When viewed from the side, the spine has 3 normal curves located at the neck, chest, and lower back. Normal lordosis is the forward curve of the spine at the neck and lower back, while normal kyphosis is the backward curve at the chest and hip. These curves give the spine the ability to absorb shock and distribute stress during movement.
Patients with scoliosis have a spine that's curved to the side (either left or right), forming an 'S' shape. The curve is often present in the thoracic spine (chest) and measures at least 10 degrees on an X-ray. It affects 6-9 million people in the U.S.
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