This post is sponsored by Shriners Hospitals for Children®. Please note that, as always, any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.
Way back in the day when I was young the nurse would give students a physical in school each year. It was in about fifth grade that our physicals changed, and the nurse started looking for something I was unfamiliar with – scoliosis. I didn’t know anything about scoliosis back then, but I did come to learn about it as one of my good friends developed it.
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that can limit mobility and sometimes lead to more serious health problems. Scoliosis is most commonly diagnosed between 10-15 years of age, when kids are growing rapidly. There is often no known cause and it can easily go undetected as it is a progressive condition. An estimated 6–9 million people in the United States have scoliosis, as well as millions more worldwide. Early detection is the best way to prevent curve progression in scoliosis. Not all schools check kids’ spines like mine did back in the day. Therefore, many parents won’t know if their kids have been screened for scoliosis. As such, Shriners Hospitals for Children® recommends routine scoliosis screenings for all children and adolescents.
For those unfamiliar, Shriners Hospitals for Children® is a network of 22 hospitals in the US, Mexico and Canada that provides pediatric specialty care to children with orthopaedic conditions, spinal cord injuries, burns and cleft lip and palate, regardless of a families’ ability to pay. This care includes all aspects of scoliosis care. Shriners Hospitals is the mission of the Shriners International – a fraternal organization dating back more than 140 years. The Shriners saw a need to help sick children back in the 1900’s. Since its inception 95 years ago, Shriners Hospitals for Children® has provided life-changing care to more than 1.3 million children. My youngest son has been seen at one of the Shriners Hospitals for orthopaedic reasons for well over ten years now. Our experiences there have always been positive, with treatment being friendly and informative.
As our children are getting ready to go back to school we find ourselves doing lots of things to ensure they’re ready, including physical exams. Shriners Hospital for Children® is working to educate folks on the importance of screenings, and encouraging parents to check their kids for possible signs of scoliosis as part of their annual back-to-school routine. To help parents do this, orthopaedic specialists at Shriners Hospitals designed the SpineScreen app.
SpineScreen is a free app that enables parents to perform a preliminary spine check on their child in the comfort of their own home. The SpineScreen app detects abnormal curves when the phone is moved along a child’s back, giving parents a quick, informal way to regularly monitor their child’s spine for possible signs of scoliosis. With SpineScreen, parents can also schedule annual reminders, learn the signs of scoliosis and explore treatment options. The app is only a tool and results should be followed up by a doctor’s examination for an official diagnosis of scoliosis.
Click the link below and a video of how SpineScreen works will appear.
Download the SpineScreen app today for free to do an initial at home check of your child’s spine.
If your child does have scoliosis, Shriners Hospitals for Children® may be able to help. They have 20 hospitals in the U.S., Canada and Mexico that provide scoliosis treatment, regardless of the families’ ability to pay. Shriners Hospitals is at the forefront of treatments for scoliosis, including the latest surgical procedures, exercise programs, physical therapy and bracing. They understand that every individual needs individual treatment, and that no two cases are identical. Some cases need to be monitored while others need procedures such as surgery or bracing. Shriners Hospitals for Children® is on the forefront of new diagnosis and treatment options that help kids get back to being as active as possible.
Care at Shriners Hospitals is unique and goes beyond many of the limits of traditional healthcare. Shriners Hospitals for Children® provide all aspects of treatment, including surgery, rehabilitation, and psychological support. Shriners Hospitals for Children® is the largest provider of low-dose imaging machines in North America. The ancillary services offered by Shriners Hospitals are vast and even include things like a school re-entry program, to ease the transition of children after being hospitalized. Shriners Hospitals was the first healthcare system to develop pediatric spinal cord rehabilitation centers, and has the longest standing burn awareness education program, since 1964.
You can learn more about scoliosis and treatment options on the Shriners Hospitals for Children® website. You can keep up with Shriners Hospitals for Children® on social media, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you know a child Shriners Hospitals for Children may be able to help, have their parent or guardian call 800-237-5055.
Has your child ever been screened for scoliosis?