Looking at the spine from the front, it should be fairly straight, but from the side it is normal to see a few curves. Scoliosis is a condition where you see abnormal curves from the side view.
There are many potential causes to scoliosis including genetics, growth, hormone deficiency, etc., however, the main cause is unknown. Many scoliosis patients live without pain or aren’t even aware that they have this condition.
When the curves are large, it can cause rotation in the spine which can lead to a visible abnormal curve of the spine. This can sometimes lead to uneven shoulders, waist, have a visible hump on their back, or asymmetric leg length.
With a large curve, the vertebral bones can slide abnormally and the asymmetric pressure on the discs can result in pressure on the nerves. This can cause pain in the spine as well as symptoms in the arms or legs.
Methods including bracing, pain medications, chiropractic therapy, exercise, etc. have shown to be effective in treating scoliosis. However, in severe cases, surgery may be necessary to straighten the spine and take pressure off the nerves.