testing usually begins with a
history and physical exam. This includes the
forward-bending test, a simple test in which the child bends forward at the
waist, arms hanging loosely and palms touching, and the examiner looks for
unevenness in the child's back or ribs. A
scoliometer can be used to measure and estimate the
rotation of the spinal curve.
If the findings of the history and
physical exam show a significant spinal curve, an
X-ray of the spine may be taken to get a more precise
measurement of the spinal curve.
We've all experienced back problems from time to time -- lower back pain or strain of the neck. In fact, problems from back pain are the most common physical complaints among American adults and are a leading cause of lost job time -- to say nothing of the time and money spent in search of relief.
Back pain includes sore muscles and tendons, herniated discs, fractures, and other problems. Most often, the causes of back pain have developed over a long period of time.
Skeletal age, as determined by
the Risser sign, is also a helpful measure to find out
the risk that the curve will get worse.
If someone in your family
has scoliosis, your children should be checked regularly.
Neurological testing may be done on children who have scoliosis to
see if they have certain disorders that are often associated with
scoliosis, such as
cerebral palsy or
Screening means doing a
simple test to see whether further testing might be needed.
Some states require screening for scoliosis by law.
But experts don't agree with whether or not to screen for scoliosis.3, 4 Screening can lead to early treatment and may prevent curves from getting worse, but screening can also lead to more testing or treatment for children who would not have needed it.
Some experts believe that children (especially daughters) of women who have scoliosis should be screened for scoliosis regularly throughout their late
childhood and teen years.2
If you are concerned about screening for scoliosis, talk to your child's doctor.