SCOLIOSIS&nbsp&nbsp 6


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June14, 2014.


Thehuman spine is a vital organ that helps to hold the human body in anupright shape while carrying out various activities. Scoliosis is amedical condition in which a person’s backbone grows in a curvedshape from one side to the other. Scoliosis condition is categorizedas congenial or idiopathic case Idiopathic means that its cause isunknown. Adults have fewer cases of scoliosis since their skeletonhas reached maturity age and not much growth takes place (Shah,2013). As such adults are less likely to have worse cases ofscoliosis (Wood,2013).

Inscoliosis conditions where the problem is severe, victims suffersfrom diminished lung volume and exerting pressure on the heart thatconsequently leads to inability to perform daily activities.Scoliosis is commonly associated with symptoms like uneven legs,arms, hips, prominent rib and shoulder blade. Other problemsassociated with scoliosis are syndrome conditions such as cerebralpalsy, marfans and pain in upper or lower shoulder blade.

Thecauses of scoliosis are not known (idiopathic)(Mehta, 2005).However, certain cases of scoliosis are linked to congenial,secondary or genetics causes. Medical diagnosis of the conditioninvolves examining the possibility of spinal deformity or otherunderlying problems. In the physical assessment, the patient’sposture or gait is examined, a neurological examination is carriedout, the skin, feet and the abdominal muscle reflexes are assessed.The common method of scoliosis test is through the ‘Adam forwardbend test’ which is prevalent among school children. Another methodwhich is used to assess the probability of scoliosis on individualsis through scoliometer(Larson, 2011).

Ifthe prominence of scoliosis is detected on the spine or shoulderblades, an x-ray is conducted to examine the scoliosis curve. In thiscase, a full length spine x-ray is done to evaluate seriousness ofthe condition X-ray assesses the status of scoliosis condition(whether it is idiopathic or congenial). A recent method that hasbeen developed for scoliosis assessment is through genetic testingthat investigates the degree of curve progression. Scoliosiscondition could be managed through physical therapy self-care whichinvolves exercises and productive work, bracing, casting and throughsurgery to rectify the condition. Surgical procedure is costly andoften takes longer period(Wood, 2013).

Teachingkids about scoliosis

Thistopic of scoliosis is very important for young school going childrenin the age range of (5yrs-15yrs). The condition of scoliosis has beenfound to cause severe problems among young children than it is thecase for adults. In addition, early identification of this problem onyoung children provides and important opportunity for early diagnosisand treatment (Shah, 2013).


Oneof the main objective of teaching kids about scoliosis is to enablethem understand and be able to identify the condition early for thepurpose of intervention. Another objective of teaching scoliosis isto enable kids learn how to conduct a simple ‘Adam forward bendingtests’ for scoliosis. In addition, lessons on scoliosis help thekids to learn how to manage or seek medical help if they suspect tohave scoliosis.


Simplelanguage aided with lots of physical demonstration and pictures isvital when teaching kids about scoliosis.

Whatis scoliosis? (Pronounce it as sko-lee-OH-sis)

Someonewith scoliosis has a backbone that is ‘C’ or ‘S’ shaped. Kidswith this condition have one shoulder that is higher than the otheror a waistline that is uneven one side is leaning. The condition iseasily noticeable when a kid is trying new clothes. If the length ofone side of the pant is shorter than the other, the kid could behaving scoliosis. However, this does not always mean that the kidhave scoliosis as there might be other issues like an uneven ribs orone leg being slightly shorter than the other (Shah, 2013).

Howdo kids find out if they have Scoliosis?

Scoliosiscondition is easily noticeable in the way the spine is tilted fromthe right to the left or vice versa. Kids can also look at theirshoulder blades through mirror reflection. If a kid has scoliosis oneshoulder blade is higher than the other or uneven. The commonly usedtest for kids is the ‘forward bending tests’ the kid bends overwhile keeping straight knees and then reaching the tips of their feetwith their finger tips(Mehta, 2005).While in this position a medical practitioner checks the back forsigns of rib unevenness or spine curve.

Whatif a kid has scoliosis?

Ifa kid is suspected to have cases of scoliosis, the doctor recommendsfor treatment after conducting further assessment through X-raymachine. The x-ray examines the severity of the condition. Seriouscases of scoliosis are addressed by an orthopedist (pronounced asor-tho-PEE-dist) who knows about bone problems and how to treat them(Mehta,2005).

Managementand Treatment of scoliosis

Severecases of scoliosis are treated through bracing to hold the spine andlower the seriousness of scoliosis. Bracing is not a permanenttreatment method and it is a temporary procedure of holding the spinein place as growing takes place. Braces for kids with scoliosis arelighter and easier to wear. Scoliosis could also be treated throughsurgery which normally takes several hours and special care isrequired during the recovery process. Treatment of scoliosis is moreeffective in correcting the problem of scoliosis(Larson, 2011).


Thekids could be asked to demonstrate the ‘Adam forward bending test’and explain if their classmate have scoliosis. Kids could be pairedin two and asked to perform the test in alternating turns.Afterwards, the kids could be asked to explain how the problem ofscoliosis is treated. The overall goal is to enable kids understandscoliosis problem right from testing to treatment.


Larson,N. (2011). ‘Early onset scoliosis: What the primary care providerneeds to know and implications for practice’. Journalof the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners,23, 392-403.

MehtaMH (2005). &quotGrowth as a corrective force in the early treatmentof progressive infantile scoliosis&quot. TheJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery. British Volume87(9): 1237–1247

Shah,Suken A, MD (2013), ‘Scoliosis Kids health,’ Accessed from TheNemours Foundation

Wood,Grant (2013). ‘To Brace or Not to Brace: The Three-DimensionalNature and Growth Considerations for Adolescent IdiopathicScoliosis’, Published in the Academy Today (The Edge) by theAmericanAcademy of Orthotics and Prosthetist.July 2013 edition pages 5 – 8,