“We were asked by Dr. Alan Moskowitz to serve as the hospital sponsor for the proclamation kicking off the state awareness campaign for Children with Scoliosis,” said Cindy LaFleur, president of Post Acute Care for Via Christi’s Wichita hospitals. “We were glad to do so and appreciate his efforts to draw attention to this often overlooked condition.”
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that affects 2 to 3 percent of the population, or an estimated 7 million people in the United States. Most are diagnosed with scoliosis between the ages of 10 and 15, but the condition also affects infants and adults.
Physical therapy can help by stretching and strengthening muscles to bring them into balance, which helps improve posture and alignment.
“Scoliosis, left untreated, can significantly impair breathing and lung function, requiring surgical intervention,” said Sue Willey, director of Rehabilitation Services at Via Christi Hospitals in Wichita. “That’s why it’s important to be diagnosed and treatment started early if needed.”
A curvature of the spine when sitting, standing or bending forward, as well as a difference in leg length, all are signs that a screening for scoliosis may be recommended.
Did you know?
According to the National Scoliosis Foundation:
- Scoliosis, when left untreated, can get worse and may cause chronic back pain, impact heart and lung function and take a toll on self-esteem. Screening for the condition is non-invasive and takes about 30 seconds. With early detection and proper treatment, people diagnosed with scoliosis can lead healthy, active lives.
- Girls are eight times more likely than boys to have a curve that will progress to a magnitude that requires treatment.
- It is common in children with a variety of congenital and neuromuscular diseases, but it is most prevalent in seemingly healthy children with no known cause.
- Most curvatures are minor and require only that patients are monitored by their doctors; according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, only one in four children with spinal curves require medical attention.