Scoliosis is a condition that causes the spine to curve sideways and almost every parent of a child who has it, utters similar words. It’s a common scenario – a parent unfamiliar with what scoliosis is? How to notice the warning signs in their children? Or what to do about it if they do notice something. In fact, scoliosis in children is not on people’s radars until it’s too late so early intervention is very important.
Scoliosis develops in healthy children and if a cause cannot be found it’s called idiopathic scoliosis. Idiopathic scoliosis can start at any age during childhood and adolescence, but it most commonly starts during a growth spurt, usually in adolescence.
Idiopathic scoliosis is named according to the age at which it starts:
Early onset idiopathic scoliosis (EOS) happens at 0-10 years.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) happens at 10-18 years.
Idiopathic scoliosis can develop quickly during a child’s growth. The more quickly a child grows, the more likely scoliosis is to develop quickly.
Idiopathic scoliosis is also described as mild, moderate or severe, depending on how curved the child’s spine is.
Latest scoliosis research shows:
Scoliosis affects approximately 2-3% of children and teenagers. It’s also more common in girls than boys, particularly in girls aged 10-13 years.
The prevalence of scoliosis increases rapidly from 11 to 14 years of age.
There’s a high rate of scoliosis amongst dancers and gymnasts. Research has shown adolescent dancers are at a higher risk of developing scoliosis than non-dancers of the same age.
Early detection delivers more favourable prognoses.
Spinal pain is, in fact, a prevalent condition in AIS patients, further supporting the need for early detection and also screening to minimize potential pain and suffering.
Specialised scoliosis bracing when prescribed for high-risk patients, this can prevent the need for surgery in most cases.
Scoliosis may be undetected in children and adolescents in your local area, some of which you may already know. The time to screen our children and adolescents in the at-risk age groups is now.
Scoliosis tends to run in families, so genetics might play a part in causing it.
Signs and Symptoms
Often a child with scoliosis doesn’t experience any symptoms. But, common symptoms are a mild ache in the low or middle back area. As a chiropractor, for example, we are able to recognise the early indicators of possible scoliosis.
Therefore, we can help parents by telling them to be aware of:
One more prominent shoulder blade
The pelvis shifted to one side
A noticeable curve in the spine
A family history of scoliosis
Scoliosis treatments aim to stop the spine’s curve from getting worse. This can limit the chance of other health problems later in life. So our chiropractors will diagnose scoliosis on the basis of medical history and physical examination. We can also refer for MRI, CT or X-Ray if needed. The diagnosis is the basis for treatmentand totally dependent on the underlying cause. Treatment may consist of, among other joint corrections, muscular therapy and ergonomic advice. To avoid recurrence the chiropractor will provide training exercises; training in the correct use of muscles and proper posture will in most cases have a preventive effect.