If you are a parent, there is nothing more important to you than the health and well being of your child. You feel every cough and sniffle with them, and you bear the pain of the occasional scraped knee or elbow just as much as they do. You treat your child with love, and you do everything in your power to ensure a safe, happy and healthy future.
Unfortunately, some conditions are not as easily noticed as a cold or a playground injury.
Scoliosis is the most common deformity of the spine in children, with literally millions of young people in the U.S. alone who have the condition. Nearly 30,000 scoliosis surgeries are performed each year on adolescents in the United States. It has a profound impact on the lives of children and adolescents, but it can be treated effectively — and less invasively — if you take a proactive approach.
The signs of scoliosis are not always obvious, unfortunately. However, if you educate yourself on what to look for, you can put your child on the path to living their best possible life much sooner — and much more effectively!
Are you unsure of what to look for if you’re concerned your child may have scoliosis? I’ve compiled a list of the signs you should be seeking. Let’s take a look!
#1 — Changes in Posture and Appearance
The most obvious, telltale signs of scoliosis in adolescents are related to posture, symmetry and the appearance of the hips, shoulders, shoulder blades and back. You may notice clothing hanging unevenly on your child, or you might realize that the distance between the arm and torso is greater on one side of the body than the other.
Other signs of scoliosis related to posture and appearance include:
Ribs protruding more on one side than the other
Ribs protrude while engaging in a full forward bend
Problems or unevenness during motion
Arms held tightly to the side while walking
One hip is more prominent than the other
The head is not centered evenly over the body
One shoulder or shoulder blade is higher or more prominent than the other
One leg appears shorter than the other
Pant legs, necklines, hemlines and shirt sleeves appear uneven
The eyeline appears to be tilted
Spinal curvature is visible to the naked eye
These scoliosis signs are the most obvious, and they represent symptoms of the underlying cause.
#2 — Difficulty Balancing
Balance and coordination are also affected by the presence of scoliosis in young people. This may not be as apparent as the signs mentioned above, but it can indicate that your child has the condition.
Often, people with scoliosis have problems with their ability to recognize the position of their own bodies. This ability, known as “proprioception,” can be diminished in people with scoliosis. Your child may not admit that they are having trouble with balance or coordination, but if you suspect possible issues, you can have them stand on one leg with their eyes closed for 30 seconds. If your child has difficulty remaining stable, it could be a sign of scoliosis.
#3 — Tiredness and Fatigue
We all know that teens and other young people can never get enough sleep! But if your child seems excessively tired and fatigued much of the time, it could be because of scoliosis.
As spinal curvatures progress and become more pronounced, the muscles surrounding the spine are forced to exert more energy and work harder just to keep the body properly balanced and aligned. What’s more, as scoliosis becomes more severe, pressure can be placed on the chest cavity, which can restrict breathing, leading to increased feelings of fatigue.
If your child is constantly complaining of being tired or worn out, even after exerting very little energy, it could be a sign of scoliosis.
You’ve Seen the Signs — Now What?
These signs and symptoms may be caused by scoliosis, or they may be a result of something else entirely. The only way to know for sure whether your child has scoliosis is to get them examined by a doctor, which will involve having X-rays taken.
Once a diagnosis has been made, experts may tell you that the best approach going forward is to watch, wait and see what happens. But I know that for you and your child, that is simply not good enough!
Here at the Scoliosis Reduction Center, we believe in giving our young patients the best chance at a full, rich and active life, and that means taking a proactive, chiropractic-centered approach. With the help of our team, your child does not have to be limited by scoliosis. Instead, they can continue growing, learning and staying active with the rest of their peers.
If you are interested in learning more about the signs of scoliosis — and the most effective way to treat the condition — I invite you to call the Scoliosis Reduction Center today at 321-939-2328.