Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis

Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type of spinal abnormality, referring to an excessive sideways curvature of the spine that occurs for no known reason. Idiopathic scoliosis is usually diagnosed during adolescence, but it can also be found in younger children; when diagnosed between the ages of 4 and 10, it is known as juvenile idiopathic scoliosis. 

This form of scoliosis accounts for around 10-15% of all idiopathic scoliosis in children, and unlike adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, it affects more boys than girls.

How is juvenile idiopathic scoliosis diagnosed? 

Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis can be recognised by the following symptoms:

  • Misaligned shoulder blades
  • Clothes that hang unevenly
  • One leg shorter than the other 
  • Uneven hips
  • Back pain
  • Respiratory/cardiovascular issues

If your child is affected by any of the above, the first thing to do is book an appointment with your GP. If your GP believes your child may have juvenile idiopathic scoliosis, they will then pass you onto a specialist who will be able to diagnose the extent of the curvature. They will also be able to recommend a treatment plan to help reduce the curvature of the spine and minimise any pain or discomfort.

How can juvenile idiopathic scoliosis be treated?

Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis tends to get progressively worse (i.e. the angle of the curve increases) if not treated. Fortunately, there are many ways in which juvenile idiopathic scoliosis can be treated, usually starting with a brace to stop the progression of the curvature.

Observation is then used to determine whether the curvature continues to worsen as the child grows or if their condition becomes stable. If the curvature continues to progress, your child may need to undergo further treatment for their juvenile idiopathic scoliosis:

  • Casting - Serial casting is sometimes used before bracing in an attempt to delay the need for bracing. Casting is harder to remove than bracing, so some parents may find this easier if their child is reluctant to co-operate.
  • Surgery - In severe cases of juvenile scoliosis, surgical procedures such as spinal fusion or the insertion of magnetic growing rods may be required to halt the progression of the curvature. However, bracing may still be required while your child is still growing. 
  • Physiotherapy - Exercises and stretches are often more preferable for a parent who does not want to put their child through the pain of surgery. The ScolioGold treatment courses we deliver here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic use a range of different non-surgical methods to reduce the curvature of the patient's scoliosis. Click here to view patient results.

If you'd like to find out more about the Scoliosis SOS Clinic and our non-surgical scoliosis treatment courses, please contact us today.

Scoliosis is fairly rare amongst babies and young children, as in most cases the spinal curve doesn't develop until adolescence. However, that's doesn't mean that babies are never affected.

Scoliosis in Babies

Broadly speaking, there are two types of scoliosis that affect very young children: infantile scoliosis and congenital scoliosis. Today, we're going to explain the differences and similarities between each condition, and how they can be treated.

What is congenital scoliosis?

Congenital scoliosis is scoliosis that is present from birth. It is caused by irregular development of the spine while the baby is still in the womb. It occurs because one or more vertebrae didn't form properly, or if multiple vertebrae are joined together.

The symptoms of congenital scoliosis are just the same as any other form of scoliosis: uneven hips and/or shoulders; rib cage more prominent on one side than the other; a visible lean to one side. But these symptoms may be harder to identify in a very young child.

Every person experiences scoliosis differently, whether you're born with the spinal condition or develop a curve later in life. Some sufferers may experience pain, respiratory problems, and/or reduced mobility, but none of these symptoms are guaranteed to arise. In some cases of congenital scoliosis, where the condition is linked to a problem with the spinal cord, the patient may also experience reduced coordination, reduced strength, and numbness, but again these symptoms vary from person to person.

Read more about congenital scoliosis >

What is infantile scoliosis?

Infantile scoliosis is a sideways spinal curve that is diagnosed between 0 and 3 years of age. Unlike congenital scoliosis, it isn't present at birth; rather, it develops early in the child's life.

Infantile scoliosis affects more boys than girls, and the exact cause of this condition is unknown. Some have suggested that the spine is slightly bent at the time of birth and simply worsens with growth. The spinal curve typically appears between the shoulder blades or in the thoracic (upper) region of the spine, and the spine tends to curve to the left more often than it curves to the right.

The diagnosis of infantile scoliosis is based on the age of onset, the location of the curve, findings from the physical examination, and x-rays.

The symptoms of infantile scoliosis are very similar to those of congenital scoliosis, and again, their severity varies from one patient to the next.

Treating infantile and congenital scoliosis

In cases of scoliosis where the patient is still very young, doctors usually recommend monitoring/observing their condition to see whether the spinal curve will correct itself over time.

Later on, if the curve has not corrected itself and is in fact worsening, the patient may be recommended to wear a back brace to stop the curve from progressing. In severe cases, they may have to undergo spinal fusion surgery.

Like most forms of the condition, infantile and congenital scoliosis can be effectively treated via exercise-based physiotherapy, which is what we offer here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic. We have treated plenty of young children, and have seen some excellent results!

If you would like to find out more about our non-surgical scoliosis treatment courses and how they can benefit even very young scoliosis patients, please call Scoliosis SOS on 0207 488 4428 or click here to book an initial consultation.

Scoliosis Clothing
 
Anyone can develop scoliosis, although it affects girls more often than boys, and idiopathic scoliosis - the condition's most common form - almost always develops during adolescence. Due to the visible symptoms of scoliosis, people with curved spines (especially teenagers) often feel insecure and uncomfortable, which can lead to them avoiding certain clothing if they feel it is likely to draw attention to the spinal curve.
 
Finding clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable can be difficult when you're a scoliosis sufferer, so we thought that it would be a good idea to share a few tips:

Layering

Layering is the perfect way to hide your uneven joints or the outline of your scoliosis brace (if you wear one). Denim jackets, cardigans and button-downs are always in fashion, and they're great for adding a little extra coverage. Some scoliosis sufferers also use shoulder pads to balance out their uneven shoulders.

Asymmetrical Lines & Eye-Catching Features

Clothing with asymmetrical lines is a great way to make a statement whilst also drawing attention away from uneven shoulders or hips. Fabric that drapes unconventionally gives you a relaxed look that will always be in style, while garments with eye-catching features will also help to draw attention away from your curved spine.

Peplum Tops

The peplum top has been on the high street for quite some time now, and is especially ideal for those who have lumbar spinal curves. Peplum tops are a great way to look fashionable and add extra dimension to our outfit whilst also concealing your spinal curvature.

Swing and Skater Dresses

Dressing up can be difficult when you suffer with scoliosis, and trying to find a dress that complements or hides the shape of your back can be difficult. Swing or skater dresses are ideal if you're looking to dress up for those special events, as they provide a flattering fit without clinging to your curve.

Don't Forget to Accessorise!

Accessories are very useful if you suffer from scoliosis. They're a great way to express your sense of style and draw attention away from areas that you want to play down. A large bag can help balance out your hips, whilst a scarf is a great way to hide your uneven shoulders and draw attention to your face. 
 
If you're a scoliosis sufferer and you're looking for a treatment method other than bracing or surgery, you may be interested in our ScolioGold treatment courses. If you wish to book an initial consultation, or if you have any questions, please contact us today!
Congenital Scoliosis

The most common form of scoliosis is idiopathic scoliosis, which usually develops during adolescence and has no known cause (although science is gradually getting closer to solving that mystery). The vast majority of idiopathic scoliosis patients are diagnosed between the ages of 10 and 18; as a general rule, the characteristic spinal curve does not develop until the onset of puberty, when the body goes through a rapid growth spurt.

However, some people have a type of scoliosis that sets in far earlier - from birth, in fact. This is called congenital scoliosis.

What is congenital scoliosis?

Congenital scoliosis is scoliosis that is present from birth. If a baby is born with a spine that curves to one side, they are said to have congenital scoliosis.

This condition is caused by irregular development of the bones in the spine while the baby is in the womb. In some cases, congenital scoliosis occurs because one or more vertebrae did not form properly, although a spinal curve can also arise because multiple vertebrae are joined together.

How to spot congenital scoliosis

The symptoms of congenital scoliosis are similar to the symptoms of idiopathic or any other type of scoliosis (although they may be somewhat harder to spot in an infant or small child):
  • Uneven hips and/or shoulders
  • Rib cage more prominent on one side than the other
  • Patient appears to lean to one side
  • Clothes do not fit properly

Is congenital scoliosis painful?

Every scoliosis patient has a different experience of the condition, and that applies to children born with scoliosis just as much as it applies to those who develop the condition later on. Some scoliosis patients do experience pain, reduced mobility, and/or compromised breathing, but these symptoms are relatively uncommon, especially in their more severe forms.

In cases where congenital scoliosis is linked to a problem with the spinal cord / nervous system, the patient may experience reduced coordination, reduced strength, and/or a feeling of numbness. Again, though, such cases are quite rare.

Treating congenital scoliosis

Scoliosis can be treated in a number of different ways, and congenital scoliosis is no exception. If the patient is still very young, some doctors may recommend simply waiting and monitoring their condition to see whether or not the spinal curve corrects itself as the child grows.

Especially severe cases of congenital scoliosis may be referred for spinal fusion surgery, but this is a major operation and surgery is not usually the preferred treatment route when the patient is a child.

As with other forms of the condition, congenital scoliosis can be effectively managed via exercise-based physiotherapy. We have treated many young children here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, and we have seen some real transformations - just visit our Results (4-14 Years Old) page to see how effective our treatment courses are when it comes to reducing spinal curves.

If you would like to find out more about our treatment courses and how they can benefit congenital scoliosis patients, please call Scoliosis SOS on 0207 488 4428 or click here to book an initial consultation.
idiotpathic scoliosis treatment
 

Idiopathic scoliosis is by far the most common type of scoliosis, mostly affecting young people between the ages of 10 and 18. It usually develops during puberty, when the body is growing rapidly, although this type of scoliosis isn't exclusive to teenagers - it can potentially affect anyone at any time of life. This makes idiopathic scoliosis treatment common amongst all age groups, depending on the severity of the curvature.

While idiopathic scoliosis has – by definition – no known cause, we do know that it does NOT arise due to specific behaviours/activities like carrying heavy loads or sitting with poor posture for prolonged periods.
 
Idiopathic scoliosis varies in severity, but milder curves are more common than extreme angles. People of all genders can be affected by the condition; however, it is more common in women than in men, and female patients are more likely to develop large spinal curves that require medical treatment.
 

Idiopathic scoliosis treatment methods 

Idiopathic scoliosis treatment will depend on the severity of the curve, and in children, it can be difficult to judge whether or not treatment is required at all. If the patient is young enough to still be growing, there is a chance that the spine will straighten out over time; however, the patient will still be monitored closely (with regular X-rays) to observe whether or not the curve is progressing. It is crucial to know whether the angle of the curve is decreasing, increasing, or staying the same, as this will determine the best cause of action to treat the curve.
 
Common idiopathic scoliosis treatment methods include:
  • Bracing 
  • Physiotherapy
  • Surgery (although this is only recommended for severe cases)
 
If idiopathic scoliosis treatment is deemed necessary, we at Scoliosis SOS can help. The idiopathic scoliosis treatment courses we deliver are slightly different for younger scoliosis sufferers, but the main principles are the same for everyone: instead of correcting the spine using a back brace or surgical methods, we use an exercise-based treatment programme to achieve improvements. Our highly-qualified physiotherapists use a range of techniques (listed here) to reduce the patient’s Cobb angle, improve posture, boost mobility and muscle strength, relieve pain, and enhance the patient's overall quality of life.
 
Our ScolioGold courses are hugely popular among scoliosis sufferers of all ages, and the treatment we offer is safe and hugely effective, as these X-rays demonstrate.
 
If you’d like to find out more about our idiopathic scoliosis treatment courses, please get in touch to arrange an initial consultation with Scoliosis SOS.