Curvature of the spine. When seen on an X-Ray, it's a S or C shape. Scoliosis does not stop you from living a normal life. Pain could be involved, but not normally. About 2% of the population has it, and more in females. Idiopathic is the prevalent cause. Nurses screen you during school before or during 5th grade when you begin puberty. Severity of scoliosis vary by degrees. Over 40 is when you should need surgery, or not. Listen to your orthopedist. Often, you don't feel pain at all. Exercises to strengthen your backbone could help with progression of scoliosis. Also, scoliosis isn't caused by bad posture or mattresses.