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Does your child have scoliosis?

Signs to look out for Scoliosis

Rosemary Marchese – Physiotherapist


1. Family history of scoliosis

Scoliosis tends to run in families, but not always. If there is a family history than it’s important to watch for signs of scoliosis in your child.


2. Changes in posture

Sometimes scoliosis can be characterised by one or more of the following signs:

* uneven back position or posture, e.g. one side of the waist is creased’ compared to the other

* one hip more forward or higher than the other

* a protruding shoulder blade

* one leg appearing shorter than the other

* the trunk or whole body leaning to one side more than the other

* uneven weight bearing on legs.


3. Clothes don’t ‘fit’ quite right

Scoliosis can make it tricky for clothes to fit well. For example you may see an uneven short or skirt line across the waist or jeans fit unevenly from one side of the hips to the other.


4. Pain

Scoliosis doesn’t always hurt. In fact, I find that pain is more likely in adults with scoliosis compared to kids. However if a child does report back or neck pain it’s important to get this assessed.


Is there treatment for scoliosis?

Generally if you are not sure if your child has scoliosis it’s important to make sure by having them assessed. In very mild cases simple observation may be all that is needed. In other cases it’s important that therapy is commenced. Schroth physiotherapy is endorsed by international guidelines of SOSORT (International Society of Scoliosis Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Treatment). Sometimes Schroth can be commenced without bracing, and sometimes bracing needs to be used as well.


What is Schroth?

The Schroth Method for scoliosis is an exercise approach to treating scoliosis. It involves one-on-one sessions with the specially trained physiotherapist. This can be organised in weekly sessions or intensive week long sessions. In these sessions the child is taught a three-dimensional approach to elongate the trunk and correct postural imbalances.

The aims of Schroth physiotherapy include:

* Improving postural alignment and overall posture

* Improving posture during activities of daily living

* Enhancing neuromuscular control of the entire body

* Increasing muscle strength and endurance

* Reducing pain or minimising risk of pain syndromes in adulthood

* Improved cardiopulmonary function.