What is the risk threshold for worsening scoliosis?
Health care providers measure scoliosis curves in degrees: A mild curve is less than 20 degrees. A moderate curve is between 25 degrees and 40 degrees. A severe curve is more than 50 degrees.
Anything less than 10 degrees is considered normal variation in a normal individual.
10 degrees is the threshold between scoliosis and spinal curvature. When you have a curve greater than 10 degrees, this is the threshold for treatment.
Mild scoliosis is the most responsive to exercise treatment.
Moderate scoliosis may be treated with exercise too, but wearing a medically prescribed brace is sometimes recommended as well.
The younger you are when you are first diagnosed with scoliosis puts you at a higher risk of your spine growing into a more severe curve because your bones have not finished growing . For this reason, we may recommend bracing for younger patients who have not reached the 30-degree threshold where we would ordinarily consider a brace. If you already have a curve greater than 30 degrees we aim to prevent it from progressing to 50 degrees, which is the surgical threshold.
If scoliosis is detected early enough there is greater scope for treatment.
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