The Pain of Scoliosis In Children

Scoliosis occurs when a patient’s spine curves to the side in an abnormal fashion, creating an appearance of a “C” or an “S” shape when viewed from the back. This condition usually develops in the younger years, most commonly in the adolescent stage, when rapid growth occurs. Regular wellness checkups with your child’s doctor may help identify scoliosis or other musculoskeletal problems before they become tremendously severe.

Scoliosis rarely causes pain in its early stages. In fact, it typically doesn’t cause any symptoms until it has progressed into at least a moderate severity. Parents or other involved adults often notice the physical changes before the patient himself. Signs to look for may include:

  • Clothes hanging oddly or unevenly

  • One shoulder appearing higher than the other

  • One hip appearing higher than the other

  • The child’s head appearing to not be centered over his/her body

  • One shoulder blade appearing to stick out further than the other

  • One side of the ribcage appearing higher when the child bends forward at the waist

  • The waistline appearing flat on one side

Pain is not a common symptom of scoliosis in children or adolescents. When pain does accompany the disorder, it may be because the curving of the spine is placing stress or pressure on the intervertebral discs or the tissue surrounding the spine. Back pain in a scoliosis patient may also be indicative of a more serious problem, such as a tumor in the spine. If your child is experiencing pain accompanying scoliosis, it is crucial that they see a doctor as soon as possible to determine the cause of the pain.


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