Helping Your Child's Scoliosis with Pediatric Orthotics

Helping Your Child's Scoliosis with Pediatric Orthotics

Ideally, a side view of your spine reveals a few gentle curves from front to back, but the rear view should be stick-straight. If your child’s spine curves like a C or an S, they have a condition called scoliosis, and it can cause some uncomfortable symptoms. 

Fortunately, there are treatments that can retrain the spine and muscular supports. Here, our experts at Ortho Engineering Inc. take a closer look at scoliosis and the pediatric orthotics that can help straighten your child’s spine. 

Understanding scoliosis

Learning that your child has a health issue and is in pain is distressing, and the first step toward helping them and easing your worry is to gather as much information as possible so you can make informed decisions about their care. 

Be sure to communicate honestly with your child’s pediatrician and orthopedic specialists and ask lots of questions. The more you know, the better able you are to be your child’s advocate and contribute to decisions about treatments. 

When it comes to scoliosis, there are several treatment options, and each depends on the severity and progression of the condition. 

Symptoms of scoliosis

Scoliosis is a side-to-side spinal curvature that alters your posture and leads to uncomfortable symptoms such as:

These structural changes can lead to back pain and poor lung functioning. 

Kids with scoliosis may also feel self-conscious about their appearance and isolate themselves, which may lead to low self-esteem, depression, and other mental and emotional health challenges.

Causes of scoliosis

There are three main categories of childhood scoliosis: congenital, neuromuscular, and idiopathic.

1. Congenital scoliosis

Some children are born with scoliosis due to spinal defects that occurred during development in the womb. This happens when the vertebrae don’t form properly or they separate incorrectly. 

2. Neuromuscular scoliosis

If your child suffered a spinal cord injury or has a medical condition such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, they may develop scoliosis as a result. This type is called neuromuscular scoliosis. 

3. Idiopathic scoliosis

Idiopathic scoliosis stems from unknown causes and is the most common type of the condition. Up to 9 million kids suffer from scoliosis to some degree, and of those cases, about 80-85% of them are idiopathic. 

All types of scoliosis stem from genetic makeup, so there’s no way to prevent it. It typically shows up in adolescents between the ages of 10 and 15, with more girls affected than boys, but in the case of congenital scoliosis, babies can be born with it. Adults can develop scoliosis, too, if spinal degeneration occurs or if they had undiagnosed scoliosis as a child.

Treating scoliosis

Most mild cases of scoliosis don’t require treatment. However, if your doctor determines that the curve is severe (exceeds 25-30 degrees), progressive (changes more than five degrees in 4-6 months), and causes problems with lung function, it’s best to take steps to correct it — and that’s where we come in.

Bracing is an evidence-based treatment that can help straighten your child’s spine and restore alignment and function. Your child’s doctor may prescribe full-time bracing or nighttime bracing depending on the location and severity of the curve. 

Whichever type your child needs, we can design and manufacture it to match their precise requirements. Braces, also known as pediatric orthotics, are our specialty. We start with your doctor’s prescription and use 3D spinal images and body measurements to create an orthotic that fits your child as comfortably and inconspicuously as possible. 

Pediatric orthotics don’t work for every child. If the curve is very small, bracing usually isn’t warranted. And if the curve is too great, bracing may not be effective. If your child is a good candidate for a pediatric orthotic, we custom-design it to meet your doctor’s specifications and your child’s unique needs.

It may be a jacket-style brace that fits under their clothing or an external brace that fits over their clothes. We use durable materials that mold to your child’s body and soft padding for comfort. 

If your child needs pediatric orthotics to correct scoliosis, you can trust our team at Ortho Engineering Inc. to fit them perfectly. For more information, call us at any of our nine locations throughout Southern California in Chino, Lynwood, Torrance, Van Nuys, West Covina, and Whittier, and three locations in Los Angeles

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