National Scoliosis Awareness Month

Scoliosis is the most common spinal deformity in the U.S., with 1 in 30 Americans suffering from this condition.

So, what exactly does it mean to have scoliosis?

If you look at someone’s back, you can see the spine runs straight down the middle; however, someone with scoliosis has a backbone that curves to the side.

The severity of scoliosis can vary greatly, with the angle of the curve ranging from small to cripplingly large.

Unfortunately, the cause for scoliosis is largely unknown. In around 80% of all cases, doctors have not been able to pinpoint an exact reason for a curved spine.

What is widely known about scoliosis, though, is that it typically begins to develop between ages 10 to 15.

In recent years, medical researchers have made significant advances in scoliosis treatment. New technology in bracing and surgery are now less invasive and more effective.

With these recent developments, there are more treatment options available than ever before, which is why early diagnosis is so important. The earlier scoliosis is detected, the easier it is to treat. Children’s bones are still forming, so non-surgical alternatives like bracing can help prevent progression of the curvature.

Many schools administer the Adam’s Forward Bend Test to students in 5th and 6th grade to determine whether there is any curvature to the backbone. If your child’s school does not offer this test, you should ask your pediatrician to perform a scoliosis exam at the next physical appointment.