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news News Friday, August 3, 2018 Friday, August 3, 2018 2:51 PM - Friday, August 3, 2018 2:51 PM

Parents urged: Check children’s backs during back-to-school season

SpineScreen app helps detect possible early signs of scoliosis

Parents urged: Check children’s backs during back-to-school season

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine, sometimes resembling an “S” or a “C” rather than a straight line, that can restrict movement and in some cases lead to other serious medical conditions. An estimated 6-9 million people in the U.S., and millions more worldwide, have scoliosis. It is most commonly diagnosed between 10 and 15 years of age, when children grow rapidly. Some cases, however, can go undetected for periods of time because during this point in a child’s life fewer vaccinations are required, so they may see a doctor less often.

Shriners Hospitals for Children can help with its free app that is designed to help parents detect possible early signs of scoliosis in children. The app, called SpineScreen, detects curves in the spine as the cell phone is moved along a child’s back, giving parents a quick and informal way to regularly monitor their child’s spine. The app is an educational tool for parents to make them aware of the signs of scoliosis and treatment options, and help them to schedule annual reminders.

Curvatures in the spine can develop quickly and it is important for parents to be in the habit of regularly checking on their children – and this app can help. The staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City encourages parents to routinely check their children’s backs when they return to school every fall.

Shriners Hospitals for Children created the app as part of a broader initiative to highlight the importance of regular screenings and to educate parents about signs of scoliosis and treatment options.

SpineScreen is available for free download on the App Store or Google Play at the links below:

Watch this tutorial with our own Graham Fedorak, M.D., showing parents how to perform an at-home scoliosis check with the free SpineScreen app.

If you suspect your child needs to be seen for possible scoliosis, please call our referral hotline at 800-314-4283 to make an appointment. Our spine experts have your back! Our pediatric scoliosis expertise includes:

  • Surgery
  • Radiology
  • Orthotics
  • Physical therapy

All care is provided regardless of the families' ability to pay.