If you can detect scoliosis in a child early on and begin treatment right away, you can lessen the chances of the spinal condition getting worse. For parents who have a history of scoliosis in their family, it is highly recommended that you have your children undergo testing. If your child does indeed show signs of abnormal spinal curvature, its early detection can play a crucial role in recovery.
There are a variety of tests and exams used to detect scoliosis, and their implementation will vary based on the level of the condition and what is being tested. Early tests for scoliosis may only include physical examinations and bending tests to detect any signs of spinal deformity. For severe conditions, X-rays, scanning, blood tests, and other medical testing may be required.
Many schools these days are requiring children to undergo physical examinations to ensure that they are diagnosed properly and early enough if they exhibit signs of scoliosis. Routine testing in schools happens around fifth or sixth grade and includes Adam’s Forward Bend Test. The test involves bending forward and stretching your arms downward while the doctor observes the trunk and spine using a scoliometer. Abnormal curvature of the spine can be clearly seen from this angle.
If signs of spinal curvature are evident during the physical exam, the child will need to undergo more tests, so the doctor can gather more information on the current level of scoliosis. Additional physical examinations will be required to determine the shape of the curve, where the curve is located, and the direction and angle of the curve.
To determine the angle of the curve in degrees, doctors use a measurement technique called the Cobb Method. A patient with a curvature of 25 to 30 degrees suffers from a moderate case of scoliosis, while a patient with a spinal curvature of 45 to 50 suffers from a severe case.