What Is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves sideways, so the person appears to be leaning to one side or the other. About three percent of all adolescents have scoliosis, which can range from mild to severe. While some cases will resolve themselves naturally as the child continues to grow, others become more severe over time. These often require the use of a scoliosis back brace in Farmingdale, NY.

Read on for an overview of scoliosis diagnosis and treatment.

How is scoliosis diagnosed?

Scoliosis can be present at birth, or develop from neuromuscular disorders. The vast majority of cases are idiopathic, meaning there’s no obvious reason for the disorder. There are three different idiopathic types: infantile (zero to three years, mostly affects boys), juvenile (three to nine years) and adolescent (10 to 18 years, mostly affects girls).

If your child wasn’t born with scoliosis, you might notice it if you look for certain symptoms. For example, one shoulder may always seem higher than the other, even if your child hasn’t suffered a recent muscle strain or injury. Their head may seem as though it’s never centered on the body. They may also have a difference in hip height, or their arms may hang differently on each side of the body. Have them bend forward and look at their back—it may seem as though one side of the back is higher than the other.

If you notice these symptoms, take your child to the doctor. Some scoliosis cases naturally resolve themselves, but your doctor will likely want to keep an eye on their condition over time. X-rays can provide insight as to whether the spinal curve is worsening or improving. If left untreated, the condition can be disabling, including reduced lung function and mobility issues.

If the scoliosis is related to another condition like a neuromuscular disorder, it is even more important to keep your child under close watch with help from their specialists.

How is scoliosis treated?

Although many cases resolve naturally, some scoliosis is severe. Particularly difficult cases may require surgery to straighten out the spine. However, the most common solution for more serious cases is to wear a back brace. This prevents the curve from worsening.

Scoliosis back braces are usually made from plastic in our Farmingdale, NY lab. They fit the contours of the body, so they aren’t obvious underneath clothing, and they allow for plenty of movement. They’re designed to be worn both day and night, although they can be removed for sports and other highly physical activities. However, the more hours per day the child wears it, the more effective it will be. Most braces have improved over the years, so they’re as unobtrusive as possible.

After your child’s bones stop growing—that’s about two years after girls start menstruating and when boys start needing to shave daily, and there are no new differences in height—the brace is no longer needed.

If you’re interested in learning more about scoliosis back bracing in Farmingdale, NY, call or visit Prothotic Labratories, Inc. today.