Did you know that Scoliosis, a condition of a curved spine, is most commonly found in children and adolescents? Roughly 39 million children in India are affected by it and it is one of the most common spinal disorders of the age group.
With some of the challenges that our healthcare system faces, the disease is not caught early. Parents, therefore, need to be more aware, to be able to detect and support the treatment.
It is a condition where the spine curves at a certain angle… The spine is made of 33 bones, each separated by a disc. This structure normally stands like a straight column but a Scoliosis affected spine gets turned at an angle of at least 10 degrees or more.
Most of the Scoliosis myths emerge from a lack of knowledge of the causes and the treatment options. Remember the following:
Cause: In 8 out of 10 cases, the cause is NOT medically known. In some cases, it is caused by some birth defect, Cerebral Palsy, any muscular dystrophy or any genetic. Girls are more prone to getting it – almost twice as much as boys.
Treatment: Treatment cannot reverse but stabilize the spine to prevent additional curvature. Scoliosis is treated with Braces, Surgery or simple Observation (in case of mild curves).
Now that you know you have little control over it, it is time to let go of the myths and help your kids regain control of their life.
Fact: Heavy school backpacks, not sitting straight, extra stretching in sports class, poor sleeping posture, or a poor diet – none of these can be compelling reasons for Scoliosis. Scoliosis'causes are still not fully clear but there is a component of hormones, genes or physical condition at play, none of which are in anyone’s control.
The world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt has Scoliosis, as do many achievers in many fields. Unless your doctor tells you, ensure that your child leads as normal a life as possible and watch out for any of its symptoms. Some form of exercise is essential because it will help maintain flexibility and core strength, helping reduce pain.
Fact: Not true since the majority of the cases are manageable and don’t even need bracing. Deformities can be seen in very rare cases.
Fact: Surgery is required only when the angle of curvature is large otherwise bracing works for most cases.
Fact: Exactly the opposite – the earlier Scoliosis is addressed (even in infancy), the better the chances of a successful outcome.