A Quick Glossary of Scoliotic Terms

When discussing scoliosis, no doubt you’ve come across some seemingly ‘cheem’ terminology. Here we breakdown those terms to help you understand better.

Let’s talk spinal regions

  • Cervical –  has to do with the neck area (this is for the spine. It can also be about the female reproductive organ)
  • Cervicothoracic – where the cervical spine meets the thoracic spine
  • Thoracic – has to do with the region between the neck and abdomen
  • Thoracolumbar – where the thoracic spine meets the lumbar spine
  • Lumbar – had to do with the lower part of the back

Natural Curves

If you view the spine from the side, notice that there are natural curves present. The terms used for these are kyphosis and lordosis. In severe cases of scoliosis, the rotation of vertebrae may cause these natural curves to change.


There are also medical conditions such as Scheuermann’s disease, which cause changes to the spine from the side view. A loss of both kyphosis and lordosis results in what is known as a flat back syndrome.

Other common terms associated with scoliosis include

  • Adam’s forward bend test – a physical exam conducted as a screening test for scoliosis
  • Scoliometer – a device used to measure the rotation of vertebrae and rib hump during Adam’s forward bend test
  • Risser sign- used to assess skeletal maturity and estimate the onset of first menses in girls
  • Cobb angle – method to measure severity of a scoliotic curve

At Align Brace, we are familiar in all manner of spine problems. We design corrective braces to lessen axial loading and improve posture while re-configuring its structure. Your spine deserves better.