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The Truth About Kids and the High Risk for Developing Scoliosis

What Is Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a three-dimensional spine deformity with >10° of lateral bending and rotation. 80% of scoliosis in adolescents is idiopathic, which means unknown cause.  Other types of scoliosis can be caused by a congenital bone deformity, neuromuscular causation such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy or from connective tissue disorders such as Marfan’s or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Scoliosis occurs in about 3% of adolescents.

Normal Adolescent Growth

Mature adult height can be as much as a 350% increase from height at birth. This increase in height does not happen at a constant rate. Various stages of development cause different rates of growth throughout the body. Different parts of the body (limbs, torso and scull) all have different rates of growth as well.[1] These inconsistent growth rates are all considered normal adolescent growth.

High-Risk Period Of Scoliosis Development

Periods of rapid growth in children and teens can become a high-risk period for increased chance of scoliosis development. During these times, it is important to provide special attention to those who may be at risk of developing scoliosis and those already diagnosed.[1]

Ages Of Rapid Growth In Teens

  • 0-1 Infants
  • 10-13 years in girls
  • 13-15 years in boys

There is a substantial growth period from birth to 1 year of age. After that initial growth period, growing slows down from 2 to 5 years of age. Growth is considerably slowed in children 5 to 10 years of age, this is a period when the majority of growth occurs in the arms and legs. Growth patterns between males and females then diverge at 10 years of age. Typically, females will experience the onset of puberty at 11 years, and males at 13 years. During these respective pubescent years, there is a rapid growth rate, particularly of the spine. This rapid growth period lasts for two years on average, and is more rapid during the first years and then begins to taper.[1]

Detecting Scoliosis: Key Features

Knowing what to look for can help with early detection of scoliosis. Warning signs of scoliosis development can include:

  • Uneven shoulders
  • One shoulder blade more prominent than the other
  • Uneven waistline
  • Noticeable curve in the spine
  • One hip higher than the other
  • Noticeable rib humping
  • Family history of scoliosis[1]

Scoliosis Treatment in Fort Collins, CO

If you notice any key features of scoliosis present in your child’s spine, or if you would like to be proactive with the early detection of scoliosis, schedule an appointment with us at Square ONE chiropractic in Fort Collins, CO. Our expert doctor is a leading authority on non-surgical scoliosis treatment in Fort Collins. Dr. Chris Gubbels of Square ONE chiropractic, consults with and trains with the international leaders on the conservative treatment of scoliosis.

Call now to schedule a free consultation at Square ONE to see what non-surgical scoliosis treatment options are available.  Call 970-207-4463, or click here to request a free consultation.

  1. Dimeglio, A. and C.L. Stanitski, Growth in pediatric orthopaedics. Journal of Pediatric

Orthopaedics, 2001. 21(4): p. 549-555.

  1. Ylikoski, M., Growth and progression of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis in girls. Journal of

Pediatric Orthopaedics Part B, 2005. 14(5): p. 320-324.


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