What Causes Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis?

What Do We Know About What Causes Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis? HINT: It’s not caused by your child’s posture, backpack-carrying habits, or body mechanics Every so often, during my physical therapy evaluation with a family who has just discovered their teen has scoliosis, I will be asked the following set of questions: “Is it their posture Read more about What Causes Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis?[…]

National Scoliosis Center Uses iButton to Track Brace Wear Time in Patients

National Scoliosis Center Uses iButton to Track Brace Wear Time in Patients Successful scoliosis treatment for teens and children who select bracing to help them avoid surgery primarily depends on two factors – competency of the medical care team and brace wearing compliance by the patient. One of the biggest challenges for parents and the Read more about National Scoliosis Center Uses iButton to Track Brace Wear Time in Patients[…]

We’re In This Together

We’re In This Together: Creating A Support Network For Girls With Scoliosis Abby is 12 years old and was diagnosed with scoliosis in 2018. Shortly after, she was fit with her scoliosis brace at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Portland.  She and her mom, Christine, began looking to connect with fellow bracers around Abby’s age. Read more about We’re In This Together[…]

What Is Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis-Specific Exercise All About?

What Is Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis-Specific Exercise All About? Author Kelly Grimes, Physiotherapist (Full disclosure: I am a physiotherapist who has PSSE training. This is my take on PSSE.) Here is your brief lowdown on specific exercise for scoliosis and spine structural variations. If you’re an individual with scoliosis, kyphosis, or other spine structural variations, or a Read more about What Is Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis-Specific Exercise All About?[…]

Sophia’s Scoliosis Story

Sophia’s Scoliosis Story Hi everyone!! My name is Sophia (@sophiasscoliosis on instagram), and this is my scoliosis story!! When I was 15, I battled back pain and stiffness for months before finally making an appointment with a spine specialist at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. On October 12th, 2018, I was diagnosed with severe Read more about Sophia’s Scoliosis Story[…]

Four Years and Four Braces Later: Lily’s Bracing Journey

Four Years and Four Braces Later: Lily’s Bracing Journey Hi! My name is Lily and I am 13 years old and live in Sunriver, Oregon. When I was 9 and in 4th grade I was having a really hard time taking deep breaths so my mom brought me to the doctor. My mom has asthma and Read more about Four Years and Four Braces Later: Lily’s Bracing Journey[…]

No Schroth Physiotherapist in Your Area? What Now?

No Schroth Physiotherapist in Your Area? What Now? By Rosemary Marchese (Physiotherapist, Schroth and SEAS methods for Scoliosis) Schroth Physiotherapists can be found all around the world. However there is definitely more need in some areas. It might be frustrating if you find yourself with Scoliosis and in need of a Schroth physiotherapist and you Read more about No Schroth Physiotherapist in Your Area? What Now?[…]

Self Posture-Check! Screening Your Back for Scoliosis or Scoliosis Changes

Self Posture-Check! Screening Your Back for Scoliosis or Scoliosis Changes By Rosemary Marchese (Physiotherapist) A healthy posture is a great goal to aim for! You can have scoliosis and still make great improvements to your posture in many cases. Checking your back for scoliosis or scoliosis changes is best done by your treating doctor or physiotherapist Read more about Self Posture-Check! Screening Your Back for Scoliosis or Scoliosis Changes[…]

Taking Care Of Your Mental Health

Taking Care Of Your Mental Health Growing up is tough. Growing up while wrapped in a giant scoliosis brace can be even tougher. We all know that bracing can be stressful, and we have research that supports this. Research has shown that bracing can lead to feelings of stress, anger, and shame, and bracers tend Read more about Taking Care Of Your Mental Health[…]

National Scoliosis Center Urges Parents to Check Children’s Spines

National Scoliosis Center Urges Parents to Check Children’s Spines Experts in spinal abnormalities at the National Scoliosis Center urge parents to be cognizant of changes in their children’s posture or complaints of lower back pain, as these may be indications of a spinal condition. Many of the signs and symptoms of spinal conditions are easily Read more about National Scoliosis Center Urges Parents to Check Children’s Spines[…]

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National Scoliosis Center Urges Parents to Check Children's Spines


Experts in spinal abnormalities at the National Scoliosis Center urge parents to be cognizant of changes in their children’s posture or complaints of lower back pain, as these may be indications of a spinal condition. Many of the signs and symptoms of spinal conditions are easily identifiable and with early intervention can be successfully treated.

Pain is only one indicator of possible spinal issues, and with conditions such as scoliosis and kyphosis pain is not common. Therefore, it is imperative that parents check for observable physical changes in their children’s spinal alignment.

Here are things to check for:

Unevenness: The most prevalent signs of scoliosis are uneven shoulders, hips, or a curve in the back. When leaning over (i.e., reaching down to touch one’s toes) the two sides of the back will be at different heights.

Lower Back Pain: If adolescents, especially athletes, complain of back pain and stiffness, they might be suffering from lumbar spondylolysis. Often this pain is caused by injuries due to overuse and intense physical exercise. Lumbar spondylolysis is characterized by a degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae.

Slouching: If parents notice a slouching or hunchback posture in their child it might be indicative of Schuermann’s Kyphosis. This condition is found in teens during or after a growth spurt and causes a forward rounding curvature in the back due to abnormal growth of vertebrae. Patients with Schuermann’s disease are physically unable to straighten their back.

Falling or Difficulty Walking/Running: Juvenile Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type III, is a rare genetic abnormality characterized by muscle weakness and atrophy. It is typically identified in young children, but can present in adolescents as well. Parents might notice decreased muscle strength, especially in the legs.

Luke Stikeleather, Founder and President of the National Scoliosis Center (Baltimore, MD and Fairfax, VA), encourages parents to talk with their child’s physician if they notice any of these signs or symptoms. “When abnormalities and curves are identified early and we intervene effectively with bracing, we can have a very successful outcome without resorting to invasive surgery,” says Stikeleather.


Luke Stikeleather is an internationally recognized scoliosis expert, with over 30 years in the field. He is an associate fellow of the Scoliosis Research Society and founding member and 2018-19 president of the International Society of Spinal Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment.