If you have young children and have noticed any problems with their back or posture, you may be wondering if your child has scoliosis. Figuring out what health problems your child might have can be difficult, but it can be important to their health to detect problems early. Here are some important early warning signs of scoliosis in children.

What is Scoliosis? 

Scoliosis is a disorder of the spine, specifically of the spine curving in a way that is not normal. This can manifest as a kind of "S" or "C" shaped spine in a growing child. The extent to which the spine is affected can vary, from more mild symptoms that may need little intervention, to more severe symptoms that may merit more attention from a doctor. Scoliosis can affect your child's ability to move, play, and express themselves freely. Getting treatment quickly can be a great help to your child.

Signs in Babies

Scoliosis can be detected in infancy, though some problems may not appear until later in your child's development. Ribs that look like they are more noticeable on one side of your child, or their shoulders, waist, or legs may look slightly uneven. This can be an indication that your child's spine is developing abnormally and may need medical attention. You may also notice a general leaning to one side in your infant, indicating a possible bend in the spine.

Signs in Children

In children, especially those that are hitting a growth spurt, these abnormalities in the spine can become easier to notice. Signs that your child may have scoliosis include prominent or uneven muscles in your child's lower back, uneven appearance in the skin near their waist, or an uneven back or shoulders. One way that you can test for this in your child is to have them bend down and touch their toes. While they are doing this you have a much better angle to notice any unevenness in the shoulders.

Treatment and Testing

Scoliosis can be diagnosed in your family practice doctor's office, often by physical examination and x-ray. This can help to determine whether your child has scoliosis and what the next steps in their treatment might be. Some scoliosis can only require some minor physical therapy, while more severe scoliosis may necessitate a back brace or even surgery. Talk to your physician about getting a scoliosis screening for your child if they are showing any of these symptoms.