It affects more women than men, surfaces mostly around a certain age, and might not cause any pain at all.
Scoliosis affects about 2 to 3 percent of the population in America. That may sound like a small number, but the group totals about 6 to 9 million people. The disease forms an ‘s’ curve in the spine, and can cause a person’s ribs to bulge out one way, while curving in on the other side.
It sounds like a prominent change to the body, but sometimes it’s not so obvious.
Famous people who have the condition are said to include Elizabeth Taylor, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Rebecca Romijn. Why all the women? Read on.
Here are 5 things to know about scoliosis that you might not know:
1) It Affects More Girls
Scoliosis is found in both male and females, but it’s actually seen most often in girls between the ages of 9 and fifteen. Scientists aren’t sure why this is, but it may have to do with hormones, and something called leptin. Leptin affects how full you feel, and females with scoliosis often have a low BMI. Experts think it might all be intertwined.
2) It Often Surfaces at a Specific Time
The condition often sets in with a growth spur in adolescence. Those who get it may have a family history of scoliosis, but not always. Medical experts aren’t exactly sure why some people develop it.
3) The Size of the Curve Can Depend on Your Age
If you’ve already grown close to your full height when you develop scoliosis, your curve may not be so exaggerated. However, if there’s a lot of skeletal growth still to come, experts say there remains a greater risk of the curve progressing even further.
4) It Might be Treated, or Just Observed
In children, doctors observe the progression of scoliosis to see how far it goes. If and when the curve meets a certain angle, a brace may be put in place.
In adults, pain medication is often given as a treatment before moving on to surgery.
5) There May Be No Pain
If the curve is slight enough, you may feel no pain associated with your condition. With a larger curve, discomfort can result.
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