Screening and treatment
Do I have Scoliosis?
So, you’ve noticed some unevenness in your hips or shoulders or perhaps your child’s dance teacher expressed a concern they may have scoliosis. Where do you start?
Your first step should be to have a look at either your or your child’s posture with a critical eye, looking for imbalances typical of scoliosis. To find out what to look for, please see our scoliosis screening brochure.
It is difficult to look at yourself from behind so enlist the help of a friend or family member. If it’s a child you’re concerned about, it would also be a good idea to check any other children in the family as scoliosis can be hereditary.
If you see signs of scoliosis, it’s best to call and make an appointment with your general practitioner (perhaps pediatrician for a child) and discuss your concerns. Then, they would typically request x-rays of the spine to see whether or not it is scoliosis and the degree of curvature.
You’ve had spinal x-rays that showed scoliosis, what now? Most general practitioners will seek consultation with a scoliosis specialist by putting in a referral to an orthopedic surgeon (specialized in spine) or scoliosis clinic.
In Alberta, there are the following scoliosis specialist referral routes:
To better understand your spinal condition, ask your doctor if the x-ray report gives a degree of curvature (the Cobb angle). There may be more than one if you have more than one curve. This will give you an idea of the severity of the curve.
When you get home you’ll probably feel overwhelmed at first but you are not alone! Scoliosis is very common. If you wish to reach out to others dealing with scoliosis, join us on our Facebook Group.
Start to educate yourself by consulting some reputable websites like:
The Scoliosis Research Society
National Scoliosis Foundation
That way, once you get to see the specialist, you’ll be more familiar with the condition and have a better idea what to expect. When you do have your specialist appointment, you may be asked to have more x-rays taken. This is typically either 1) to see if anything has changed, or 2) to get different views of your spine.
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