Do you have an ideal posture?
What is Ideal posture?
Posture is the position in which you hold your
body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down. Good
posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions
where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during
movement or weight-bearing activities. Proper posture:
Keeps bones and joints in the correct alignment so
that muscles are being used properly.
Helps decrease the abnormal wearing of joint
surfaces that could result in arthritis.
Decreases the stress on the ligaments holding the
joints of the spine together.
Prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal
Prevents fatigue because muscles are being used
more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy.
Prevents strain or overuse problems.
Prevents backache and muscular pain.
Contributes to a good appearance.
What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis means that the spine curves from side
to side rather than being straight down the back. The spine is made of bones
called vertebrae that normally stack one on top of the other in a straight
line. The bones in the upper back are called thoracic vertebrae. This is the most
common site for scoliosis. The bones in the lower back are called lumbar
vertebrae. Scoliosis occurs less often in the
Scoliosis develops gradually. Scoliosis is usually
noticed just before or during puberty when a child goes through a growth spurt.
Females get scoliosis more often than males. Often parents do not notice the
gradual changes caused by scoliosis. The curvature is usually discovered by a
healthcare provider. Occasionally, scoliosis is diagnosed during infancy and is
What is the cause?
There are many causes of scoliosis. Sometimes
vertebrae are incompletely formed or misshapen. Sometimes children who have
legs of different lengths develop a curvature of the spine. Other times,
diseases cause scoliosis. In children and teens the cause is most often not
When a cause for scoliosis cannot be found, it is
called idiopathic scoliosis. In idiopathic scoliosis some of the vertebrae are
rotated because the muscles attaching the vertebrae to the ribs may not be
pulling with equal force. One set of rib muscles pulls harder causing the
vertebrae to twist and move out of a straight line down the back. This may also
cause the ribs on one side of the back to stick out more, causing a hump.
What are the symptoms?
At first, the symptoms are painless and not always
easy to recognize. Someone with scoliosis may:
Have uneven shoulders, hips, or waist.
Have a hump on one side of the back.
Have one or both shoulder blades sticking out.
Lean slightly to one side.
Have back pain.
How is it diagnosed?
The healthcare provider will take a medical history
to see if there may be a cause for the scoliosis. The provider will do a
physical exam, checking the back, chest, shoulders, pelvis, legs, feet, and
skin. The curve of the spine may be measured during the exam. X-rays can be
taken to measure the curvature more precisely.
How is it treated?
If your child has a slight curvature, he or she
just needs regular checkups by the healthcare provider. If the curvature
continues to get worse, your provider will refer your child to a bone doctor
(orthopedist). The orthopedist may recommend braces and molded plastic shells
called orthoses. Orthoses may slow down further curving of the spine but do not
correct a curvature that is already there. Sometimes orthoses do not slow the
curving enough to prevent serious problems and surgery is needed.
The curvature in the back will never go away.
However, many people have no symptoms or problems from their scoliosis. When
problems do occur, they will last until the symptoms are treated. How well the
treatment works depends on the type of treatment and the severity of the
How can I help take care of my child?
Most children are adolescents or teenagers when
scoliosis is diagnosed. Often they are self-conscious about their problem. Help
your child understand the importance of carefully following the recommended
treatment. Counseling or a support group might be helpful.