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Scoliosis Screening: Is Your Child Growing Straight?

Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. There are certain medical conditions that can lead to scoliosis; however, often the cause is unknown. Scoliosis gets progressively worse over time, and if not treated, can lead to severe spine deformities and disability.

Early detection for scoliosis is key! Children ages 10-13 years old should be watched closely for changes during growth. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the prognosis. 

Scoliosis is more common in girls than boys, and a family history of scoliosis increases the risk. More than 80% of scoliosis patients are diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis (cause unknown), and the majority of those are adolescent girls.

Home Scoliosis Screening

It is a good idea to periodically check your child for signs of scoliosis with a simple at-home screening. 

Have your child bend forward and observe the following:

  • Are their ribs higher on one side?
  • Are their hips at the same level?
  • Is their spine straight or curved?

In standing, observe the following:

  • Is their head level and centered over their trunk?
  • Is one shoulder higher?
  • Does one shoulder blade protrude more?
  • Are their hips level?
  • Is their spine straight or curved?

Can Physical Therapy Help With Scoliosis?

Physical therapy plays an important role in treatment of scoliosis. Treatment options of scoliosis generally include physical therapy, bracing, or surgery, depending on the type and severity of the scoliosis and the age of the patient. However, a physical therapist can support your rehabilitation at any stage of treatment, including bracing or post-surgery.

The licensed physical therapists at TEAM Physical Therapy will work with you and your doctor to develop a plan for your specific needs. Physical therapy treatments for scoliosis may include:

  • Gentle range of motion exercises if movement is limited.
  • Strength training to strengthen muscles surrounding the spine and other areas that may have become weakened by the change in the spine's position.
  • Manual therapy to restore motion to joints and muscle tissue.
  • Modalities such as ice, heat, or electrical stimulation to aid in therapies.
  • Functional training to retrain the body on proper movement.

Free Scoliosis Screening

If you see any of the symptoms described here, or if your child complains of any back pain, call TEAM Physical Therapy for a free scoliosis screening today.