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Back Health For Back To School


Let’s talk about one of the most common and important back problems to diagnose; Scoliosis. You may have heard of this but what is it?


Per the Mayo Clinic, Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that most often is diagnosed in adolescents. While scoliosis can occur in people with conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of most childhood scoliosis is unknown.


Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but some curves worsen as children grow. Severe scoliosis

can be disabling. An especially severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for organs to function properly.


Children who have mild scoliosis are monitored closely, usually with X-rays, to see if the curve is getting worse. In many cases, treatment is mild and involves consistent chiropractic adjustments and exercises that aim to align the curvatures and create aesthetic symmetry. Some children will need to wear a brace to stop the curve from worsening. Others may need surgery to straighten severe curves, though this comes with its own set of side effects and limitations, can be costly, inconvenient, and quite frankly, painful.


Now, you may be asking yourself “What does that have to do with back to school?” Back pain and back deformities are very common in children as young as 5 years old. Apart from an abnormal curve of the spine, other issues faced by those with scoliosis include muscle and back pain, excessive fatigue, poor body posture, and advanced neurological symptoms.

Unfortunately, if not detected early, scoliosis does not improve with age, and only worsens.


But how do I know if my child has Scoliosis? Fortunately, there is an informal test for scoliosis

that may help to put your mind at ease. The Adams forward bending test is a quick and easy

way to check your child for signs of scoliosis. It can be performed at home and does not require any specialized medical equipment.



The Adams Forward Bending Test

Here’s a step-by-step guide to checking your child for scoliosis:

Have your child take off their top and stand with their back to you.


While your child is standing up straight, look for visible signs of scoliosis – do their shoulders,

ribs, neck, waist and hips look symmetrical? Or do they appear to be skewed towards one side?


Now ask your child to bend forward at the waist.


Once your child is in the forward bending position, look at their back. Does one side of their rib cage look higher than the other?


While no body is perfectly symmetrical, any obvious unevenness that you notice may potentially be a sign of scoliosis. This test is not in lieu of a medical diagnosis, and we strongly recommend that if you suspect that your child or teen has scoliosis, book an appointment with Dr. Jen for treatment and exercises specific to your child.




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