“Why didn’t I notice my kid’s scoliosis before now?”
I would like to offer up a number of reasons, any one of which is a reasonable and excusable explanation.
1. Lack of awareness of scoliosis. Scoliosis is not on most people’s radars as even a possibility of something that “might happen to my child.”
2. Typical teenage slouching. This is frequently seen as a general teenage expression of attitude or fatigue, instead of an early warning of an underlying problem.
3. Lack of training on what posture presentations could be problematic. Parents are not trained on what to look for, even if they are aware of scoliosis. (Use our “cheat sheet” below to do your own posture check at home.)
4. Sudden growth of scoliosis. One day your child’s posture looks fine, but then seemingly overnight it deteriorates to where the scoliosis becomes obvious. Unfortunately, scoliosis can enlarge quickly, catching even the very aware by surprise.
5. Baggy clothes and/or long hair. Most scoliosis occurs during puberty, just when teens are becoming more private about their bodies. Many wear baggy clothes, which hides their posture even more. As well, long hair can serve to disguise early signs of scoliosis.
6. Why didn’t your child’s pediatrician notice it earlier? The reasons are similar to the list above, but if a trained professional didn’t catch it, then how can you have been expected to?
Of course, it would be ideal if every case of scoliosis could be caught while the curve is under 20 degrees. However, when that doesn’t happen, the reasons can be many and complicated. If this is something you wrestle with, let yourself off the hook. The good news is that you DID catch it, and that you are now able to put together a plan for treatment, the goal of which is to stop, reverse and stabilize the scoliosis.
Helpful resources and links:
Do your own posture check at home with our “cheat sheet.” RHINO Scoliosis Posture Check