Scoliosis in children
Scoliosis is a deformity of the spinal column, its lateral curvature. This pathology is very common: today, scoliosis of varying severity is found in 80% of schoolchildren.
What is scoliosis in children?
Scoliosis in children can be of different types and degrees of severity.
The shape of the spinal curvature emit:
C-shaped scoliosis – one arc of curvature is present;
S-shaped scoliosis – two arcs of curvature;
Z-shaped scoliosis – there are three arcs of curvature. This is the worst case of scoliosis.
The degree of curvature (the so-called radiological characteristic) is determined by the value of the angle of curvature:
1st degree – the angle is 1-10 °
2nd degree –11–25 °,
3rd degree –26–50 °,
4th degree – more than 50 °.
Most often, scoliosis in children develops in the thoracic spine.
Depending on the age of the child, they talk about infantile scoliosis (the onset of the disease is 3–10 years old), juvenile (it develops at 10–14 years old) and teenage (appears at 15–17 years old).
What are the causes of scoliosis in children
Scoliosis in children can be congenital and acquired. The cause of congenital spinal deformity is the abnormal development of the vertebrae and ribs. Acquired spinal curvature occurs for several reasons, and the main one is incorrect posture, especially when sitting at a desk for several hours. But the reason is not the only one. Pathology can cause transferred rickets, lack of movement, weak muscles and ligaments, as well as congenital asymmetry of the legs and pelvis.
How is scoliosis detected in children
As a rule, the curvature of the spine is found during a medical examination of the child – a competent doctor will notice the very first signs of deviation from the norm. Then, a child undergoes radiography in several projections in order to confirm the diagnosis and establish the degree of scoliosis.
With this pathology, it is very important to begin the correction of the spine as early as possible, since scoliosis progresses very quickly without treatment. And to cope with the disease in the most severe 4th degree is much more difficult than at the beginning of the process. And parents can help with this, having made diagnostics independently.
Let the child stand with his back in his natural pose, heels together, arms along the body. Look carefully at his back. Signs of scoliosis will be:
one shoulder is higher than the other;
asymmetrical blade angles;
curve of the spine, especially noticeable when bending forward;
when the arms are pressed to the side, there will be more distance between the waist and the arm on one side than on the other.
If you find any of these signs, see your doctor soon to begin treatment.
How are scoliosis treated in children?
Treatment of scoliosis is complex. Its main component is physiotherapy exercises. A set of exercises should be selected by a specialist taking into account the severity of the disease, the age of the child, his general condition.
Swimming and special exercises in water help a lot – they help to relieve the spine and strengthen the back muscles.
Massage has a good effect on scoliosis. It improves blood circulation, relieves muscle spasms and pain, and slows the progression of the disease.
In some cases, a sick child has to wear a corset. Thanks to him, he manages to significantly reduce the manifestations of scoliosis, and sometimes completely get rid of it. But you can not wear a corset all the time, otherwise the muscles will not work and may atrophy. Usually, the doctor indicates how many hours a day a child should be in a corset.
To increase the contractility of the muscles, to eliminate their dystrophy, prescribe physiotherapy. They are selected by the doctor individually for each child.
In some cases, when the disease is neglected or all medical procedures have not had any effect, they resort to surgical treatment by inserting metal structures into the spine that fix the vertebral segments in the correct position. But such operations have to be repeated as the child grows.
Prevention of scoliosis in children
Scoliosis is a pathology that almost always can be prevented.
First of all, it is necessary to monitor the baby’s posture, teaching him to properly hold his back while walking and sitting.
From an early age the baby should exercise, move more. This will strengthen his muscles and prevent pathology from developing. Swimming is especially useful for the prevention of scoliosis. You can also do skiing, ballroom dancing. But rhythmic gymnastics, tennis and badminton are contraindicated for a child with scoliosis.
It is necessary to properly equip the bed of the baby. It is desirable that he used a hard, better orthopedic mattress. The height of the table and chair must be adjusted according to the height of the child.
Well, do not forget about periodic medical examinations, so as not to miss the first signs of the disease.
If a child has had scoliosis, do not despair: you must patiently and persistently carry out all the doctor’s prescriptions and the disease will go away forever.