What Should I Do if My Child Has Thoracic Scoliosis?

Affecting nearly 2-3 percent of the United States population, thoracic scoliosis describes a condition in which the middle or thoracic portion of the spine is curved. This form of scoliosis is the most common and is generally called scoliosis, rather than specified by the region of spine curvature.

If your child has recently been diagnosed with thoracic scoliosis, you might find yourself panicking, as would any parent. You might wonder to yourself how this could have occurred or what you could have done to prevent it. In reality, while scoliosis is slightly impacted by environmental conditions, the main cause of scoliosis is largely unknown. As a parent, the best thing you can do is understand what this condition is and how you can assist your child in living with it.

Scoliosis is most commonly caused by either muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy; however, most diagnosed cases have no underlying causation. This condition can range in severity, with a majority of cases beginning as mild and progressing as children age. Having severe scoliosis can be disabling and cause a variety of additional health issues, such as difficulty breathing. Like other medical conditions that have the potential to worsen, mild scoliosis cases are monitored over time. In some cases, your physician may recommend that your child wear a brace to undergo surgery to correct the spinal curvature. Fortunately, most children do not require treatment for this condition.

If your child has already been diagnosed with thoracic scoliosis, he/she has most likely experienced one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Uneven waist
  • Uneven shoulders
  • Hunchback
  • Unbalanced hips or shoulders blades

While the direct cause of thoracic scoliosis is unknown, there are several factors that may increase your child’s risk for developing it. Scoliosis is a hereditary condition, meaning that if a relative or direct family member has the condition, your child may be at a high risk of developing it as well. This condition is also fairly common among children who are just entering puberty because the spinal curvature typically occurs during a growth spurt. The most important complication caused by scoliosis is heart and lung damage.

The spinal curvature can create pressure on the rib cage, causing the lungs and heart to become entrapped. Over time, this can cause damage to both organs as they attempt to function at their best. Another concern that parents have is appearance because severe scoliosis can cause a shift in your child’s body. You may notice that your child appears to have prominent ribs, uneven hips or shoulders, or a lean towards one side.

What Can I Do for My Child?

After you have gained an understanding of the condition, the next thing you can do for your child is to become a shoulder to lean on. You might find that your child requires support as he/she struggles with self-esteem. Depending on the severity of the condition, there are a few options available for treatment. For mild scoliosis, your child’s physician might recommend a series of exercises that he/she should perform daily. The goal of these exercises is to improve flexibility and correct the curvature without medical interference.

If you prefer professional assistance, you may enroll your child in scoliosis physical therapy. The key to managing mild scoliosis is staying committed to therapy or exercise. Not doing so can result in further progression of the condition. If your child has been diagnosed with moderate scoliosis, you may have to purchase a correction brace. The brace can be worn under clothing and works overtime to correct the curvature and prevent the spine from becoming further deformed. While a brace cannot fully cure the condition, most patients have found that they experienced fewer symptoms after prolonged use.

Once your child stops developing, and the condition worsens, surgery is the best treatment option. Surgery will work to correct the curvature and repair affected regions of the body, such as the rib cage. After surgery, your child may undergo physical therapy and be kept under medical surveillance. After your child has been diagnosed, you should prepare a list of questions that you might wish to ask the physician. You should inquire about the specifics of the condition, treatment options, and how much the procedures will cost.

Most of all, you should be there for your child no matter what. At Integrative Chiropractor, we provide the best treatment possible for our patients. We offer structural correction, general chiropractic sessions, scoliosis treatment, and treatment for whiplash and similar conditions. Located in Hoover, AL, we service the population of the Birmingham, AL region. Once your child is admitted under our care, we will be sure to provide effective, and quick treatment at an affordable rate. Call us today at 205-637-1363 and schedule your child’s appointment today. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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