Summer time is fast approaching, and with holidays and days out planned, the shape of your child’s spine is probably the last thing on your mind right now.
However, summer is the time when you are most likely to see your pre-teen/teenage child’s back.
Scoliosis is usually idiopathic, meaning of unknown cause. Idiopathic scoliosis usually becomes apparent to parents around age 11-12, when children reach puberty and undergo rapid growth within a short period of time.
Here are some of the signs of scoliosis that, as a parent, you ought to look out for:
Back pain is also often associated with scoliosis, most commonly affecting the lower back region. Pain may also occur in the neck or shoulders depending on the position of the curve. It has been suggested that there is no correlation between the size of the patient’s curve and the level of pain they experience – some patients with large curves experience very little pain, while some patients with very mild curves experience significant pain.
- Rib hump (details here)
- Different shoulder heights
- Leaning to one side
I think my child has scoliosis – what do I need to do?
If you suspect that your child has scoliosis, please contact Scoliosis SOS today and one of our patient care coordinators will arrange an initial consultation. During this appointment, our consultant will take a radiation-free back scan of your child’s spine, along with various other measurements. We will then be able to assess your child’s condition and discuss a suitable treatment plan if necessary.
Scoliosis can potentially occur at any stage of a person’s life. Some people grow up with curved spines, while others develop scoliosis in their old age. Every scoliosis sufferer’s story is different.
With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that there’s no single, straightforward answer to the question we’re discussing today: are you born with scoliosis?
By far the most common form of scoliosis is idiopathic scoliosis – that is, a sideways spinal curvature that occurs without any clear cause.
Idiopathic scoliosis usually doesn’t develop until the pre-teen / teenage years, so it would be incorrect to say that one is ‘born’ with this type of scoliosis. However, idiopathic scoliosis is widely believed to be rooted in genetic causes, so it might be said that some people are born with the genes that will one day manifest as a progressive spinal curve.
While scoliosis most commonly occurs during adolescence, it is occasionally the case that a visible spinal curvature is present from birth. Babies born with scoliosis are said to have congenital scoliosis, a condition that occurs when the baby’s spine doesn’t develop properly in the womb. A baby with congenital scoliosis may have multiple vertebrae joined together, or one or more vertebrae that didn’t form completely.
Scoliosis in later life
Even if you weren’t born with scoliosis and you didn’t develop a spinal curve during your teenage years, there’s no guarantee that you won’t be affected by scoliosis later in life. Scoliosis can occur in fully-grown adults for a number of reasons, including:
Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we treat scoliosis in patients of all ages, from young children to people in their 60s, 70s and beyond. If you would like to arrange an initial consultation, please fill out our enquiry form here.
- Asymmetric degeneration. The human body deteriorates with age, and if one side of your body deteriorates more rapidly than the other, this may result in a sideways spinal curve.
- Osteoporosis, a loss of bone density that is most common in post-menopausal women (read about osteoporosis here).
- Spondylolisthesis, where a vertebra slips out of place (read about spondylolisthesis here).