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6th September 2022

Back Scan for Adolescent Scoliosis

The back-to-school period is a return to a set routine, but at the same time it is a big change in the way young student’s bodies are used. Prolonged sitting on uncomfortable chairs for many hours a day is not what the body of a growing adolescent needs. So, moving between classrooms and moving around during breaks are a welcome change of load on the spine. A healthy balance with activities like cycling or walking to school and after school sports is important to help strengthen growing bones. Spending hours gaming after sitting all day at school may not be the best choice, even if it is appealing.

Parents often contact me wanting me to check if their kids are developing scoliosis.

In the majority of the cases I can see a scoliotic posture. This means that the spine is actually still straight and aligned, but muscle imbalance caused by poor posture pulls and pushes the spine into a wonky position. With targeted correction a straight spine can be restored.  However, a few cases concerned me: the situation could be serious and the bend could quickly grow much worse.

In both situations I suggest the measurement and monitoring the development of the scoliosis using our computerised Back Scan system. I also analyse the postural habits and activities of the (usually) teenager and suggest an exercise regime and ergonomic changes. Having precise information about the movements of the spine and being able to regularly compare measurements helps to monitor and evaluate the progress or remission of a scoliotic spine. 

The use of the Back Scan provides me with exact data about the movement and function of the spine without the use of radiation. The results will be immediately discussed with you in a format that is easy to understand. This kind of back scan is incredibly useful but doesn’t replace the imaging of an X-ray. The exact shape of the vertebrae can’t be reproduced. If needed, an X-ray is usually prescribed by a paediatric doctor after a referral. 

So what is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a condition that causes the spine to curve sideways. There are several different types of scoliosis that affect children and adolescents. By far, the most common type is ‘idiopathic’, which means the exact cause is not known. Scoliosis causes the bones of the spine to twist or rotate so that, instead of a straight line down the middle of the back, the spine looks more like the letter ‘C’ or ‘S’.


  • Tilted, uneven shoulders, with one shoulder blade protruding more than the other 
  • Prominence of the ribs on one side 
  • Uneven waistline 
  • One hip higher than the other 

A part of the ‘aesthetic’ of the twisted back is excessive side bending and rotation of the spine. This can negatively affect the body image of teenagers. It can also cause restriction in the capacity of breathing and constrain other organs. It is also the cause of back pain and painful tensions in the muscles.

This is why early intervention is so important: recognising a potential problem of a growing spine and starting to deal with it can prevent lot of major problems in the future. 

If you are concerned that your daughter or son is developing a scoliotic posture, book an appointment for assessment and back scan with Swissphysio.  

Contact: 0191 296 0567 | | click here to book online

Published on: 6th September 2022