World Spine Day: A Look at Scoliosis

Left x-ray is before surgery. Right x-ray was taken during surgery.

My grandmother, my mom, my sister, myself, both of my daughters, and my nephew all have scoliosis! I guess you could say we’re one twisted family. LOL 🙂

Exactly what is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral or side-to-side curvature of the spine. It can present as an S-shape or C-shape. Scoliosis can also be associated with a rib-cage deformity. It can progress rapidly during the growth spurt just before puberty. However, it can also occur in adults. Scoliosis can cause pain, disability, and an inability to perform daily activities.

“In writing this blog, my hope is to heighten awareness, especially within homeschool families, to routinely check your kiddos for scoliosis.”

~ Domestic Chick

In the school system, along with checking the students’ eyesight, they are regularly checked for scoliosis also. In my particular case, it was indeed the school nurse who found my curvature when I was in the 5th grade. Following her discovery, I was braced for about 18 months and ultimately headed for surgery at age 12. At that time my curves had progressed enough that the doctors were concerned with my “S” curve interrupting the placement and function of my organs.

Only 2-3 percent of the U.S. population is diagnosed with scoliosis.

Source: National Scoliosis Foundation, June 2007

While definitely not a diagnosis one hopes to hear, we can all be thankful for modern technological advancements in medicine and the doctors who have contributed their studies and practice in this type condition!

How do you check you child for scoliosis?

With you seated in a chair, have your child stand in front of you and bend forward as in the illustration above. Their hands should be in “divers” position. Bending over, get your eyes level with their back and check for the points listed above.

What to do if you think your child has scoliosis:

  • Do not over react! Scoliosis is extremely treatable and those affected go on to live normal, productive lives.
  • Make an appointment with your family doctor. Have him/her make the diagnosis.
  • If possible, consider chiropractic care before looking to surgery. (My personal suggestion is to contact: Dr. Marc Lamantia with Scoli-Fit.)
  • If your healthcare provider believes surgery is imminent, seek out a children’s hospital where the procedure is done weekly. (My personal suggestion is: the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.)
  • An additional resource: The National Scoliosis Foundation

The takeaway!

There is much to learn and understand about scoliosis. As with my own personal story, it’s easy to see how strong the genetic component can be, even through multiple generations. The GREAT NEWS is this: scoliosis is treatable! And, there are many medical professionals across the globe working daily in this area to continue studying and developing better solutions for patients with scoliosis! Also, those of us with it, can still go on to live normal lives. What a blessing. 🙂

~ Domestic Chick

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