog culled out from PDF on Postural Scoliosis by Darent Valley Hospital, Darenth Wood Road, Dartford Kent, United Kingdom)

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