Scoliosis Screening

What is Scoliosis?

  • Scoliosis can be defined as lateral deviation of a spinal curvature greater than 10 degrees.
  • Put simply, this means a significant sideways bending to the spine that is easily visible when viewing the spine from the back.
  • Though an “ideal spine” is thought to be straight, most people have a mild, natural lateral curve to their spine, usually to the right, because the right side of the body tends to develop more muscle, thereby pulling the spine to the right.

Why is it important to screen your child for scoliosis?

  • Screening your child from scoliosis is important, because it is easier to treat or minimize a scoliosis at a young age, thereby decreasing the impact of the abnormal spinal curve on health and well being as a child develops.
  • The larger the curve, the more likely it is to progress

How can you screen for scoliosis?

  • Children should be screened on or before 10 years of age.
  • Have your child change into a swimsuit that allows a good view of the back.
  • while they are standing, inspect their back for any lateral deviation of the spine, any asymmetry of the shoulders or pelvis.
  • Have them bend forward to touch their toes while holding their hands together.
  • At about 45 degrees, examine the back for a rib hump.
  • At full flexion, examine the back for a lumbar hump.
  • Any hump (indicating trunk rotation) greater than 7 degrees (measured with an inclinometer) or 11 mm (ruler) should be referred for ex ray. (go see your chiropractor or MD)
  • Have your child stand up again and bend to the side. If the curve is functional (caused by muscle) it will disappear as the child bends away from the direction of the curve.

What do you do if your child has a scoliosis?

Chiropractic has many alternatives to treat a child with scoliosis before it gets bad enough to require surgery. Exercise and chiropractic treatment, can sometimes do a great deal to minimize the effects of a scoliosis as a child progresses, hopefully, making the option of surgery unnecessary.