In some, the degree of curve is stable, while in others, it increases over time. No one person is perfectly straight, and minor scoliosis are common and do not cause any significant problems. However, severe cases can interfere with breathing and may cause back pain.
The cause of most cases is unknown but is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Risk factors include other affected family members. It can also occur due to another condition such as muscles spasms, cerebral palsy, Marfan syndrome, and tumors such as neurofibromatosis. Diagnosis is confirmed with X-rays. Scoliosis is typically classified as either structural in which the curve is fixed, or functional in which the underlying spine is normal.