October is National Spine Health Month. I’d like to focus on scoliosis. This condition is a curvature of the spine that often occurs before puberty. During yearly checkups, your pediatrician usually checks for this condition.
If scoliosis is suspected, more tests are ordered. Usually it begins with an X-Ray. That test can determine the extent of the scoliosis. If it is a mild case, normally more X-Rays are done at different intervals. If it is worse, it is recommended that your child be seen by an orthopedist. That doctor can determine the best treatment.
Serious cases of scoliosis can cause difficulty breathing because the spine impacts the ribcage and lungs. Hear problem are another outcome since the pressure can make it more difficult for the heart to pump. The curvature can get worse so that the look of the back changes. Back pain is another problem. Bracing and sometimes surgery is needed. More mild forms can be treated by exercise.
But you can keep an eye on your child as well. According to Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush (MOR), using a growth chart and doing the Adams Forward Bend Test are extremely helpful. Midwest is offering a free Growth Chart that includes the steps to perform the test at home.
My older daughter, Alicia was diagnosed with scoliosis around the age of 16, a bit late. Thank goodness it was a mild case that was treated with exercise and over the counter pain medication as needed. She continued to have X-Rays on a yearly basis until she was about 20 because it wasn’t progressing. Now that she is 26, she is tested about every 3 years.
If you notice any signs of scoliosis in your child take her to the pediatrician. It is better to get a diagnosis early on rather later in life so that it can progress.
This is not to be taken as medical advice. This is an informative post and has not been compensated.