Holy Scoliosis, Batman!!

Written By Chiropractic Health and Wellness on June 22, 2017

June is scoliosis awareness month and I wanted to share a little more with you about this dreaded and oft misunderstood condition. Scoliosis is a sideways curve of the spine which can, depending on cause, size, location and age of onset, be either benign or can result in progressive spinal deformity, pain and loss of function. Scoliosis can affect people of all ages and, in fact, 1/3 of all adults over the age of 65 have some degree of scoliosis. The type that gets the most attention is "idiopathic" scoliosis. Idiopathic scoliosis can develop as early as infancy and is especially worrisome because it can progress quickly and result in deformity and significant health problems. The earlier it begins, the greater the likelihood of the curve worsening. Idiopathic scoliosis affects girls far more often than boys (no one knows why that is either). As you may have observed, children grow in stages. In earlier childhood the long bones like the legs and arms grow more quickly, but between 10 and 12 (10 for girls and 12 for boys) the torso growth starts to really take off; this is the time that scoliosis can become a real problem. Early detection is critical because it allows clinicians to harness the power of this rapid growth to halt the progression and reverse the curvature. Every parent should check their child for signs of scoliosis. 


How to check your child:

  1. Shoulder tilt: one of the shoulders appears higher than the other.
  2. Shoulder blade asymmetry: one of the shoulder blades sticks out and is elevated while the other one is flattened to the body and lower.
  3. Waist angle: When you look at the child's waist, one side sticks out more and has a crease in the skin between the waist and the ribs and the other side looks flatter.
  4. Pelvic tilt: the child's pelvis/hips are unlevel. This is sometimes due to a short leg on one side which, in and of itself, can be one of the drivers of scoliosis.


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Infants who do not yet walk can also be checked. Pick up your baby by the ankles and hold them out in front of you so you can see their back. What you will notice is that they don't hang straight, but tilt or twist to one side.


If you see these signs, especially in boys, you should have your child checked by a chiropractor. Scoliosis in boys is more often associated with more serious underlying health problems. Other physical tests can provide additional information and x-rays can ultimately confirm whether your child has scoliosis. If you or your child has scoliosis there are usually conservative measures that can be taken to halt progression and correct spinal curves.


Summer is a great time to get your kids checked. Bring them into the clinic for a free assessment. Call Chiropractic Health & Wellness, Minnesota's only provider of the revolutionary Scolibrace©, a conservative solution to scoliosis- (952)835-6750.


-Dr. Tim Fargo

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