Scoliosis is a sideways curvatore of the spine, which causes the chest to lose symmetry. Scoliosis is sometimes congenital abnormality present since birth, and sometimes it can be caused by growth problems, such as paralysis or weakness of the muscles of the spine.
However, scoliosis may develop in adolescence – without any apparent reason – in a previously healthy person. Scoliosis is about ten times more common in girls.
What to do?
Any deformation of the spine, however small, should be immediately shown to the doctor. Early diagnosis is important because untreated deformity can quickly deteriorate and affect the lungs, i.e. cause frequent infections and shortness of breath. The doctor will tell the child to stand upright, gather the heels, and then to bend forward. If the distortion is the consequence of scoliosis, the back will remain curved when the child bends. In that case, the doctor will refer the child to the specialist for regular examinations to follow the progress of the distortion.
If scoliosis is caused by spinal abnormality, it will be necessary to identify and treat the underlying problem. However, adolescent scoliosis is difficult to treat. Physical therapy corrects the position of the body and activates the muscles of the spine. If this does not fix the problem, the patient may need to wear a special corset. Orthopaedist will adjust the corset, and the patient will wear it for about a year. Corset almost always corrects the distortion.