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Properly Checking for Scoliosis in Both Children and Young Adults

Having good posture is very important especially for developing children and young adults. If early signs of scoliosis are not caught and treated than bad posture and much back pain can be expected for a child’s future. There are three different types of scoliosis but the most common is idiopathic scoliosis which occurs by causes unknown.

Scoliosis is a musculoskeletal disorder that can stunt a child’s development if left untreated.  Often times a spine affected by scoliosis will take the shape of either the letter ‘C’ or the letter ‘S’ and will appear remarkably visible.  Scoliosis affects the alignment of the hips as well as the alignment of the shoulder blades causing those who are affected by it to give the appearance of having bad posture.  There are three types of scoliosis; the first type is neuromuscular scoliosis which occurs from neurological conditions such as bifida and cerebral palsy.  The seconds is congenital scoliosis which can occur due to complications during birth.  The final is idiopathic scoliosis which is caused most commonly by causes unknown.  Idiopathic scoliosis can occur during the infantile stage, juvenile and adolescent stage. 

In order to thoroughly check a child for the early stages of scoliosis have him or her remove their shirt and bend over to touch their toes.  Examine the child’s spine while do this to check to see if there may be any odd curvature.  Fortunately this procedure is often done within schools to ensure that a child may not be accidentally overlooked as they get older.

Next have the child stand straight facing forward with both of their arms relaxed at their sides.  While they stand in this position examine their shoulder blades as well as their hip bones to ensure that they are aligned accordingly.  If they are not then there will be an obvious misshapen appearance.  Be sure to also have the child take a few steps around the room so that the hip bones and shoulder blades can be seen working appropriately.  If not then much discomfort and pain will be felt by the child and should be treated immediately.

If any of the methods mentioned above detect any unevenness within the child’s posture than a physician should be seen as soon as possible.  A physician will be able to make a better judgment as to what procedure should be taken next.  Usually back braces are given for children who experience intense cases of scoliosis and for extreme cases sometimes surgery must be done.  However, if caught in time there are many stretch and exercise routines that can help significantly reduce pain felt by the child and maintain proper spinal development.  Schools also will notify the parents of the child that may have been detected for any form of scoliosis if the parents have not already detected it.         


Types of Scoliosis.” By Laura Inverarity, D.O.,

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