According to figures published by the Department of Health, approximately two to three percent of children have scoliosis. Of every 1,000 cases, two are classified as severe scoliosis, while the risk of developing severe scoliosis is eight times higher in females than males.
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine and often involves a “C” or “F”-shaped spine. The condition can be generally classified into: mild scoliosis (curve is over 10 degrees), moderate scoliosis (curve is between 20 and 40 degrees), and severe scoliosis (curve is more than 40 degrees). Patients with severe scoliosis may require spinal surgery.
The symptoms of mild scoliosis are not very apparent, so it is easy for parents to overlook the condition in their children. However, if scoliosis is left untreated, it may deteriorate when the child encounters a growth spurt during puberty. Possible complications can range from mild to serious, including visible worsening of posture, back pain, and even compression on the lungs, which can affect breathing.
- Uneven shoulders
- Asymmetry of lumbar spine
- Shortness of breath
- Head is not centered
- Back pain
There is currently no evidence to show that daily activities or poor posture (such as wearing a backpack, playing an instrument, leg length discrepancy, exercise, or poor sitting posture) are linked to scoliosis. According to clinical studies, 80 to 90 percent of scoliosis cases develop after birth, while the rest are congenital. Spinal adjustment is helpful in reducing complications caused by scoliosis.
- Family history: some studies have shown that approximately 30% of scoliosis patients have some family history of the condition
- Medical history: history of neuromuscular conditions, meningitis, polio, etc. increases risk
- Physical examination: the orthopedist will take a medical history and ask questions about the patient’s lifestyle habits. Various clinical tests will also be conducted to determine whether the patient has scoliosis.
- Imaging tests: X-rays are able to reveal the severity of scoliosis and enable the doctor to determine whether spinal adjustment treatment is needed.
- Maintain a balanced diet that includes adequate consumption of calcium-rich foods, such as milk or other dairy products
- Maintain proper posture and perform regular stretching exercises
- Exercise regularly (at least 60 minutes per day)