Watching out for your kids is about more than making sure they look both ways when they cross the street. As a parent, you have bigger picture issues to deal with too. As your child gets older, their personalities develop as well as possible health conditions. And one you should look out for is scoliosis. Here are the ways to tell if your child has scoliosis.
What Is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a condition of the spine that typically emerges in children and adolescents during growth spurts. The spine grows along with the body, but sometimes it doesn’t grow straight. It might bend to the side or twist: those with an S- or C-shaped spine typically receive a scoliosis diagnosis. About three million new cases occur in the US each year, affecting about 2 percent of kids.
Examine Your Child for Scoliosis
You should examine your child for scoliosis. Their school may perform a test, but early detection is key to treating the condition and preventing it from worsening. To check your child for scoliosis, have them bend over—either without a shirt or in a sports bra—so you can see the curve of their spine. Ask your child to stay in a forward fold while you examine their spine from all angles.
Signs of Scoliosis
Upon examination, you may notice that your child’s spine curves like it is supposed to. But if something looks out of place, it is possibly an indication of a larger issue. Further, you might notice signs of scoliosis without an examination. Signs to watch out for include:
- Uneven shoulder blades and shoulders
- Crooked hips
- Uneven skin folds around the waist or other areas of the back
- Bulging muscles or ribs
- Unequal distance between the body and arms
Treatment for Scoliosis
Early detection is key to treating scoliosis. If you think your child may have this condition, you should consult with a doctor right away. In addition to an obvious spinal deformity, your child may experience back pain or heart and lung problems that could decrease their quality of life. Know that surgery isn’t your only option. Scoliosis braces for kids are typically the first solution before invasive procedures.
You should know the ways to tell if your child has scoliosis. Leaving it up to your school may mean waiting too long. If you notice any signs of a crooked spine or hips in your child, consult with a doctor right away to avoid further misalignment.