What every parent should know about scoliosis

When a child or loved one is diagnosed with scoliosis it can be a stressful time. It is important that you are fully informed about the condition. Below are some key points that you should keep in mind when it comes to scoliosis.

Early diagnosis is key

It is important to have children regularly checked for scoliosis. If detected early enough, there is greater scope for treatment. The first hint that a scoliosis may be developing is the appearance of abnormal posture. Slouching, one shoulder higher than the other, one hip higher than the other, or uneven shoulder blades are all signs that a person might have a scoliosis.

In children, it is so important to recognise these signs early as much can be done to help correct the scoliosis as they grow. If you are concerned you or your child may be at risk of scoliosis, it is important to contact a qualified health professional for an assessment and where necessary accurately measure the degree of curve and predict the likelihood of progression.

Most scoliosis cases have no known cause

Parents often ask what they could have done to prevent their child from having scoliosis. The answer is not a lot. Unfortunately research has not uncovered a known cause for scoliosis, other than showing a direct link to family history. Scoliosis is not a condition which can be caught from someone else, like a cold. There is nothing you could have done to prevent it.

Family history can play a part

Research* has shown there is a direct link of scoliosis in family history. People often comment that they are unaware of any family history with scoliosis. It can be the case though that someone did or does have scoliosis but it has gone unnoticed. Of course, there are also instances where a child is the first in the family to develop the condition. As scoliosis tends to run in families, it is good to have siblings checked regularly, especially during their growth spurts (10 to 15 years old)

* Understanding Genetic Factors in Idiopathic Scoliosis, a Complex Disease of Childhood – Curr Genomics. 2008 Mar; 9(1): 51–59 Source

There are treatments available

If your child is diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis, it is important to remember there are a number of treatment options available. When diagnosed early, scoliosis symptoms can often be avoided and correctional improvements made all while children live normal lives and participate in the same activities as friends.

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