It is a condition that affects approximately 7 million people, Scoliosis.
Dr. Tona Munday, radiologist at CHI Memorial says "Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine. It is extremely common. There are several types of scoliosis."
From congenital which is caused by a bone abnormality present at birth to neuromuscular which is frequently seen in people with conditions like cerebral palsy, to the most common form.
Dr. Tona Munday says "The most common type of scoliosis is idiopathic which is the medical term which has no known cause and that's the type that occurs in children and teens."
Dr. Munday is a radiologist at CHI Memorial Ooltewah Imaging Center where they offer a unique screening series to help doctors make a more accurate diagnosis.
Dr. Tona Munday says "Our technique allows you to use the digital radiography which is the lower dose to take the images, stitch together to get a complete picture of the spine."
If the curvature is more than 10 degrees, the patient has to have an X-ray every 6 months.
Dr. Tona Munday says "With growth spurts especially the curve can progress, so if it progresses to about 25 degrees those kids would go on to be braced to slow the progression of the curvature, but hopefully prevent the need for surgery."
Some clues that a child may have Scoliosis include; uneven shoulders, a prominent shoulder blade, uneven waist, or leaning to one side.
If you notice any of these warning signs, it's important to see a doctor.
Dr. Tona Munday says "It can limit function and cardiac function, it can lead to long standing degenerative changes because of alteration in the patient's gait."
Overall, girls are more likely to be affected than boys. The good news is this condition usually does not progress into adulthood.