Scoliosis awareness awareness

By Sara Jo Foley, APRN

Physicians’ Primary Care of Southwest Florida

Most have heard of scoliosis before, or remember the clipboard measurements of their own youth! This month, we will remind everyone that scoliosis should be assessed on our young people, most especially in those years where we feel like our kids grew overnight!

Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine. All of us have a slight curvature of the spine that is considered normal, significant curves are monitored closely to reduce the risk of deformity or even curvature affecting the lungs and heart. But those affected have genetics to thank for the curving of the spine while they grow; although we love to blame those heavy backpacks and video games these are unlikely to be the true cause of scoliosis. (Posture is another story!)

Several assessments are used when screening for scoliosis but the forward bend test is most commonly used to assess curvature of the spine that could affect posture, back discomfort or deformity. Radiograph images are also useful for detection when noted on the physical assessment and determination if they are necessary will be made by the provider when assessing the child and their growth and approximate years left to grow. The years before the rapid growth of pubertal development and while they are growing are most important for screening for scoliosis. So please be sure your pre-teen and tween kiddos are being assessed for their well checks and are screened for scoliosis!

Sara Jo Foley, APRN, is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse with Physicians’ Primary Care of Southwest Florida) with offices throughout Lee County.

— familynews
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