June is the National Scoliosis Awareness Month in the United States. This month’s effort is to raise awareness of scoliosis and its effects on an estimated 6,000,000 people in the United States alone. Scoliosis is a condition that can affect anyone from the rich to the poor, of any gender or race. Usually first seen in adolescents from 10 to 15 years old, scoliosis is curvature in the spine that causes it to bend abnormally. About 20% of the time scoliosis is caused by a separate condition like cerebral palsy or spina bifida, but in a majority of cases there is no associated cause. Due to the prevalence of scoliosis being passed down in families, there does appear to be some hereditary factors. Sex also seems to play a roll due to a higher occurrence of scoliosis in girls.
Early Detection Is Essential
One of the reasons that awareness of scoliosis is so important is due to the need to identify scoliosis as early as possible. A child's bones have not completely hardened, which makes treating scoliosis in children and teens much easier and usually less invasive. This means it is vital for parents to learn to recognize the signs of scoliosis. Your child may notice that they have pain in the lower back or that there spine feels tired after they have been standing or sitting for an extended amount of time. Some kids are amazingly adaptable to chronic issues, offering little or no complaint about minor pain and discomfort they consider normal. They may never tell you about a problem unless you specifically ask. Thankfully there are a few visual clues that you can look for.