Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves to one side or the other. Some cases are so severe that they make it hard for someone to walk. Other cases are so mild that they go undetected for years. It is best to let a doctor determine how severe a case of scoliosis is and whether it requires treatment. However, as a parent, you should be aware of the major, most common signs that your child may have scoliosis.
When you look at your child straight on from the front or back, does it look like one of their shoulders is sitting lower than the other? This can sometimes just be a consequence of uneven muscle development, especially if your child participates in a sport like baseball, which has them use one side of their body more than the other. However, it can also be an indication that the spine is curved to one side due to scoliosis.
Ribs Protruding on One Side
When you look at your child's rib cage, does it look like the ribs are protruding on one side of their body? Another way to describe this would be to say that the rib cage looks like it is offset to the right or the left in relation to your child's hips and shoulders. The ribs are connected to the spine, so sometimes a curve in the spine is most noticeable in the placement of the ribs.
Another sign of scoliosis can be uneven hips. In other words, your child may always look like they are standing with their hips "popped" to one side. You may notice that their pants sit unevenly because of this — or that one leg of their pants always drags on the ground. Uneven hips are a common sign of scoliosis when the curve is lower in the spine.
Leaning to One Side
Kids with scoliosis also tend to look like they are leaning to one side. You may tell your child to sit up straight, and even once they try, they may appear to be slumped to the right or left. They may have trouble with sports like horseback riding and kayaking with require them to sit up straight.
If you think your child may have scoliosis, make an appointment with their pediatrician. Some simple screening tests can confirm this diagnosis o your child can move forward with the best treatment.