October 20, 2017
Do you remember getting checked for scoliosis in school when you were younger? You probably took the Adam’s Forward Bend Test, where you bent forward at the waist 90 degrees with your arms stretched toward the floor, and your knees remained straight.
What they were looking for in this routine screening was any abnormalities, like one shoulder blade being higher than the other or the body tilting to one side. This test helps to determine if and where scoliosis occurs.
Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that is most often diagnosed in adolescents. Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but the curve can potentially worsen as children grow. Severe scoliosis can be disabling, and a severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest and make it hard for the lungs to function properly.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis develops around the ages of those 10 to 18 years old, beginning right around the time of rapid growth, and comprising approximately 80 percent of all idiopathic scoliosis cases.
It’s important to know the stages of scoliosis, in order to catch it early on.
Signs and symptoms of scoliosis can include:
Another symptom to be on the lookout for is noticeable changes while walking. Due to the spine twisting and bending, the hips may then be pushed out of alignment, changing a person’s walk. This can also cause the muscles in the legs to tire out sooner.
Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but it can sometimes cause complications, including:
How your scoliosis is treated will depend on your age, type of scoliosis, your back curve, and any pain you may be in.
For most scoliosis diagnoses, doctors will adopt a wait-and-see approach. Mild curves typically do not need any treatment, but doctors will continue to monitor these curves in children.
If the curve has a risk of progressing, a brace may be prescribed to prevent the curve from getting any worse. This can be uncomfortable for adolescents, not just physically, but also for self-esteem. Observation by a doctor every 4 to 6 months is an option in some cases until the adolescent has reached their full skeletal maturity.
For severe scoliosis cases, spinal fusion surgery may be recommended to stop the increase of curves. During this surgery, the small bones of the spine will be fused together and healed to form a single straight bone.
If you have any questions about scoliosis please contact Campbell Clinic to meet with a physician. For more information about Campbell Clinic, please visit our website.
This article was adapted from Spine-Health. To view the original, click here.Newsletter:
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