Scoliosis is a treatable condition which causes the spine to curve toward the side in an “S” or “C” shape. Most of the time, the cause of scoliosis is unknown, but in some cases, it could be caused by diseases, birth defects, or injuries. It is most common in children, and girls are more likely to be affected by it than boys.
During a scoliosis screening, an examiner will study a child’s spine, shoulders, hips, and ribs. These screenings usually include the forward-bending test, which involves the child bending at the waist with his/her arms dangling toward the ground as the examiner checks the curvature of the child’s spine. An instrument called a scoliometer may be used to measure the degree of the curve.
If a scoliosis curve is detected, the child will likely be referred to an orthopedic doctor who will perform an X-ray to determine whether or not the child has scoliosis and what kind of treatment he/she needs.
Scoliosis is usually mild, but severe cases sometimes require treatment. Practicing physical therapy and wearing a back brace are common ways to correct scoliosis curves. In extreme cases, surgery is needed.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SCOLIOSIS SCREENINGS
Most cases of scoliosis are found during scoliosis screenings. Since scoliosis is difficult to detect, it is important for children to get screened. Scoliosis can get worse if left untreated and may cause pain and complications in adults. Finding it at a young age allows any scoliosis curves to be corrected as a child continues to grow.
WHEN TO GET YOUR CHILD SCREENED
Most people won’t notice if they have scoliosis, so you should get your children screened regardless of whether or not they are showing symptoms. Extreme cases of scoliosis may be noticeable by making clothes hang off the body unevenly. Several states require public schools to check students for scoliosis in grades 6 and 8 for girls and grade 8 or 9 for boys. If scoliosis runs in your family, get your children checked regularly.
Scoliosis is an easily treated condition. Get your children screened for scoliosis and ensure their overall health and well-being.