While it is a common myth, poor posture is actually not a cause of scoliosis. Scoliosis is thought to be hereditary and affects one tenth of the population. The condition generally affects both boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 14, but it is more common in girls. As common as it is only a few cases require medical intervention or treatment. Luckily scoliosis is easy to identify by simply knowing what to look for.
When looking straight at someones back it should appear straight. From the side view you should be able to see three curves that occur normally. One curve is in the neck, one in the upper back and one in the lower back. These curves do not indicate scoliosis and are completely normal. However if a side-to-side curve occurs while looking at the back it may be an indication of scoliosis. Having one shoulder blade stick out further than the other or a radical curve visible from the side are also signs of scoliosis. Other warning signs may include a change in the way clothes fit. If pants or skirts seem to be uneven or slanted it could be a result of scoliosis. The best way to home test for scoliosis is by standing with your feet together and bending at the waist with your arms hanging. While in this stance if a bulge is visible on one side of your back you may have scoliosis. While all of these symptoms do not necessarily mean scoliosis, it is important to visit a doctor and be properly checked.
If you are diagnosed with scoliosis you doctor will want to access the severity of your curve. If untreated the curves can get worse on their own. Severe scoliosis can have major health impacts such as difficulty breathing and damage to internal organs. Mild scoliosis may be treated by performing exercises to improve flexibility and strengthen muscles. To treat moderate curves a back braces or scoliosis jacket are commonly used. This form of treatment is not restricting and still allows the wearer to participate in sports and other activities. If left untreated severe cures may require surgery and the possible insertion of a rod into the back to straighten it. The best way to prevent this type of major surgery is by detecting scoliosis early on and using mild treatments to uncurve the back.
As a parent it is important to look out for the warning signs of scoliosis. Checking your child every 6 months when they are between the ages of 9 and 14 is the best way to detect this condition early and treat your child. Identifying scoliosis and seeing a doctor immediately will help eliminate the need for major medical attention later on.