Bigger Curves = Much Greater Chance of Progression (From Scoliosmart Clinic)
Not all cases of scoliosis advance, but the chances of progression increase dramatically as the curve increases. A spinal curve measuring up to 19 degrees is considered mild scoliosis, which has the lowest risk of curve progression — a 22 percent probability.
The probability of progression jumps to 68 percent once your child's spinal curve reaches 20 degrees. That statistic doesn't apply to adults. We only see the tripled risk in children whose spines are not yet fully developed.
The risk of progression further increases to 90 percent when your child's curve reaches 30 degrees. That's why we believe it's imperative to stop scoliosis in the early stages.
No one knows why this dramatic rate of advancement occurs, but researchers suspect it's caused by increased torque from spinal rotation driven by adverse mechanical tension on the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). You may think scoliosis causes a one-dimensional curve, but it actually twists the spine around its axis as it progresses. This twisting causes severe torque and more lateral bending and rotation of the spine, like a twisting rubber band. We call this self-feeding loop the "coil-down effect." As the curvature increases, the twisting worsens proportionately.