Scoliosis can affect children and adolescents. Today we will tell you what the treatment of scoliosis in children looks like, which will depend on the severity of each case.
Treatment of scoliosis in children should take place only after a thorough physical examination. Besides, it is important to carry out specific tests in order to obtain a better diagnosis. In addition, specialists should monitor the patient at every stage of his development.
It is very important to examine and detect possible spine deformities from an early age. Children’s bodies are quite flexible and tend to adapt over time. However, curvatures of the spine caused by scoliosis can become permanent depending on the individual case.
Treatment of scoliosis in children can be conservative, orthotic, or surgical, depending on the severity of the case. Sometimes specialists combine different methods to get better results.
What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a deformity of the spine. This includes re-aligning the vertebrae in the three planes of motion. Therefore, the spine not only bends one way or the other, but can also gain unwanted rotation of the vertebrae.
These curvatures can be the result of many different causes. In some cases, they appear as early as the day babies are born. Other times, they may result from an injury or surgical intervention. Finally, they can arise due to neurological disorders.
However, most of the time we deal with idiopathic scoliosis for no specific cause. Regardless, different types of disease are usually associated with different stages of growth. Therefore, they can be called, for example, childhood or adolescent scoliosis.
How to recognize scoliosis in children?
It is possible to diagnose scoliosis in children after carrying out various tests, during which doctors analyze the static and dynamic posture of children. Thanks to these various tests, it is possible to evaluate the spine in motion. As a result, it can be determined whether these deformities relate to the scoliotic posture or the scoliosis itself.
In addition, specialists then order complementary tests, such as x-rays. This test allows doctors to observe the entire spine and measure the curvature of the vertebrae. The result of these measurements are angular values. And then they help them identify the curvature or degree of rotation of the vertebrae. Therefore, this method is used to determine the severity of the deformation.
On the other hand, MRI and computed tomography are performed only in more serious situations or when there is a possibility of other related diseases.
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An examination of a child with scoliosis is to look for signs of asymmetry in the shoulder area. Besides, you can notice the difference in the shape of the hips and the inside of the arms. In addition, there is a possibility that in children, one shoulder blade will be more protruding than the other. However, it is important to discard any other diseases that can cause these deformities.
Treatment of scoliosis in children
With a complete physical examination and follow-up examinations done, it’s time to choose the best treatment for scoliosis in children. Of course, this will depend on the child’s age, evolution, and degree of curvature. Finally, another aspect to consider is the cause of the deformity and the prognosis, depending on the case of each patient.
All this information will help doctors determine whether they are dealing with a case of structural or functional scoliosis. In the case of functional scoliosis, it is possible to heal it by reversing the cause or by correcting poor posture or muscle spasm.
- Conservative treatment: this is the first choice for mild to moderate situations. Conventional physiotherapy includes manual techniques, flexibility exercises and muscle strengthening. In addition, there are other special treatments such as postural rehabilitation and osteopathy that appear to be quite effective. Pilates can also be a very effective choice.
- Orthotic treatment: if the corset design is correct, it can be quite effective in limiting the evolution of curvature. However, it’s important to combine this treatment with your physical therapist’s exercise to prevent the side effects of back immobilization. It is not a good treatment for scoliosis in extremely mild cases as only a conservative method would probably suffice. Moreover, if the patient already needs surgery, that is also not necessary. Finally, it is worth mentioning that such a corset can be quite annoying and teenagers usually don’t want to wear it.
- Surgery: This treatment is intended for more severe cases where other treatments do not appear to be sufficient. When planning spine surgery, doctors must take into account the type of curvature and its possible evolution. In addition, physiotherapy treatment may be useful before going to surgery.
The sooner children start treatment, the more effective it will be
Regular checkups should include an examination of your spine. In addition, parents should pay attention to the attitudes of their children as they grow up. If you notice a change in your baby’s spine, you may want to see a doctor.
Treatment of scoliosis in children will be more effective if it is started after the first appearance of curvature. Depending on the cause, if time has passed, it can be more complicated to deal with the disease. Therefore, it is extremely important to visit a doctor regularly and take care of the posture of your children.