Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine. When viewed from the front
or back, the spine should be straight. This places the minimal amount of stress
on the tissues of the spine. When there is a sideways curvature, the stresses
on the spine are uneven and often pain is the result. This condition often
appears at a young age, seven to ten years of age. It is often referred to as
idiopathic scoliosis, which means “of undetermined cause”. However, we do see
several factors associated with a higher incidence of scoliosis. This condition is
more common in girls than boys, and more common in tall, thin girls. It is
often associated with a short leg on one side.
If a child complains of unexplained back pain, it is often due to scoliosis. An examination and x-rays can determine if this is the case. Often, the most effective treatment consists of spinal adjustments, and this all that is necessary to provide marked relief. However, some cases of scoliosis progress, even with treatment. When this is the case, it is important to identify the problem and monitor the condition carefully with follow up x-rays. The most dangerous time for a curve to progress is around puberty. If a curve is rapidly progressing during this time, it is important to measure and document the progression. In rare cases a surgical referral may be necessary.
If treatment is begun at a young age, scoliosis can often be straightened or minimized. Proper treatment at the appropriate time can help avoid a life of pain and disfigurement. Treatment is painless, and with proper care, a lifetime of back problems can be averted.
We screen children for signs of scoliosis as a free service, so feel free to call and schedule an appointment for your child.