Understand Scoliosis Types Better from our Spine Experts

Before seeking care, learn the scoliosis types first. The better understanding of scoliotic types can help avoid useless therapy options.

Understanding Scoliosis Types

Before going over scoliosis types, it may be helpful to mention that scoliosis is not a disease. It’s simply a term used for the abnormal, lateral or sideways curvature of the spine. When viewed from the back, the spine is usually straight. However, in the few cases where the spine curves, it can show up as a curve on either the left or right side. In this section, we will review scoliosis types so that you can make an informed decision about the care you or your loved one need.

With scoliosis, the spine can have a single curve in a “C” shape, which is referred to as c-shaped scoliosis, or it can have two curves in an “S” shape, referred to as S-shaped scoliosis. It’s very rare for the curves to form a triple formation.

Curves are classified into many different components, including their location in their spine. When the curve occurs in the middle back, it’s called thoracic spine scoliosis; if in the upper back, it’s called cervical spine scoliosis, and if in the lower back, it’s lumbar spine scoliosis.

Scoliosis Types

Congenital Scoliosis

Congenital scoliosis types affect individuals from birth. It’s typically a result of the spine not developing fully when the child is still in the womb. It can occur due to one or more vertebrae, failing to develop properly, and due to multiple vertebrae, being conjoined together.

Idiopathic Scoliosis

Idiopathic scoliosis occurs in about 4% of the population and is the most common of all scoliosis types. The term “idiopathic” coins the fact that the condition has no known cause. There are a few categories of this scoliosis type (idiopathic scoliosis):

Infantile Idiopathic Scoliosis:

This is first diagnosed in a child between birth and the age of 3. In some situations, infantile scoliosis in infants resolves itself without treatment. But, we don’t recommend a wait-and-see approach. Therefore, visit us so you can take proper steps early for better success because if it progresses, they may be a bit difficult to manage. So, start your baby’s non-surgical treatment early enough. Currently, there are a variety of surgical treatment methods, including the insertion of expandable rods to treat the condition.

Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis:

These are spinal curves diagnosed between the ages of 3 and 10. This scoliosis type less common than adolescent scoliosis but make-up about a fifth of all scoliosis types.

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis:

Is a scoliosis type that occurs in young people between the ages of 10 and 18 years, a period characterized by a rapid growth rate of the body. It’s typically diagnosed in almost 80% of idiopathic scoliosis. The detection of the curve should be closely monitored for progression while the skeleton of the child develops.

Adult Idiopathic Scoliosis:

When a patient with a developed adolescent idiopathic scoliosis has reached skeletal maturity, they are said to have adult idiopathic scoliosis. Pain is a common reason for treatment. Moreover, the normal degenerative changes of the spine may be accelerated by this curvature, and the patient might be at high risk of developing pain due to nerve compression.

Degenerative Adult Scoliosis:

Degenerative adult scoliosis type that often occurs due to degenerative changes that have progressed rapidly, although it can also occur in individuals with no history of scoliosis. Common factors are neglect of a given spinal condition for prolonged periods, fractures that did not heal properly, or osteoporosis. Our clinical teams are your best bet in getting better and avoiding any further degeneration.

Structural Scoliosis:

Structural scoliosis is a solid fixed curve and must be treated on a case-by-case basis. It can be as a result of congenital disabilities like hemivertebra, where one side of the vertebra doesn’t normally form in the developing fetus. It can also be caused by certain infections, injuries, tumors, connective tissue disorders, metabolic diseases, or rheumatic diseases. In some cases, this scoliosis type can occur from neuromuscular disorders or unknown factors (idiopathic).

Functional or Non-structural Scoliosis:

This is a curve of the spine that may not have an associated rotational component. It’s reversible because it’s typically caused by conditions, such as muscle spasm, pain or a difference in leg length. In this form of scoliosis, the spine remains normal, but an abnormal curve exists because there’s a problem in a different part of the body.

Neuromuscular Scoliosis Types

Neuromuscular scoliosis types are associated with the neuromuscular conditions that occur during the formation of the bones of the spine. The vertebrae may fail to separate completely from each other during fetal development. Under this form of scoliosis, patients develop a large “C”-curve in their muscles and are unable to hold their spine straight.


The location and the direction of the structural curve has a huge a role in the classification of scoliosis. If the terms appear complicated, well, it’s because they are. Avoid assuming that you understand scoliosis enough for self-diagnosis. It’s always best to consult our doctors of chiropractic about any questions you might have about scoliosis. Knowing what type of scoliosis the patient has is, in fact, the first step toward effective treatment and improvement in the quality of life. Should you have any questions regarding scoliosis types, please contact one of our chiropractic and physiotherapy centers today.