When talking about bone problems, most parents don’t usually think it will happen to their child and they may not take as much notice of this as they do of other diseases.
Scoliosis is the curving or twisting to the side of the spine. This causes disfiguration and loss of balance for people of all ages but is most common among 10-15 year olds. In general, if the symptoms are not severe, then treatment is unnecessary. If the spine is very curved, however, then this can cause back pain, fatigue and other complications.
Scoliosis can be caused in many different ways and around 80% of scoliosis cases are from unknown causes. Research has found that 1 in 10,000 Thai children have scoliosis, but more recently, this rate has increased.Genetics can be the cause of the curving or twisting of the spine. It has been found that some families have children where all the siblings and twins have scoliosis, but it can also occur when there is just an only child.
How to notice that your child has Scoliosis?
Parents can do a rough check of their child’s spine themselves. This involves getting the child to stand up straight and having the parents check by sight whether the spine is straight or not. Next, get the child to bend over and touch the floor with both their hands. If it looks like their spine is not curved or twisted, then everything is normal. If there is some part of the spine or shoulders that are not straight, or if the body is slanted to one side, then the parents should take their child to see a doctor. The doctor will then make a diagnosis and arrange a follow up to see whether the symptoms are becoming more severe over time. This test can be done at any time after the child’s birth, and as some infants are born with abnormalities, it is advised that parents be attentive and alert to signs of this condition. Early detection is far better than when the disease has become more advanced.
It is never too late, so mums and dads should check the state of their child’s spine regularly, from infancy through to teenage years. It is recommended that parents check for abnormalities in their children when they are standing or balancing. If an abnormality is found, it is recommended that the child be taken to see a doctor in order to get a thorough examination, because identifying the condition early makes a big difference. When the spinal curve is still small, it can still be treated naturally.
M.D., Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, 1961.