Why you should have your child checked for scoliosis.

WHAT IS CHILDHOOD SCOLIOSIS

Scoliosis is when the bones of the spine are not in a normal alignment. The bones of the spine, the vertebrae, will curve to the side or become twisted. 

Everyone’s spine looks a bit different and small curves can often be seen in many individuals, but larger curves greater than 10° of abnormal curvature are classified as scoliotic curves, with the severity of scoliosis increasing with the increased degree of curvature or rotation in the spine.

TYPES OF SCOLIOSIS

Idiopathic scoliosis: Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common form of scoliosis in children and often becomes apparent after a growth spurt, but the exact cause of the scoliosis is unknown.

Congenital scoliosis: Congenital scoliosis is a result of how the vertebrae develop when in the womb. The presence of the scoliosis may not be identified until the child begins to go through developmental growth spurts throughout childhood. 

Scoliosis secondary to a medical condition: Scoliosis will develop as a result of a long-term medical condition the child may have that affects the structures around the spine or the skeletal system directly.

 

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PRESENTATION OF CHILDHOOD SCOLIOSIS

As a parent, some things you may begin to notice in your child are:

  • Discrepancies in leg length 
  • Uneven shoulders or prominent shoulder blade(s)
  • A sideways lean or head tilt
  • Uneven hips
  • Differences in rib cages 
  • Wearing loose fitting clothing

TREATMENT OF SCOLIOSIS

Mild cases of paediatric and adolescent scoliosis need to be regularly monitored by their paediatrician or other health care professionals involved in the management of the condition. This is why you should have your child checked for scoliosis.

For more severe cases, treatment may involve braces or surgery. A scoliosis brace is a custom made plastic brace that sits from underneath the armpits to the hips and is designed to reduce the scoliotic curves increasing in severity as a child continues to go through growth spurts. Surgery is an option for the treatment of very severe cases that were unable to be managed conservatively and the severity of the scoliosis is impacting lung function. 

IMPORTANCE OF EARLY DETECTION

Early diagnosis is key in the management of your child’s scoliosis. If you are having concerns that your child may have scoliosis or have noticed any of the presenting signs of scoliosis in you child, it is worth investigating further. Our team of Chiropractor’s are trained in early detection and diagnosis of scoliosis and can help with appropriate referral to other health care providers where neccesary.

By getting an early diagnosis of your child’s scoliosis, management can be introduced around their growth spurts to decrease the risk of any scoliotic curves increasing in severity. Ongoing monitoring is very important as your child continues to grow.

Concerned that your child may have scoliosis or would you like to learn more about scoliosis? Get in touch with us by calling (08) 6184 8835 or book your child in online through our website.

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