"Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine."
Nathan Johnson is a physical therapist who treats patients with scoliosis.
"It's usually caused either from some congenital deformities at birth or it can be an orthopedic or a neuro-muscular disease."
But Johnson says in most cases they don't what causes it. Scoliosis can be detected by an x-ray measuring the degree of curvature of the spine.
"Most the time it is screened in schools. Usually from age 9-11. From that they look at different areas of the spine and have the child bend forward to see if they can determine a certain amount of curvature."
Parents who want to screen their children can look out for a few warning signs. First, look to see if one shoulder is higher or lower than the other.
"Other landmarks right up on their hipbones, their illiad crest, you might notice a difference here. It might even be more prevalent if there's a leg length discrepancy."
Treatment for scoliosis depends on the severity. In extreme cases surgery is needed, but for more mild cases exercise and physical therapy can be the answer.
"Certain types of exercise to help correct postural deformities as well as maintain correct spinal motion that they may have lost due to scoliotic curve."