Back to School
Now that the children are Back to School, it’s probably a good idea to be pro-active about the health and well being of their spines. Carrying book-laden school bags, and sitting at desks can cause injuries.
We check children’s spines all the time. And whilst we can give your child a thorough spinal assessment in the clinic at Well & Wise, there is ONE SIMPLE CHECK that you can do at home to ensure they have healthy backs.
This is an important and easy way to check for SCOLIOSIS, which is a sideways curvature of the spine. If you suspect that there is a scoliosis in your child, it is vital to have an assessment. This is because, in some cases, these spinal curves can progress or even worsen very quickly. Especially if left untreated. It is one one of those cases of prevention is better than cure!
One Spinal Screening Check
The Adams Test is an initial screening for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis, and is a simple test. Just ask your child to bend straight forward, in the position of touching (or near touching) their toes. They don’t need to be able to reach their toes, but just ask them to hold that position while you observe their movement, and then check to see if one side of their spine is raised higher than the other. If you notice one side sits higher than the other, (what we call a “Rib hump”), or an unevenness in their spine in this position, they may have a scoliosis or curvature that needs attention.
Although not a test that provides a definitive diagnosis, this test will give you a guide as to whether your child should be checked more thoroughly by a health care professional, such as a Chiropractor.
What Happen if my Child has a Positive to the Test?
Sometimes a positive to this test is nothing to worry much about. However, it is a very accurate guide as to what is going on in your child’s spine. After taking a thorough medical history and doing a few more tests we will decide whether we need to order a Spinal X-Ray. An X-Ray in the upright position to assesses the child’s posture and curvature. This will tell us definitively if there is a scoliosis present. We will also be able to measure it’s angle, and monitor it in the future, depending on the severity of the curve.
What is the Cause of Scoliosis in Children?
There are many types of Scoliosis found in children.
- Infantile idiopathic scoliosis presents in children ages 0 to 3.
- Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis presents in children ages 4 to 10.
- Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis presents in young people ages 11 to 18 and is the most common type.
- Congenital scoliosis occurs when the spine does not develop properly in the womb.
- Neuromuscular scoliosis is a result of brain, spinal cord, and muscular system disorders.
- Syndromic scoliosis develops as part of an underlying syndrome or disorder.
Often scoliosis that is structural is a genetic/ hereditary condition where sometimes you, or someone else in your family has had this type of curvature to some degree. Most of the time we do not know the cause of the scoliosis. If it does develop in adolescents, it’s an important form of scoliosis to monitor. These cases do generally start to increase and worsen and therefore need treatment.
Scoliosis can also be a functional curvature due to incorrect use of schoolbags, or improper positions sitting either at the desk, lap top or in front of video gaming such as X Box or PlayStation, sometimes an imbalance due to some types of unilateral sport. The severity and the progression of the curve in the spine is very important. This needs to be monitored in children as they continue to develop, and their growth plates begin to fuse.
How is Scoliosis Treated or Managed?
Management of these cases usually involves a strategy of monitoring the child’s spine. A series of X-Rays taken at 6 monthly or yearly intervals to compare progress. Depending on this, a various course of action will need to be taken.
Chiropractic Adjustments can help to correct some functional cases of misalignment and curvature. Sometimes cases that require orthopaedic assessment for bracing treatment, or even surgery is required, if the the progression or severity of the curve worsens an in particular if it starts to impact on lung capacity and breathing.
If you are unsure or have any questions about how heavy your child’s schoolbag should be, the type of back pack to look for, or how they should be using their school bag, OR if you can detect an abnormality in your child’s posture or alignment using the Adam’s Test then call us on 07 3356 7211.