No one has a completely straight spine, but nearly 3 out of every 100 people have what’s known as scoliosis an …. S-shaped curvature of the spine. Usually, this curvature isn’t a problem, but for some, the curve gets worse over time and can cause discomfort and problems with breathing and circulation.
Scoliosis might be even more dangerous than originally thought. A study in the journal Spine found that children diagnosed with scoliosis had significantly lower bone mineral density (BMD) than healthy children. These results were maintained over three years of follow-up measurements.
What’s this all mean? Basically, bone density is a good indicator of bone strength. The greater the bone density, the stronger your bones are. People with weak bones often suffer from osteoporosis, which can lead to painful falls and fractures. Researchers believe that osteoporosis is extremely uncommon in children, but these results suggest that children with scoliosis may be at risk.
Give your children a head start on health by making sure they visit your doctor regularly. A complete physical examination can help detect scoliosis and any other spinal abnormalities that may lead to problems later in life.
Cheng JCY, Sher AHL. Persistent osteopenia in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Spine, June 15, 1999: Vol. 24, No.12, pp1218-1222.