This is a structural lateral curvature of the spine of at least 10°. It occurs relatively frequently in the general population but more commonly in girls (60-80%) and affects 17 in 1000 children in Western Countries. It may develop in young children, preadolescents or adolescents. Adolescent scoliosis is the most common, occurring near or at puberty.
It may initially be suspected when one shoulder seems higher than the other or when clothes do not hang straight, but is often detected on routine examination. Other signs may include children complaining of pain in the lower back region after prolonged sitting or standing, and subsequent aches and pains in other areas of strain such as the lumbosacral joint.
Osteopaths can detect if there is a scoliosis by physical examination. X-rays can diagnose the actual degree of the curve. An X-ray may be requested if the Osteopath suspects the curve to be 25° or more. In these cases referral for Orthopaedic assessment is required in case of further medical intervention. Fewer than 10% of cases require active treatment. Prognosis depends on the site and severity of the curve and the age of onset of the symptoms. Complications are related to the type of curve: the greater the curve, the greater the likelihood of progression after skeletal maturity.
Can Osteopathy help treat developmental scoliosis?
Treatment essentially consists of early recognition, correction of existing curves and prevention of further progression of the curves. Osteopathic treatment focuses on the compensatory biomechanical changes resulting from abnormal curvature. Treatment involves a variety of hands on Osteopathic techniques, but also exercises, stretching and reconditioning postural muscles are a large component of a treatment plan.
Please call the Family Wellness Centre on 9938 1090 for an appointment with Zeinah our Osteopath if you are concerned your child may have a scoliosis.