Detecting scoliosis

Detecting scoliosis

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Health professionals use a tool called a scoliometer* to determine the presence and estimate the degree of scoliosis,

A scoliometer test

A scoliometer exam

*For information regarding the scoliometer's diagnostic accuracy and reliability, please refer to articles 5, 68 and 69 in the Publications section. 


What about back pain?

Is back pain a good indication of scoliosis?

An indication? Probably not. A result? Absolutely.

Back pain cannot be considered a good indication of scoliosis for several reasons:

  • Children and adolescents frequently experience growing pains, which can't be reliably associated with any particular health problem. Sometimes growing is just painful.
  • It is possible to have a scoliotic posture (false scoliosis), non-structural scoliosis (usually associated with a difference in leg length), slight scoliosis (progressive or not) or even severe scoliosis without having any pain at all.
  • Back pain can have numerous causes other than scoliosis.

In conclusion, back pain is not a reliable indicator for scoliosis detection. However, all back pain must be taken seriously and it is important to consult a chiropractor or doctor for a definite diagnosis. 

What should I do?

If you think you have detected scoliosis or any other spinal deformity in yourself or a family member, contact your chiropractor or doctor to obtain a definite diagnosis by x-ray.

To confirm a diagnosis of scoliosis, health professionals can refer to the CLINICAL GUIDE FOR DIAGNOSIS OF SCOLIOSIS.