Caris Madden, the newest member of the Dunsborough Physiotherapy Centre team, recently delivered a talk to the year 6 students at Dunsborough Primary School, and Our Lady of the Cape Primary School. The talk covered a number of topics including postural awareness and scoliosis screening. All children were shown how to assess for scoliosis and received a handout (to be given to parents), showing how to assess children for scoliosis. Below is some information in regard to scoliosis which may be useful.
Contact us at Dunsborough Physiotherapy Centre for more information.
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty (most common in girls aged 9-14). While scoliosis can be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy, the cause of most scoliosis is unknown.
Scoliosis is 8 times more common in girls. If you are female and your mother has suffered from scoliosis you are 20 times more likely to suffer from scoliosis. About 1 in 10 to 1 in 20 girls develop a certain degree of scoliosis in early adolescence. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is present in 2 to 4 percent of children between 10 and 16 years of age. It is defined as a lateral curvature of the spine greater than 10 degrees accompanied by vertebral rotation.
How To Test For Scoliosis
Posterior View Assessment
Standing up straight, with feet together and arms by side, look from behind for one shoulder sitting higher than the other, one shoulder blade sticking out more, or one hip sticking out more than the other.
Adam’s Forward Bend Test
With the person leaning forward with straight knees, hands hanging down to the floor, look for a raised rib-cage on one side. A “rib hump” is a hallmark of scoliotic curves greater than 10 degrees.
If a child appears to have a scoliosis an x-ray may be ordered to assess the angle of the curve (Cobb angle). Evaluation of growth potential is assessed using the Tanner scale (sexual maturity rating) and the Risser grading system (measuring the stage of skeletal growth). Tanner stages 2 to 3 occur just after the onset of the pubertal growth spurt and correlate to the time of maximum progression of scoliosis. Risser grade is directly correlated with the risk of curve progression.
There is no cure for idiopathic scoliosis. Only 10 percent of children presenting with scoliosis have curves that progress and require medical intervention.
Children who have mild scoliosis are monitored closely, usually with X-rays, to see if the curve (Cobb angle) is getting worse. In many cases, no treatment is necessary. Some children (0.2%) will need to wear a brace to stop the curve from worsening. Others may need surgery (0.1%) to keep the scoliosis from worsening and to straighten severe cases of scoliosis. If untreated severe scoliosis can cause long-term back pain and breathing difficulty.
Contact us at Dunsborough Physiotherapy Centre if you require further advice, or want us to assess your child for scoliosis. We are able to refer for x-rays as appropriate to assess the degree of scoliosis.
Phone: 97 553600
Ben Liston of Dunsborough Physiotherapy Centre has over 25 years of physiotherapy experience.
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