How common is scoliosis?
Research tells us that scoliosis is present in all age groups. 0.5% of children under the age of 5 have scoliosis, 2-4% of adolescents have scoliosis. In the working population the incidence is around 9%, and >30% of people over the age of 65 will have scoliosis.
By the age of 90 a staggering 50-68% of people will have a scoliosis. How do we explain these statistics? One scenario is that an undetected childhood scoliosis is only diagnosed in adulthood. This occurs as adult scoliosis is often associated with pain and the person seeks treatment for their symptoms. In other instances, the adult spine can develop spinal degeneration and this can cause instability of the spine, resulting in the spine bending into the scoliosis curvature. As the person’s spine continues to age and the degeneration worsens, so does the curve.