5 Things You Should Know About Scoliosis

5 Things You Should Know About Idiopathic Scoliosis 

By Rosemary Marchese (Physiotherapist)

Scoliosis is a condition that occurs in the spine, causing lateral deviation and rotation. It can be more common than you might realise, at times affecting 2-4% of the adolescent population. Adolescence is often the time scoliosis is most noticeable. This is because adolescence is a period of fast growth, and that is when Idiopathic Scoliosis is more at risk of progression. This doesn’t mean that Idiopathic Scoliosis is not sometimes diagnosed in younger children too. A child is diagnosed with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) if the scoliosis is discovered after the child turns 10, and no known cause for the scoliosis is identified. A child is diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis (JIS) if the scoliosis is discovered between ages 3 and 9, and no known cause for the scoliosis is identified. 

So, as a parent of a child with scoliosis, or perhaps you have scoliosis yourself, what are some of the things you should know? 

1. Scoliosis tends to run in families. So, if you have a child with scoliosis, you may want to check out other family members as well.  

2. There are conservative options, such as specific physiotherapy, e.g. Schroth methods and SEAS methods (there is more on that in my other blogs) and bracing, that may be suitable in some cases. 

3. SOSORT stands for the International Society of Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment. This organisation consists of world-wide experts in scoliosis that provide the guidelines on bracing and physiotherapy options. SRS stands for The Scoliosis Research Society. This organisation also consists of world-wide experts, the majority being surgeons. 

4. Surgery for scoliosis is an option in some cases, and it is normally reserved as an option for more severe cases where the curves are over 45 degrees, or perhaps there are other complications.

5. The cause of scoliosis is unknown. 

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