Scoliosis is one of many types of spine disorders that have to do with the way your spine is structured. To be diagnosed with scoliosis by a back specialist, you must have a sideways curve in your spine. A typical spine is perfectly verticle, so if your spine looks like an “S,” then you probably have scoliosis. Here are some common signs that this diagnosis is appropriate for you.
Your clothes don’t fit well
When your spine isn’t straight, your clothes aren’t going to fit you the way they would for someone without scoliosis. For example, you might notice that your neckline, shirt sleeves, hemline, and pant legs are all uneven. You also might notice that one side of your shirt is always wrinkled and the other isn’t. Finally, one of your shoe’s soles might wear out faster than the other, indicating that your spine is curved.
It’s difficult to breathe
You may experience a shortness of breath sometimes, and that might be a result of scoliosis. You might feel uncomfortable when you try to take a deep breath or even feel smothered. This could be due to the fact that scoliosis can limit for rib cage expansion, inhibiting your lung function.
You have a rib prominence
When most people stand up straight, their rib cage is aligned with their legs. For someone with scoliosis, the rib cage kind of sticks out. It almost looks like you’re sticking your pelvis out when you stand. This is known as rib prominence, and it’s very apparent in adults who have scoliosis. You also might notice that one side of your rib cage pop out more than the other, making your body look uneven. That’s due to the curve in your spine.
You have back pain
In most cases, scoliosis does not limit movement or cause noticeable back pain until the curve becomes severe. With that being said, unexplained backaches are a hallmark symptom of scoliosis, and 90% of scoliosis patients reporting feeling back pain. As the spine curves, it places pressure on the nerves and can cause lower back pain, weakness, numbness, and pain in the lower extremities as well.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, roughly 80% of adults will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. If you have lower back pain, it could be a sign of scoliosis, or other spine disorders like herniated discs, bulging discs, or pinched nerves. Contact your doctor today if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.