Is there a test for scoliosis?

Because most children and teens do not have symptoms, doctors may diagnosis scoliosis during a routine exam. Your child’s doctor may diagnose scoliosis by:

  • Taking a medical history and family history.
  • Completing a physical exam.
  • Taking x-rays.

How is scoliosis treated?

If your child has scoliosis, your child’s doctor may recommend the following treatments:

  • Observation. If the curve is mild and your child is still growing, the doctor may recommend checking the spine every few months.
  • Bracing. If the curve is moderate and your child or teen is still growing, your doctor may recommend using a brace to keep the curve from getting any worse.  
  • Surgery. If your child or teen is still growing and the scoliosis continues to progress, your doctor may recommend surgery. The type of surgery depends on the location and severity of the curve.
  • Physical therapy. The doctor may recommend physical therapy to help muscles get stronger.  

Who treats scoliosis?

The following health care providers may treat scoliosis in children and teens:

  • Orthopaedists, who specialize in the treatment of and surgery for bone and joint diseases or injuries.
  • Pediatricians, who diagnose and treat children.
  • Physical therapists, who teach ways to build muscle strength.
  • Primary care providers, such as a family physician.

 Living with scoliosis

The following tips may help your child or teen while living with scoliosis.

  • Regular exercise helps your child or teen remain physically fit and helps muscles get stronger. Talk to your child’s doctor about taking part in sports and activities.
  • If your child or teen wears a brace, they may feel self-conscious or embarrassed. If your child or teen refuses to wear their brace, talk to the doctor about other bracing or treatment options.
  • Consider joining a community or online scoliosis support group. It can help you and your child or teen cope with scoliosis and its treatment.