Scoliosis is a term that is frequently used to describe a sideways curving and turning of the bones of a child’s spine.
It can develop in otherwise healthy children and often there is no known cause for it (idiopathic). Scoliosis can start at any age during childhood and commonly starts during a growth spurt during adolescents.
Scoliosis affects 2-3% of children and teenagers, more common in girls particularly aged 10-13.
It is important for an Osteopath to identify if there are other causes of scoliosis that can be prevented or treated, for example:
Leg length difference resulting in standing with a bend in the spine
Muscle imbalance causing some of the muscles of the spine to work harder and shorten, creating curvature of the spine
Poorly or oddly shaped bone development
Abnormal nerve and muscle function signifying a neuromuscular condition.
Often early signs of scoliosis can be unevenness in the shoulders and waist, head tilt to one side, hips/pelvis shifted to one side, and unevenness in the ribcage when bent forward.
Scoliosis may not initially be painful, however, the nature of the condition places uneven forces on the spine and muscles and can develop into back ache, stiffness and pain.
It is best diagnosed with an X-Ray. Treatment aims to prevent the curvature of the spine from worsening and causing problems later in life.
Osteopaths have a holistic approach to scoliosis treating the entire body, taking the pressure off the muscles, ligaments and tendons attaching to the spine. It is important to improve posture and to encourage exercises to assist in spinal stability and symmetry of muscle development.
If your concerned about your child, why not have an Osteopath at Advanced Health take a look!