An alteration in children’s posture, such as a different height of the shoulders or shoulder blades, a different shape of the hips, or an imbalance of the body to the right or the left, can indicate a simple scoliotic posture, or it can hide true scoliosis

Knowing the differences is crucial: In fact, especially in children and adolescents, poor posture is a problem that is often underestimated.

Scoliosis or scoliotic posture: What are the differences?

Scoliosis is a vertebral deformity in the three planes of space. In addition to having a curve in the frontal plane of the spine, there is also a rotation of the vertebra in the transverse plane. 

These alterations result in postural changes in the body that may also be externally visible and, therefore, should not be overlooked. Scoliosis then worsens more or less rapidly over time.

Unlike true scoliosis, scoliotic posture does not evolve or involve vertebral rotation. Still, it represents a lateral deviation in the frontal plane of the spine. 

During adolescence, when the spine is growing, scoliosis can quickly develop, and it is important to make an early diagnosis to limit the risk of scoliosis reaching severe curves that require surgery. 

It is necessary to consult an orthopedic specialist in scoliosis to understand whether externally observable postural changes are the onset of scoliosis or simply scoliotic posture.

Early diagnosis: Why is it important?

If the angle of the scoliosis curve, once bone growth is completed, exceeds a threshold of between 30 and 50 degrees – which we can refer to as the “critical threshold” – there is an increased risk of developing health problems, an aesthetic deformity, pain, and functional disability in adulthood. 

This is why it is important to diagnose scoliosis as soon as possible. 

What are the possible treatments for scoliosis?

Scoliosis treatments depend on several factors, such as:

  • The time of diagnosis;
  • The age of the patient;
  • Bone maturity;
  • The degrees and stiffness of the curve.

Treatments include: 

  • Curve-specific and self-correcting exercises;
  • Corsets tailored to the type of curve, in combination with targeted exercises;
  • Surgery, in severe cases.