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Scoliosis Checks: When and How to Monitor Your Child’s Spine

By April 4, 2024June 6th, 2024Uncategorized
Scoliosis Checks: When and How to Monitor Your Child’s Spine

Scoliosis Checks: When and How to Monitor Your Child’s Spine

As a parent, your top priority is ensuring your child’s growth and development. From maintaining a balanced diet to providing a nurturing environment, you tirelessly strive to support their well-being. Among the various aspects to keep an eye on, monitoring your child’s spine health is crucial.

One of the most prevalent concerns today is scoliosis. According to research, roughly 6 to 9 million cases of scoliosis are reported in the United States per year. That’s around 2% to 3% of the country’s total population.

Scoliosis is a condition characterized by an abnormal curvature of the spine. This can range from mild to severe and can develop at any age, but it most commonly occurs during the growth spurt just before puberty. In some cases, repetitive movements, lifting heavy objects, and sports injuries are known to contribute to scoliosis. Others are genetic conditions, congenital disabilities, and neurological abnormalities.

Regardless of the underlying cause, early detection and proper management are key to preventing potential complications. Here are the recommended steps for monitoring your child’s spine.

When to Check for Scoliosis

School screenings are a common way to identify scoliosis early on. However, you can also take proactive steps by being aware of the recommended ages for checkups:

  • For girls: Regular checkups between 11 and 13 years old are ideal, as this coincides with their typical growth spurt.
  • For boys: Since boys tend to grow later, scoliosis checks are often recommended between 13 and 14 years old.

Of course, these are general guidelines. It’d be best to discuss scoliosis with your child’s pediatrician during routine well-child visits. A doctor’s expertise can pick up on subtle signs before they become more pronounced.

How Medical Practitioners Examine Scoliosis

Typically, medical practitioners perform a physical examination. If they suspect scoliosis, they might recommend further diagnostic tests, such as:

  • X-ray: This imaging test provides a clearer picture of the spine’s curvature and helps determine the severity of the curve. The Cobb angle ranges from 10 to 20 degrees are usually considered mild and may not require any intervention. Consequently, curves exceeding 25 to 40 degrees might require treatment such as bracing or, in severe cases, surgery.
  • CT scan: A computed tomography (CT) scan may be advised to provide more detailed images of the spine, especially if the physician needs to assess the bone structures and identify any abnormalities that could be contributing to the curvature.
  • MRI: A certified medical practitioner may prescribe magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to obtain highly detailed images of the spine, nerves, and surrounding tissues. It’s particularly useful for detecting any spinal cord abnormalities or neurological issues associated with scoliosis.
  • Bone scan: In some cases, a bone scan may be performed to assess bone density and detect any irregularities that could be contributing to the spinal disorder. This examination can help the doctor determine the overall health of the bones and identify any underlying conditions that may need to be addressed.

These additional diagnostic tests, along with a thorough physical examination, help the medical professional accurately diagnose scoliosis and determine the most appropriate course of treatment based on the severity of the curvature and individual patient factors.

Monitoring Your Child’s Spine at Home

While doctor visits and medical tests are essential for diagnosis and monitoring, there are things you can do at home to keep an eye on your child’s spine:

  • Regular posture checks: Encourage your child to stand tall with their shoulders back and weight evenly distributed on both feet. This promotes good posture and helps identify any imbalances.
  • Observe gait: Pay attention to how your child walks. Do they seem to be leaning to one side or have an uneven stride? While not a definitive sign of scoliosis, these observations can be helpful to mention to the doctor.
  • Clothing as a clue: Does your child tend to have one pant leg riding higher than the other, or do their shirts bunch unevenly around the torso? Uneven clothing fit can sometimes indicate a spinal curvature.
  • Back pain: While scoliosis sometimes presents with no symptoms, persistent back pain, particularly in the lower back, can be indicative of underlying spinal issues. This is especially true when your child has experienced an injury due to trauma, such as a fall or sports-related accident.

As mentioned, these are just simple observations, and noticing any of them doesn’t automatically mean your child has scoliosis. For an accurate assessment, consult with your child’s physician to rule out any concerns.

Treatment Options for Spinal Disorders

We understand you’re worried about whether scoliosis can be treated. It’s a normal reaction – as a parent. But here’s the good news: this spinal disorder, among others, can often find relief through:

  • Bracing: For moderate cases, a brace may be prescribed to help prevent further curvature and potentially correct the existing curve.
  • Physical therapy and exercises: Specific exercises and stretches can help strengthen the muscles supporting the spine and potentially improve posture and spinal alignment.
  • Chiropractic care: This non-invasive therapy focuses on spinal manipulation and adjustments to relieve pain and improve posture. With the guidance of a qualified chiropractor, you can explore treatment options that may provide relief and support your child’s overall spinal health.

These treatments can help alleviate symptoms and improve spinal function. Just make sure to weigh the potential benefits and risks of each treatment carefully.

Scoliosis Checks: When and How to Monitor Your Child’s Spine


Scoliosis, while a concerning condition, can often be managed through a combination of approaches. Do regular checks at home, keep an eye on symptoms or signs, and see a professional when needed to make sure your child gets the right care for a healthy spine and a bright future.

If chiropractic care is being considered as part of your child’s treatment plan, visit to learn more about our specialized chiropractic services for children. Contact us today!