And…. This Is Why We Check Kids
Scoliosis and Postural Screening Assessment
Is it Time To Have Your Child’s Spine and Posture Checked?
These are the results of a spinal, postural and scoliosis assessment of one of the children we screened during the holiday period.
Back in the day scoliosis and growth checks where done by doctors and nurses who visited schools to screen children. It was a valuable service provided by the government to screen all primary age children for genetic, growth or developmental disorders.
Currently, there is no formal or structured programs within schools to check children for scoliosis, postural or growth issues. GP’s are under enormous pressure to attend to their current patient loads, and if you are attending hospital for scoliosis assessment you are probably at risk of having surgery.
So, where can you turn to address postural or growth issues in your kids? Who is doing the very much needed scoliosis preventative checks and care when required? Well … The Spinal Centre.
The clinical history for this little guy is one that we see regularly within Practice.
A history of learning difficulties, cannot sit still, cannot focus in class, general irritability and bowel issues.
Kids this age do not complain of pain so much – they just fidget!
They usually develop learning difficulties as they cannot sit comfortably in class. Often they will roll around on the ground, roll their head back and forth, develop twitches and ticks, or just tune out. Existing in their own little world to escape the pain or discomfort.
Imagine, in your worst episode of back or neck pain, trying to concentrate on new technical material at school. Imagine having to sit for extended periods and focus on learning new concepts in maths, geography or science. You would probably want to roll on the ground too!
Tragically, in today’s society, kids like this just end up getting drugged. Usually on ‘speed’ in the form of Ritalin.
If you knew the full ramifications of giving your child ‘speed’ (pseudoephedrine), you would be exhausting more conservative options such as Corrective Chiropractic.
The SEMG: Surface Electromyographic Analysis
Below are results of the child’s Spinal Scan, the SEMG.
Nerves control the muscles of the spine. The SEMG measures how well the motor nerves are working by reading the amount of current found in the muscles.
Structural damage, misalignments, scoliosis, disc injuries or postural imbalances disturb the function of the nerves. This can cause an abnormal amount of muscle activity, muscle tightness or even muscle spasm, fibrillation and spasticity.
Different colours show the amount of muscle activity on the scan. It is very easy to understand and correlate it to problem areas within the spine, or areas that still need more work.
The results are shown as coloured bars on the print out below:
- White; show normal nerve and muscle function, within normal limits
- Green; mild nerve interference and muscle tightness
- Blue; moderate nerve interference and muscle spasm
- Red; severe nerve irritation and muscle spasm; 3 standard deviations above normal
- Black; nerve damage and irritation with extreme muscle spasm
- Yellow; nerve compression (shut down), neurogenic muscle weakness or wasting
For more information about SEMG Testing – follow this link.
Dr. Hooper’s Comment
This is an unfortunate, but classic example, of why we check and correct children.
Looking at the postural assessment you can clearly see the translation of the spine in the coronal plane (to the side).
There is a head tilt to the right and translation of the the upper back and neck to the right to correct for the misalignment in the pelvis.
The most obvious though, is the uneven shoulders. The right shoulder has dropped considerably in comparison to the left. Skin fold is greater on the right side as the child rotates in the X axis .
The lateral view of the child shows a posterior head translation. But really – it is more an internal rotation of the shoulders as they translate forward. Winging of the scapular (shoulder blades) is very prominent. You can see this as the shoulder blades stick out badly and appear to ‘point’ backwards.
The Hueter Volkmann Law
The ‘Hueter Volkmann Law’ is an important principle that applies to the correct skeletal growth in children. It proposes that growth is retarded by increased mechanical compression, and accelerated by reduced loading in comparison with normal values. The law implies a continuous monotonic relationship between loading and growth modulation.
In easy terms this means that there is a mechanical modulation of the growth plates within the bones of children when they grow. Tension, torsion or uneven compressive load on the bones of your children will change how they grow. Uneven load will change the lengths of their bones and health of joint structures.
Therefore if your child has a leg length equality, pelvic rotation, scoliosis or a history of trauma; they need to be properly assessed to ensure they do not have an alteration of bone growth as they mature.
In easy terms – this is why we check kids.
If you like this article be sure to visit the Spinal Centre website at www.thespinalcentre.com.au and view more content by Dr. Hooper and the Spinal Rehabilitation Team.
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