Five signs your child has scoliosis

Worried your child may have scoliosis? Discover the five signs to watch out for, and what action to take.

Does your child experience frequent back pain, or have you noticed a change in their gait or posture? Has their back developed a curve, or is one shoulder blade higher than the other? If so, it could be that they’re battling scoliosis. 

Dr. Tony Nalda, who leads the Scoliosis Reduction Center, discusses five warning signs that could indicate your child has scoliosis, and what you can do about it. 

What is scoliosis?

Before we get to the signs to look out for, let’s understand exactly what scoliosis is. Scoliosis is where your spine twists and curves to the side. It can affect people of any age, from babies to adults, but most frequently starts in children aged between 10 and 15.

With treatment, scoliosis can improve. It’s not usually a sign of anything serious and, if it’s mild, treatment isn’t always required.

Five signs your child has scoliosis

So what are the signs your child may have scoliosis? Here’s what to look out for.

1) They have uneven rib cage, shoulders, or hips

A common indicator of scoliosis is when one shoulder or one side of the rib cage appears more prominent or higher than the other. Uneven hips may also become noticeable, where one appears to be higher or more protruding. 

2) They have back and nerve pain

Scoliosis manifests as an abnormal curvature of the spine, leading to uneven pressure on the back muscles and spinal nerves, which can result in your child experiencing persistent or intermittent back pain.

The issue can be exacerbated by physical activities (including lifting) or prolonged sitting and standing. Additionally, nerve compression can cause symptoms like tingling, numbness, or weakness in the limbs.

3) They have a genetic disposition

Family histories play a significant role in the development of scoliosis. Studies confirm that individuals with immediate family members diagnosed with scoliosis are more prone to developing the condition, so it’s something to watch out for if you have scoliosis in your family history.

4) Their clothes fit awkwardly

You may observe unexplained changes in how your child’s clothes fit – for example, a shirt may hang unevenly or pants legs may appear to be different in length. This can be caused by the misalignment of the spine affecting the body’s symmetry.

5) They get tired during physical activities

Some activities, such as standing or sitting for long periods, can lead to fatigue in children with scoliosis. This is due to the extra strain on their back muscles. You may also notice that they more easily become fatigued or uncomfortable during physical activities, such as sports or hikes. 

What should you do if you think your child has scoliosis?

If you notice these signs in your child, schedule an appointment with a paediatrician or an orthopaedic specialist as soon as possible. The doctor may recommend observation, bracing, or physical therapy, depending on the severity of the scoliosis.

In more advanced cases surgery might be recommended, but there are other options, including a plaster cast or back brace. Early detection is crucial for effective treatment; the sooner a scoliosis curve is reduced, the better long-term outcomes are. And, while the cause for the scoliosis is often unknown, many children go on to enjoy normal lives.

The Scoliosis Reduction Center is focused on treating your scoliosis in the most patient-centred and effective manner possible.

The key differentiation between Dr. Nalda and other types of scoliosis treatment is that he takes a conservative intensive approach, which differs from traditional treatment approaches. No other brand has specific guidelines outside of that currently.

Dr. Tony Nalda leads the Scoliosis Reduction Center.