Are you confused about your scoliosis?  You aren’t alone. Most doctors don’t understand what causes it or know much about it, either.

In fact, they often say it is idiopathic.  That means ‘no known cause.’

Well, maybe.  Sometimes.

Here are some thoughts:

1. Everything has a cause.  It just requires digging to find the root of the problem.

2. Pain medicines will not help you get rid of the curvature in your spine.

3. If you do not get rid of the original causes of your scoliosis your curves will continue to worsen over time because of gravity.

4. Some people have scoliosis because of a imbalance in the structure of the pelvic bones, leg bones or spine bones. If you are diagnosed with an S-curve, I’m betting it starts in the structure of your lower body.  Or, if your spine has a bone that is a triangle instead of a rectangle, this can cause a tilt.

5. Look at your feet when you are standing as straight and upright as you can. Do you have an arch in each foot? Or is one flat?  One flat foot will cause scoliosis.

6. Look in the mirror. Do you wear bluejeans and a belt? Stand as straight as you can and look straight into the mirror. Use the pockets of the jeans and the belt as markers. Can you see one pocket more fully than the other side? Is your belt tilted down to one side? Those are clues that your scoliosis starts in your feet or leg bones.

7.  Travell & Simons MD’s state that a leg length difference of 1/8″ or more becomes critical to our health. Even that little of a difference will throw us into dysfunction and start scoliosis.

8. Muscles are a primary cause of spinal distortions and pain.  There are excellent massage therapists who can help correct your scoliosis. is the address for Paul St. John who is a genius in looking at the structure of the body and making manual corrections. I suspect his colleagues are also very talented. They are muscle therapists.

Paul teaches massage therapists like me to do this but very few actually do.  He is in FL and he helped me get rid of my own scoliosis and I have watched him straighten out others, too. This kind of therapist starts with a postural assessment to determine from where the dysfunction or asymmetry starts. (As opposed to just treating symptoms as much of conventional medicine does.) And then this therapy addresses the areas of muscle that pull your spine into curves.

Even after you are straighter, you will have to take action to stay straight. This may mean a lift on the whole bottom of one shoe (no one ever notices) and stretching in the correct directions and in the correct proportions.

Pain and knots are symptoms. They mean your muscles aren’t happy.  Scoliosis is a symptom of something. Everyone has a different something.  I can’t promise that you will be straight as a tree but you gotta try to get to the root of the problem so you can start to feel better and get rid of your scoliosis naturally.


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12 Comments on What Is The Cause Of Scoliosis And How Can You Get Rid Of Your Scoliosis

  1. Hilary says:


    Please I would like to ask a question. I know someone who was recently diagnosed with a mild scoliosis with the spine bent inwards from the left side of the back.
    According to the person, this slight curve was most likely caused by the muscles on his left side of the lower back which were slightly more built than the muscles
    On the right side of his back. So it appears to be a case of the more built muscles on one side perhaps pushing against the spine. And this also seems to be causing
    Some discomfort and occasional tightness around the back of the neck. And also some pain in the left side region of the back where the spine has been pushed inwards.

    This is the scenario. My question now is this: Have you encountered any cases of individuals with this sort of scoliosis experience? And secondly, do you think or
    Reccommend that such a case can be rectified by sessions of building up the lower back muscles so as to create the eveness and balance which may perhaps straighten the spine?
    This person would like to know what you think because several years ago, he engaged in chin-up exercises in an unbalanced way which caused the muscles of his lower back on the
    Left side to be slightly more built. And further more, this person has been to a doctor and massage therapist who simply massage and have not really addressed the root of the problem.
    I look forward to your comments and advise on the questions put forward. Than
    k you!

  2. Hello Hilary,

    Thank you for writing on behalf of your friend. It sounds like you are describing a long curve on the left side of the back. Is that true? If not, please get back to me. Otherwise…

    Think of a bow and arrow. When you pull on the bow string, the bow body becomes more curved.

    Now think of the spine. When the muscles on the left side are tighter than the right, they pull on the spine and it becomes more curved. There are layers of muscles near the spine that overlay deeper layers. That means there are lots of muscles to be treated and they are not surface! Rubbing on the surface won’t do much to help the deeper spinal muscles relax.

    There is a tilting/twisting muscle that attaches to the lower ribs, hip bone and spine and disks. It is the quadratus lumborum or QL. It is deeper than the spinal muscles (deeper means closer to the inside of the body.) When it is in spasm or contraction it causes a tilt to that side. It causes an appearance of scoliosis when standing. But when laying down flat on your back, it causes the heel on the affected side to be hiked up.

    So it could be the QL or it could be the long spinal erector muscles.

    Your guess about appropriate treatment may be correct if the cause of the curve is actually only muscles. So what else can help?

    1. Stretching the shorter side 4x as much as the unaffected side. Make the short side longer with hand over head stretches from left to right.

    2. Deep massage that really gets into the muscles. Explore the muscles for tender areas and holding pressure into those areas for about 12 seconds before seeking the next tender area. A skilled massage therapist can access these muscles and if done correctly sometimes the correction happens during just one session. Thumbs or small ‘thumb saver tools’ can be used. The process involves warming the outer muscles with deep, flat massage for several minutes and then sliding below them from the side to get to the more deep muscles.

    If you get pictures of spines and muscles that overlay the spine it will give you a better idea of what I mean.

    3. Sleeping in a way that props the curved side into a more neutral, straight spine position. This could involve placing a pillow or folded towel on the right side if that is the side he sleeps on. Or it could be sleeping on the left side to encourage a stretch with no prop.

    4. Yoga uses all of the muscles and he may find that to be very beneficial.

    5. Using an inversion table helps stretch the muscles around the spine and it doesn’t have to be very much of an incline to help.

    I believe that massage is always the best choice to relax muscles. Stretching is second best.

    This will be an easy fix if muscles are at the root of this. It becomes more interesting to treat scoliosis when it is caused by skeletons that are not symmetrical.

    The Pain Relief Coach

  3. Hilary says:

    Dear Kathryn,

    Thanks a million for your very kind reply! I have just sent an e-mail to you now with more details and
    responses to all the advise and comments you have made.

  4. Hi Hilary,

    My pleasure! Glad to be of assistance and look forward to you feeling better soon.

    The Pain Relief Coach

  5. Alex says:

    Hi I was diagnosed with scoliosis about 3 years ago and I am 18 now. My curve at first was moderate being about 20 on the upper and 26 degrees on the lower. I wore a brace for about 2 years and managed to get it down to about 14 and 20. The problem with the brace is that it didn’t really have an effect on the muscles, which are still very tight and imbalanced and I think these are important to be treated. I get a lot of headaches which I think are from the very tight muscles I have on my right side. I really want to find out if there are any exercises to possibly help get the curve a little better, or if I’m stuck with this forever! Look forward to hearing from you

  6. Hi Alex, You are absolutely right about treating the muscles! And your headaches are very likely from the muscles pulling on and twisting your head. That’ll do it.

    You are not necessarily stuck with your curvy spine forever. But you have to find the cause of your scoliosis. Sometimes it is a spine bone that is mis-shaped and causes the tilt. More often it is a leg length difference.

    There’s a great chance that no one has measured your legs yet. You can estimate if there is a difference in the length like this: Is one pant leg always longer than the other?

    When you look in the mirror with bluejeans on, can you see a lot more pocket on one side than on the other side?

    And in about 1 out of 100 of us, the hip bone is smaller on one side and that will cause a tilt, too.

    First, let’s work on figuring out the cause. Then I’ll see if I can help you get rid of your spinal curves long-distance.

    The Pain Relief Coach

  7. vickie says:

    I am 55 have chronic lower back pain for 2 years. I have scolosis, arthritis, and early stages of ostoeporosis. Have tried shot, massage, physical therapy, and acupucture. I have muscle that has formed a tight knot on my left side above my lower back that Doctor says has been caused from my scolosis.What are my options at this point? Driving me nutty!

  8. Hi Vickie,

    Here are options:

    The tight knot on the left side of your back may not be from the scoliosis. It might be the cause of the scoliosis.

    But the doctor has the advantage of seeing your x-ray or MRI so he can see which way your spine curves and I don’t. However, if he did not look at such tests then his speculation that the muscle knot is being caused by the scoliosis is likely wrong.

    Bones don’t move by themselves. Muscles move bones. So if a muscle becomes tight, it can and will move the bone(s) it attaches to.

    There are bodywork specialists who can look at your body and posture. They can determine the cause of your pain. Then they treat the cause so the pain can go away.

    If the cause is a short leg, for instance, they will measure and then you can get your shoes built up for that short leg. They also work on the muscles that are pulling on the spine or head (or other parts) to eliminate the distortion or dysfunction.

    One such expert is Paul St. John in FL. I took most of my training from him. Many of his students are also expert in treating scoliosis.

    The therapist you would like for is called St. John Neuromuscular Massage Therapy or St. John Neurosomatic Therapy or NMT. Interview the therapist on the phone.

    Chronic lower back pain can be caused by posture and by muscles. It can also be caused by leg bones or hip bones that are different sizes.

    I hope this helps you understand how to start getting rid of both the scoliosis and the lower back pain quickly. 🙂

    The Pain Relief Coach

  9. Hannah says:

    Im 15 and i was just diagnosed with scoliosis about a month or 2 ago. About 3 werks ago i noticed a huge bump on the left side of my back (my scoliosi curves to the right) i am assuming it is a muscle knot from scoliosis but i have tried everything to try and work the knot out but it will not budge. Im not sure if even is a knot, if not what would it be? I want it gone do badly as it is very noticeable.

  10. Hi Hannah,

    There’s the trick to smoothing out that bump. You cannot force the bump to be smaller by pressing on it. It’s on one side of your spine. On the opposite side of your spine there is a ‘hole’ or a depression–a flatter area of your muscles and ribs.

    It’s like a bow and arrow–One side pushes out because the other side is tight. The side that you want to work on (or have a therapist work on) is the right side, the side where the hole is. The goal is to get the muscles on the flat/hole side to relax so the whole spine can relax and become more straight.

    The ‘bump’ is not a knot, it’s the structure of your skeleton–your bones. An inversion table or hanging upside down can also help the spine to straighten and flatten a bit, if you can do that.

    The benefits of straightening your spine with natural methods like stretching and massage and inverting are that your bones will remain healthy and intact, your clothes will fit better and as you get older, you will have less pain. Thank you for your question about your scoliosis. Please feel free to write again if I’m not being clear.

    Take care,

    Kathryn Merrow
    The Pain Relief Coach

  11. Simon says:

    Dear Kathryn,

    My child has scoliosis. The curve is going to the right (looking at her back) Do we have to deep massage the right curve side or the left hole side. I am reading your common but I still don’t understand. It looks like the curve side muscles are stronger and pulling the the spine.

  12. Dear Simon, I apologize for my delay in responding.

    The part of the back that ‘sticks out’ appears to be stronger and fuller but that’s not the case. There is where many therapists will work but it’s not the problem–it’s a symptom of the muscles in the hole pulling. So, yes, go into the hole–the part of the back that appears to be indented, smaller or weaker. That is where the tight muscles are hiding.

    It’s like a bow and arrow, Simon. The string (the tight side) pulls on the stronger, more visible side (the bow) and the tighter the string gets, the more the bow bends into a curve.

    There are other muscles that are involved, too. The muscles on the ribs and abdomen/waist will also be shortened and ‘tight’ on the ‘hole’ side of the back. Lengthen or stretch the muscles on the hole side by stretching from hip to arm pit. If your child is old enough, you can teach her or him to do this. If they are too young, you can do this movement for them. (It’s okay to stretch both sides but stretch the ‘hole’ side 4 times as much to effect change.) This stretch should be comfortable. It’s not forcing but rather helping or allowing the muscles to lengthen in a slow, gentle movement.

    Also, you will want to figure out the cause of the scoliosis. Sometimes, it’s a misshapen bone in the spine but it could be a leg length difference or a difference in the size of the hip bones. Your doctor may have some information if your child has had x-rays.

    I hope this helps and please feel free to write again with scoliosis questions.

    Kathryn Merrow
    The Pain Relief Coach