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Robert Lee, Consultant Spinal Surgeon at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, answers your questions about adult scoliosis

How common is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is said to affect one in six people, but most people don’t know they have it because it is so mild. There are different types of scoliosis—infantile, juvenile, adolescent, neuromuscular and adult degenerative scoliosis. Essentially, the difference is when it presents—i.e. were you born with it or did it develop during the pubertal growth spurt. Scoliosis is not hereditary unless you have an inherited genetic condition where scoliosis is one of the clinical signs.

Read more: Adult Scoliosis - Your questions answered
Low Back Pain and Nerve Compression including disc prolapses and spinal stenosis

Low back pain is a symptom almost all of us will suffer at some point in our life. The pain may remain in our lower back or extend into our buttocks and legs. Most of the time, this is simply a muscle strain that improves with rest and painkillers. Sometimes the symptoms are bad enough to warrant treatment by a physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath.

Because of the diverse nature of these conditions, we recommend you review our links below for further information.

Read more: Low Back Pain and Nerve Compression including disc prolapses and spinal stenosis
Adult Spinal Deformity including degenerative scoliosis, spondylolisthesis and kyphosis

Although rare, several types of tumour can start in the spinal cord. The most common types are:

  • Astrocytomas
  • Ependymomas
  • Meningiomas
  • Nerve-sheath tumours, such as schwannomas.
  • Sarcoma

These tumours usually cause problems by pressing on the nerves that run from the brain down the middle of the back to different areas of the body.

Read more: Spinal Tumours – primary tumours, metastatic tumours and cord compression, myeloma