Do adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis have body schema disorders? A cross-sectional study

Alessandro Picelli, Stefano Negrini, Andrea Zenorini, Marco Iosa, Stefano Paolucci, N. Smania

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: To date etiology of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis appears complex and still remains unclear. A distorted body schema has been proposed to be a part of a sequence of pathological events in the development of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the awareness of trunk misalignment in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis. METHODS: Information about 44 adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis was collected as follows: age; sex; handedness; family history of scoliosis; back pain; sport practice; shoulder and waist line symmetry; leg length; dorsal kyphosis; back hump; rehabilitation; scoliotic curve; Risser sign. We evaluated awareness of trunk misalignment with a graphic table displaying pictures of progressively increasing scoliotic curves. Patients were asked to indicate which picture corresponded to their perceived own spinal alignment. RESULTS: Patients with thoracolumbar scoliosis overestimated their actual thoracic spine curve. Patients with thoracicthoracolumbar scoliosis underestimated their actual thoracolumbar spine curve and overestimated their actual lumbar spine curve. Scoliotic curve > 15°, double curve, younger age, back pain, family history of scoliosis and lower Risser score related with a misperception of trunk alignment. CONCLUSIONS: Our results support the hypothesis that adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis have an altered corporeal awareness of their trunk alignment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-96
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jun 26 2015


  • body image
  • Body schema
  • consciousness
  • corporeal awareness
  • rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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