Why It's So Important to Catch Scoliosis Early

If you look at someone from the back, their spinal cord should run in a straight line from their neck down to their lower back. For some people, though, their spine has decided to break ranks and run in an S-curve or a C-curve before it reaches the lower back.

This curvature of the spine is known as scoliosis, and three million new cases are treated every year in the United States. The majority of cases are found in adolescents, which means it’s important to diagnose the condition as early as possible so you can begin treatment right away and minimize the impact.

Dr. John Regan and our team at Spine Group Beverly Hills have years of experience in working with spine disorders - here’s their advice on dealing with scoliosis.

What’s the cause of scoliosis?

First, you should know that having scoliosis is not your fault. It typically develops in the growth spurt before puberty, but we really don’t quite understand why it happens. 

In some cases, it can be the result of a genetic predisposition or some sort of injury or infection. Progression occurs because of a miscommunication between the brain and the muscles supporting the spine.

How can you prevent scoliosis?

The short answer is that you can’t prevent it. Scoliosis does not develop because of bad posture or heavy backpacks. What you can do, though, is to make sure your kids get their regular checkups at the doctor so that the condition can be detected and managed early. 

If your doctor diagnoses scoliosis before your child’s growth spurt, they have a much better chance of preventing a bigger spinal curve from forming as your child grows.

If scoliosis is caught early, it is very manageable. The risk of progression increases the more the spine curves, so it’s important to stop it as early as possible. Commons signs of the condition include uneven shoulders, one shoulder blade sticking out more than the other, and difficulty walking or standing because of uneven hips.

What is the treatment for scoliosis?

The treatment for scoliosis depends on the degree of the spine’s curvature. If the curve is mild, your doctor may opt to just observe the condition initially. If the curve is more advanced, a brace will likely be necessary to straighten the spine and keep it from continuing to curve. In advanced cases, surgery may be needed to reduce the curvature.

While having surgery can be a difficult decision for parents, the earlier the surgery is done, the simpler the process will be. This is because less of the spine will need to be fused together. The more advanced the condition, the more complicated the surgery.

If you are concerned that your child may have scoliosis, schedule a consultation with Dr. Regan and our Spine Group Beverly Hills team by calling or booking an appointment online. You will be in expert hands as you work for the good health of your child!

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