Scoliosis is the most common spinal deformity in children. It is a sideways (lateral) curvature of the spine, in which the spinal column curves and twists, causing problems which can also affect the ribs and pelvis and when severe, even the internal organs.
Not only does this condition cause visually uneven posture, resulting in lower self-esteem, it can also cause problems later in life by resulting in early degeneration of the spine. Some severe cases of scoliosis can lead to diminishing lung capacity, putting pressure on the heart and restricting physical activities. Progressive curves can also become unstable and collapse. For the majority of children this is very mild, but even mild curves need to be monitored, as they can and often do progress.
Scoliosis is best treated whilst children are young, as the body responds better to treatment when the spine is still flexible and growing. Timing is of absolute importance. The earlier you start the treatment, the greater the possibility of changing the curve. Whilst scoliosis is most common in children, these curves can often progress into adulthood resulting in pain and poor posture.
Scoliosis is typically classified as either congenital (present from birth), idiopathic (cause unknown) or neuromuscular (having developed as a secondary symptom of another condition. Early detection and management is key.
Signs of Scoliosis:
• Uneven height of the shoulders
• Uneven pelvic height
• Leg length inequality
• Abnormal curve shape of the spine
• Abnormalities in standing posture or gait
• One shoulder blade more prominent than the other