Parents warned to check daughters for common spinal disorder

Teenage girls are most at risk of developing scoliosis.
Teenage girls are most at risk of developing scoliosis.

PARENTS are being urged to check their daughter’s for the first signs of a common spinal deformity with screening programs at schools long abandoned due to a lack of funding.

Scoliosis (spinal curvature) is a common health problem amongst adolescent girls with 25 girls per thousand at risk of developing a significant curve and three girls per thousand requiring treatment such as a spinal brace or surgery.

Scoliosis Australia said in the early stages the condition is most often asymptomatic and the optimum time for detection is just after the onset of the adolescent growth spurt, around year 5 to 7 for the majority of girls.

No case has ever been made for the screening of boys for scoliosis.

The Spine Society of Australia is currently promoting its National Self-Detection Program for Scoliosis through Australian schools.

In the past, screening was performed at schools in Australia but because of financial restraints these programs have largely been abandoned.

Scoliosis Australia introduced the self detection program as a practical alternative and each year school principals are contacted and asked to distribute the fact sheet from www.scoliosis-australia.org.

The Fact Sheet contains information on how girls can self-assess for scoliosis.