Gaining a Proper Understanding of Scoliosis from Nicklaus Children’s Hospital


If you’re anything like me, you know several people with scoliosis. It affects millions of Americans every year, but to be honest, I didn’t know much about it until recently. Dr. Subaraman Ramchandran shared helpful information that gave me a better picture of what scoliosis is and isn’t.

Dr. Ramchandran works at The Center for Spinal Disorders at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. This is one of the leading spinal condition treatment centers in the nation so it was an incredible treat to learn from him. Dr. Ramchandran offered helpful information to debunk common scoliosis myths (several of which I believed)! I’m sharing the information with you below so that you can be well informed too!

Common scoliosis myths

Myth #1: Scoliosis in preventable.

Growing up, I heard that I needed to sit up straight to prevent scoliosis. The reality of the situation is that generally, scoliosis is caused by genetic mutations. The abnormal muscular coordination, connective tissue abnormalities, and asymmetric growth of the vertebrae that follow are all as a result of these genetic mutations and therefore, it is not preventable.

Myth #2: Wearing a heavy backpack causes scoliosis.

Wearing a heavy backpack can definitely lead to poor posture, and that should not be minimized. We should be cognizant of what we’re asking our children to carry in their backpacks to make sure they can properly handle the weight. However, it most likely will not lead to scoliosis, so we should not be spreading this misinformation.

Myth #3: Exercise and therapy can reverse scoliosis.

Exercise and therapy can definitely help slow down the progression of scoliosis, as well as strengthen the back muscles surrounding the vertebrae. They cannot reverse the deformities caused from genetic mutations though.

Myth #4: Surgery to correct deformity is invasive, very risky, and extremely painful.

I was so encouraged to hear that surgery to correct scoliosis has vastly improved over the last decade. If your child has scoliosis and needs treatment, new technology and techniques have led to faster recovery and shorter hospital stays. What great news!

Myth #5: Spinal instrumentation for scoliosis correction in adolescents can affect a woman’s ability to give birth as an adult.

It’s always concerning to think about operations around your child’s spine. However, Dr. Ramchandran assured me that quality of life and ability to give birth are not affected after having corrective surgery as a child. The only negative side effect that has been noted is an increased probability of having a cesarian section when giving birth.

My Takeaways

I feel so much more knowledgable about scoliosis after hearing from Dr. Ramchandran. I’m comforted to learn that scoliosis is not a result of children’s actions. While it can be intimidating to learn that it is from genetic mutations and it cannot be prevented, it was great to hear that treatment options have vastly improved over the last decade. 

To learn more and make an appointment with a pediatric orthopedic specialist, contact a scoliosis patient navigator by calling 786-NCH-NAVI or visit


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