Abnormal curves of the spine may occur in childhood, adolescence and adult life. In adult life abnormal spinal curvature may lead to sideways bending (scoliosis) or forward bending (kyphosis). Problems associated with spinal deformity in adult life vary a lot and include possible changes in appearance, back pain, sciatica, imbalance and difficulty walking long distances. The causes of spinal deformity also vary and include scoliosis persisting from adolescence, severe degeneration, fractures, muscle weakness, neurological conditions and tumours. Spinal deformity is a complex problem and often requires additional X-rays and scans for full assessment. Surgery can help with deformity correction, relief of sciatic pain and sometimes back pain, however surgical intervention needs to be carefully considered as it is often a major procedure.