How do I know if I have scoliosis?

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis refers to a medical condition in which the spine curves sideways. On an X-ray film, the normal spine looks straight, but the scoliosis spine will look like a “C” or “S”.


I suspect that I have scoliosis, how do I tell?

Besides looking at X-rays, one can look at his or her posture in order to look for possible signs of scoliosis.

Signs that may indicate scoliosis are:

  • Head not centred to the body Uneven shoulders (either one is in front of the other or one’s higher than the other)
  • Uneven shoulder blades: one is more prominent or higher
  • Uneven waist angle: the gap between arm to the trunk is wider on one side
  • One hip is more prominent than the other or the hips are not levelled
  • The spine line is not straight

One can use the picture below for a quick self-test of scoliosis:

What is Scoliosis

You can also perform a Forward Bend test (also called “Adam’s test”) to detect for possible scoliosis.

  • Standing with the feet together, then bend forward as far as you can with your palms together, fingers pointing at between your toes.
  • Look at the back, one side of the back (either upper or lower back region) will be higher than the other side
Forward Bending Test for Scoliosis
Forward Bending Test for Scoliosis

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