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Part 3: Patient Presentation and Examination for Scoliosis

I.Presentation

A common candidate for a Scoliosis examination is in elementary through high school years of age. This person may or may not have pain, depending on the severity of the Scoliosis. Some patients may also complain of hip, knee, ankle or foot pain. If there is presence of pain, it is usually associated with exercise and long periods of sitting. Other common symptoms are headaches, chest tightness with taking a deep breath, and shoulder pain.

During a posture examination for Scoliosis, the patient is viewed from the front, back and sides looking for deviations versus normal. From the front, shoulders may be unlevel, head may be tilted or turned more to one side, and one foot may be turned out to the side.

From the back, the shoulder blades may not look symmetrical: one may be higher or protruding out from the body. This may also cause the ribs to protrude out. From the sides, the patient may have a forward protruding neck and a back that is compensating for the p…

Part 2: Definition and Contributing Factors to Scoliosis

The termscoliosis is derived from the Greek word skolios, meaning crooked.  Scoliosis, as defined medically, describes any lateral deviation of the spine from the midsagittal plane (front to back view). 

Scoliosis can occur from a number of reasons.  Some are diseases that can affect the spine at any age (tumors, trauma, and infections).  The most common form (80%) of scoliosis is Idiopathic (from an unknown cause). 

The contributing factors for Idiopathic Scoliosis are inheritance, diet, and muscular imbalances.  In this process, as a spinal bone enlarges in the developing child, different segments of the bone grow faster than others.  This produces a lateral curve in the overall spine.  Idiopathic Scoliosis has age-based sub classifications due to its occurrence seen in different growth periods.  Infantile Idiopathic Scoliosis is between birth and 3 years old and rarely has any signs beyond 3.  Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis occurs between 3 and 10 years old.  About 30% of this age g…

August 2010 Health Concern: Scoliosis

Scoliosis is defined as having an abnormal curve of the spine when looking at someone from the front or back.  Although it specifically related to the bone structure seen on an x-ray of the back, scoliosis can be detected by muscle imbalances and postural irregularities. 

    Many factors can lead to scoliosis.  Inheritance plays a significant role, but other factors such as diet and abnormal physical stresses will also play a role.  Scoliosis is most distinct during the rapid growth stage of 8 years old until 22, when eventually the bones of the spine stop growing. 

    The most common signs of scoliosis when looking at a standing adolescent would be leaning to one side, having one shoulder higher than the other, having one leg and foot rotated out, non-traumatic pain next to the back that does not go away with rest, and increased pain with exercise.  In the early stages of scoliosis there is usually no pain or other symptoms.  With progression, symptoms can become more frequent, an…