Check your child for scoliosis

Q: My daughter gets checked for scoliosis once a year at school. Is there a way that I can check her more frequently myself?

A: Yes. In fact, a child should be checked for early signs of scoliosis more often than just once a year. It is a good idea to get into the habit of doing a simple scoliosis check on your child once a month in order to detect a potential case of scoliosis at its earliest stage.
Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. Due to childhood growth spurts, scoliosis can develop and progress quickly. Early detection is the key to prevent or minimize long-term health risks associated with scoliosis.

Here’s how to check your child for scoliosis:

Begin by standing behind your child.

  • Is one shoulder higher than the other?
  • Is the head tilted to one side?
  • When looking at the waist, does the belt line seem to slant down on one side?
  • Does one shoulder blade protrude more than the other?
  • As the child bends forward at the waist, look at the spine – can you see a sideways curve?
  • Does one side of the rib cage appear more prominent? (This should be done with the child’s shirt off or have the child wear a tighter fitting top such as an undershirt.)
  • Inspect the heels and bottoms of his or her shoes – Is one shoe wearing out faster than the other?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your child may have a spinal problem. Have your child checked by a chiropractor for a more thorough spinal evaluation.