The spine (backbone) curves slightly forward, which is important to absorb the shock and stresses of normal daily activities. When there is sideways curvature of the spine it is regarded as a deformity. Generally regarded as scoliosis, this abnormality of the spine is normally noticed in children during a growth spurt.
Scoliosis in Children
As stated above, Scoliosis is normally noticed in children during the growth stage. This is also the perfect time to explore treatment options to keep it at bay and prevent other issues that may arise in the absence of treatment.
The spine of a child should appear straight when observed from behind. However, the spine of a child with scoliosis will appear S or C shaped, due to the abnormal sideways curve(s). It can happen to either side of the spin and make the child appear to lean to one side.
What Causes Scoliosis in Children?
While some children are born with the condition, some develop it during the growth stage. Since it runs in families, it is normally attributed to hereditary factors. Mostly, it is seen in children between the ages of 10 and 18.It is definitely a genetically determined condition. The incidence of small curves is similar in boy and girls. Girls have a higher incidence of large curves than boys. Besides hereditary factors, other possible causes of scoliosis are:
- Neuromuscular conditions like cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy
- Birth defects that affect the development of the bones of the spine
- Infections of the spine
- Injuries to the spine
- Differences in leg length
How to Prevent Scoliosis in Children
Since the most common types of scoliosis have no known cause but runs in families, it is very difficult to prevent it. The other possible causes of the less common types can be controlled by taking good care of the child and visiting a doctor when there is any concern. There are few measures that can be taken to treat scoliosis and prevent possible complications. These measures include:
- Observation of the child and repeated exams
- Bracing to prevent the curve from getting worse
- Surgery to correct the abnormality, especially when bracing is not working
Scoliosis is a side-to-side curvature of the spine. It is an abnormality that can be observed in children. While most cases are mild, scoliosis in some children may get worse as the child grows, leading to serious deformity. Severe scoliosis may even reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for important organs, like the lungs to function properly. It is always better when scoliosis is diagnosed that measures are taken in a timely manner to prevent further curving and possible complications.