There is a simple morphological interrelation between the growing spinal cord-nerve root complex and the vertebral column, not unlike that between the growing brain and skull. The shape of the enveloping vertebral skeleton mirrors the anatomical features of the enclosed neural contents. During the cranio-caudally directed growth, spurts of elongation of the vertebral column may be too rapid for the slower growth rate of the spinal cord and nerve roots. The resulting disproportion of growth between spine and nervous system is compensated for by adaptive scoliotic curvature of the otherwise normally growing spine. The proposed pathogenetic concept readily explains the main clinical features of the deformity and is supported by a spring model experiment.