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How do I know if I have scoliosis?

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis refers to a medical condition in which the spine curves sideways. On an X-ray film, the normal spine looks straight, but the scoliosis spine will look like a “C” or “S”.


I suspect that I have scoliosis, how do I tell?

Besides looking at X-rays, one can look at his or her posture in order to look for possible signs of scoliosis.

Signs that may indicate scoliosis are:

  • Head not centered to the body Uneven shoulders (either one is in front of the other or one’s higher than the other)
  • Uneven shoulder blades: one is more prominent or higher
  • Uneven waist angle: the gap between arm to trunk is wider on one side
  • One hip is more prominent than the other or the hips are not leveled
  • The spine line is not straight

One can use the picture below for a quick self test of scoliosis:

 

You can also perform a Forward Bend test (also called “Adam’s test”) to detect for possible scoliosis.

  • Standing with the feet together, then bend forward as far as you can with your palms together, fingers pointing at between your toes.
  • Look at the back, one side of the back (either upper or lower back region) will be higher than the other side

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