"Diagnosis n. the act or process of identifying or determining the nature and cause of a disease or injury through evaluation of patient history, examination, and review of laboratory data."
Everybody's spine has a natural curve, it is absolutely normal. However, if someone has thoracic Scoliosis it is usually quite noticeable if they bend forwards and touch their toes, indicated by a slight hump on one side of the back. On the other hand, lumbar Scoliosis can be a little harder to detect, as it will not show on the forward bend test.
Signs to look out for to discover either thoracic or lumbar Scoliosis are uneven shoulders, prominent shoulder blades/front of rib cage, uneven waist/hips and a lean of the torso to one side.
If you think you have Scoliosis it is a good idea to see your doctor and ask him/her to examine you. Sometimes a doctor will want to see an x-ray before being certain about whether you have Scoliosis or not. An abnormal curve will be confirmed if your backbone appears to have a 'C' or 'S' shape to it on the x-ray.
At this point a doctor will often refer the patient to an orthopaedic surgeon who will assess the situation, determine the severity of the curvature and suggest a plan of action for treatment.