Scoliosis Screening – What are we looking for?
Scoliosis is a spinal condition causing abnormal side to side curves in the spine. Because scoliosis often develops during childhood it’s recommended that children be screened for scoliosis yearly as early detection of Scoliosis is the key to correcting or slowing the progress of these abnormal curves.
Without proper screening scoliosis can go undetected. Most cases of scoliosis are painless and have no symptoms other than a curve in the back that, depending on the severity of the curve, may or may not be outwardly visible. Because many adolescents do not receive yearly physical exams, unless suffering from health issues, opportunities for early detection of scoliosis are often missed.
We all can agree that schools have the greatest contact with adolescents which makes them prime venues for scoliosis screening. Did you know that Florida Legislature 381.0056 now mandates scoliosis screenings to be performed annually for students in grade six? Statistics state that 15% of adolescents screened in school programs result in a positive diagnosis for scoliosis.
So what should you do if your child comes home with a scoliosis referral? First- don’t panic! Although a diagnosis of scoliosis can be scary, there are now available effective, non-invasive treatments that can stop the onset of scoliosis. Many physicians still suggest three basic methods of treatment- observation, bracing, and surgery. However, new research shows that alternative non-invasive options are more effective in the treatment of the curve.