Most cases of scoliosis develop when the patient is between 10 and 15 years old. While the spine’s curvature may be relatively mild to begin with, it can continue to get worse over the years that follow.
Currently, scoliosis tests are not compulsory in UK schools, but you can still check whether your child has scoliosis yourself. The Adams forward bending test is relatively easy to perform, but if you do think your child has scoliosis, you should get a second opinion from a GP.
Helping Your Child Cope with Scoliosis in School
School can be a stressful time for young children and teenagers alike, with friends, teachers and parents all contributing to the pressure in their own ways. A curved spine can make the average school day even more challenging – pupils with scoliosis might find sitting down or standing up for long periods uncomfortable, plus they might feel insecure about their appearance.
Here are a few suggestions that might make coping with scoliosis in school a little easier.
Start by speaking to your child to find out what issues their scoliosis is causing them at school. If you can establish an open line of conversation with your child, you’ll be more likely to know right away if something’s wrong.
Encourage your child to discuss their condition with their classmates so that they can understand what is going on and offer their support. Many of our patients have given in-class presentations about their treatment experiences, giving their peers an opportunity to learn about scoliosis and ask questions in a safe, relaxed environment.
Speak to Staff Members
Notify teachers about your child’s condition. They might make allowances for your child to move around during lessons. PE teachers, in particular, might be able to make tweaks to their lesson plan so that your child’s condition can be handled discreetly during PE lessons.
If your child says that their scoliosis is causing them pain while they’re at school, speak to your GP about pain relief. The doctor may be able to provide medication to help your child get through each school day comfortably. Also, where possible, make sure your child has comfortable shoes, feels comfortable in their uniform, and periodically ask them if their pain has got worse. If so, it might be time to pursue scoliosis treatment.
If your child is embarrassed about wearing a scoliosis brace to school, or if the prospect of scoliosis surgery is too frightening, we encourage you to explore the exercise-based treatment options that we offer here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic. Always inspire and allow time for your child to do exercises to improve their scoliosis after school.
We’ve helped lots of children and young adults to improve their curved spines. Call 0207 488 4428 to speak to one of our expert Patient Care Coordinators, or use the links below to find out more!
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When you’re told for the first time that you have scoliosis, the diagnosis instantly raises a whole host of questions. How will this affect my daily life? Am I going to be in lots of pain? Will I need surgery?
Of course, if you’re planning to have children at some point in your life, there’s another big question that may well pop into your head:
Will my child have scoliosis too?
We at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic are often asked this question by patients who are still learning about their condition. It seems as though a lot of scoliosis sufferers are troubled by the possibility that they might pass on their spinal curvature to their son or daughter, so today we’d like to take a closer look at this issue.
Is scoliosis passed on genetically?
For the purposes of this discussion, we’re going to talk exclusively about idiopathic scoliosis, by far the condition’s most common form. If your scoliosis is non-idiopathic and arose because of some underlying condition (such as osteoporosis or Marfan syndrome), you will need to research the underlying condition in order to assess the likelihood that your child will be affected.
Idiopathic scoliosis, by definition, has no known cause, but it seems to occur as a result of genetic factors. However, that absolutely does not mean that idiopathic scoliosis sufferers always bear scoliotic children. Here are some statistics that may put your mind at ease:
Bear in mind that lots of other variables still apply here: for example, scoliosis is far more likely to occur in females, so the risk of passing scoliosis on to your child is significantly lower if you’re expecting a boy.
- Just 1 in 4 scoliosis sufferers (approx.) have at least one other case of scoliosis in their family.
- If you are the child or sibling of a scoliosis sufferer, you have roughly an 11% chance of developing the condition yourself.
How do I check if my child has scoliosis?
Here’s how to check your child for signs of scoliosis:
This is called the Adams forward bending test – watch this video for a demonstration:
Remember, every body is unique, so some minor differences are to be expected – this may not indicate the presence of scoliosis. That being said, if you are concerned, it is a good idea to get your child checked by a medical professional.
- Ask your child to stand in front of you with their back to you. They will need to take off their top so that you can see their back and spine.
- Firstly, check to see if both sides of their neck, shoulders, rib cage, waist and hips look even and symmetrical.
- Secondly, ask your child to bend forwards from the waist. Look at both sides of their rib cage: does one side appear higher than the other?
If your child develops scoliosis…
Even if your child does develop a spinal curve as they grow, it’s important to remember that scoliosis sufferers can live just as well as people with healthy spines. Young scoliosis sufferers should be monitored closely, as medical observation will ensure that treatment can begin right away if and when it becomes necessary. Tackling scoliosis early (i.e. before the curve can progress too far) goes a long way towards limiting the condition’s effect on the patient’s health and quality of life – watch the video below for a real-life example of this (Lottie, a 12 year-old girl from Surrey).
An exercise-based treatment course that is specifically tailored to scoliosis patients (such as our own ScolioGold method) can be very effective at combating scoliosis, especially when it is still at an early stage. If you or your child need scoliosis treatment, please feel free to contact Scoliosis SOS and arrange a consultation with our scoliosis consultants.