Why Does a Baby Need a Spinal Check During Their Well Child Exam?
Well child exams are an important part of your child’s healthcare. The well child exam ensures that your child is growing and developing appropriately and is also used to catch any delays or health concerns that may arise. Typically, a well child exam includes height and weight measurements, a review of eating and sleep patterns, and a discussion of developmental milestones with your doctor. A well child exam also incorporates a variety of screenings depending on your child’s age. One such screening is a spinal check. Why does a child need a spinal check during their well exam?
Spinal issues can cause a host of problems, from pain and incorrect posture to muscular imbalance or challenges with movement. Scoliosis is a spinal condition that causes the vertebrae of the backbones to form a curved pattern instead of a straight line. Although its cause is usually unknown, scoliosis generally appears after a large growth spurt.
Starting at around age ten, a spinal check during a well child exam can screen for scoliosis.
Because scoliosis starts before it is obvious that the spine is extremely curved, a doctor can use a spinal check during the well child exam to catch scoliosis in its early stages. While smaller curvatures don’t need immediate treatment, your doctor will repeat the spinal check at future well child exams to track any progression. If severe scoliosis develops, your doctor will be able to start a treatment plan right away.
Scoliosis can cause posture issues, problems sitting or walking, back pain, arthritis, and even breathing problems. A simple spinal check during a well child exam can head off all of these symptoms if your child shows signs of scoliosis! Your child will be asked to stand up, and then bend forward at the waist. The doctor will visually screen for signs of unevenness and may use a tool to measure the degree of spinal curvature if necessary. If scoliosis is severe, treatment options range from braces to surgery. A spinal check during your child’s well child exam can screen for scoliosis, and in turn prevent lifelong health problems. If you have concerns about your child’s spine or posture, or just want to schedule a well child exam, call us at (864) 574-0070. Our caring and highly-qualified doctors are here to discuss your questions and keep your child healthy for life!