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Scoliosis Symptoms To Watch Out For In Your Children

As with all conditions and diseases, early screening - and therefore early detection can lead to improved quality of life in the long run. That’s why it’s so important to watch out for these scoliosis symptoms, especially in children before they go through their adolescent growth spurts. Read on to learn more.

What Causes Scoliosis?

About 80% of scoliosis cases have no known cause. These fall under Idiopathic Scoliosis, where no exact reason is discovered for the curve of the spine.

Other causes of scoliosis are as follows:

  • Congenital scoliosis, which is a rare condition, develops in the womb before birth. Development problems in the vertebrae cause the spine to curve. It can also be the result of vertebrae failing to divide properly.

  • Neuromuscular scoliosis is caused by disorders like spina bifida, cerebral palsy, or injury to the spinal cord. This damages the muscles, decreasing support for the spine and causing back curvature.

  • Degenerative scoliosis develops in the lower back as a result of spine degeneration, caused by aging. This type of scoliosis commonly affects adults.

Scoliosis Symptoms In Children: Why It’s Important To Catch It Early

Scoliosis is a condition that manifests in the spine twisting and curving to the side. It affects people of all ages, but is most commonly detected in adolescents aged between 10 to 15 - an age where many undergo growth spurts that accelerate the visibility and effects of scoliosis symptoms. Because of this, it’s especially important to detect the presence of the condition early on, as proper treatment will allow for easier management and improvement of the spinal curvature. Early treatment will also ensure that the spinal curvature does not worsen.

Many scoliosis patients improve with treatment. The goal is to detect it early, and to keep a watch so as to provide timely treatment should it worsen. For this purpose, it is recommended that parents begin screening their children as early as when they are 10 years old. Girls should be screened twice from ages 10 to 12, whilst boys should be screened once from ages 11 to 13.

Growth spurts in children can quickly accelerate the visibility and effects of scoliosis symptoms.
Growth spurts in children can quickly accelerate the visibility and effects of scoliosis symptoms.

What Are Some Symptoms of Scoliosis?

While the scoliosis symptoms may not show up the same way for all patients, these symptoms are general indicators.

  • Uneven shoulders

  • One shoulder blade that is more prominent than the other

  • One hip higher than the other

  • One side of the rib cage jutting forward

  • Uneven waist

  • Prominence on one side of the back when leaning forward

Treating The Symptoms of Scoliosis

Treatment for scoliosis varies depending on the severity of the curve. That’s why it’s important to speak to a certified practitioner to find the right treatment plan for you. Some scoliosis patients may require bracing, whilst others can benefit from scoliosis specific exercises.

The Schroth method incorporates scoliosis specific exercises that prevent the illness from worsening, saving cost and avoiding the trauma of surgery. Depending on the patient’s age range, degree of curvature, and bone maturity, bracing may be included in the treatment. Other benefits of the treatment include:

  • Reduction of Cobb’s angle (prior to skeletal maturity)

  • Halting of curve progression

  • Spinal derotation

  • Improved core stability, balance, strength and symmetry

  • Improved postural appearance

  • Improved vital capacity (improves lung function and breathing)

  • Reduction and elimination of pain if present

  • Improved overall movement patterns and function

  • Improved self-management and understanding of the spine

  • Improved overall aesthetic of the spine and body

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