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How to Effectively Check Your Child’s Spine for Scoliosis

check your child's spine for scoliosis

An important video explaining how to check your child’s spine for scoliosis while you are taking a break from active care. Please alert your doctor if you see noticeable changes.

How to Check Your Child’s Spine for Scoliosis

During a break from active care, it is crucial tocheck your child’s spine for scoliosis, as this condition can worsen rapidly, especially during growth spurts. In this article, we will guide you on how to check your child’s spine for scoliosis to ensure early detection and appropriate action. While the focus is primarily on children, adults can also use these skills to monitor their own spine for any changes.

Observing the Spine

When examining the spine, there are a few key areas to observe for potential signs of scoliosis. Pay attention to the following in order to check your child’s spine for scoliosis:

  1. Height of the Shoulders: Note if one shoulder appears higher than the other. This asymmetry may indicate a spinal curvature.
  2. Hips: Look for any noticeable differences in the alignment or height of the hips. Uneven hips can be a sign of scoliosis.
  3. General Shape of the Spine: Observe the overall shape of the spine from the back. In a normal spine, it should appear relatively straight. In scoliosis, there may be a visible curve or rotation.

The Adams Bending Forward Test

To check your child’s spine for scoliosis, you can perform the Adams bending forward test. Follow these steps:

  1. Test Position: Have your child bend forward with their back flat to the floor. Their head should hang forward, arms should hang down, and knees should be straight.
  2. Visual Examination: While the child is in the bending position, observe their back carefully. In a normal spine, it should remain relatively flat. However, in scoliosis, you may notice the ribs arching on the side of the curve, which becomes more pronounced when bending forward.

Using the Skullyometer App (iPhone) or Similar Apps

The Skullyometer app (available on iPhone) or other similar apps can assist you in measuring and documenting any changes in your child’s spinal curvature. Here’s how to use it to check your child’s spine for scoliosis:

  1. Preparation: If using the Skullyometer app, slide the phone along the spine, keeping the zero position in the center of the spine as you go down. If using a different app without a gap feature, place your thumbs under the phone to create a gap where the spinous processes would be.
  2. Measurements: As you slide the app or phone along the spine, it will calculate the curvature angle. Note down the readings.
  3. Documentation: Many apps, including the Skullyometer app, allow you to submit the results to healthcare professionals. This helps keep a record of your child’s readings for future reference and appropriate medical advice.

Alternative Apps for Android Users

While the Skullyometer app is only available on iPhone, there are alternative apps for Android users. One such app is “Health is in Your Hands.” These apps have been validated in research and can help you check your child’s spine for scoliosis.

Taking Precautions during the COVID-19 Pandemic

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential to ensure the safety of patients during in-person visits. Here are some precautions being taken in healthcare facilities:

  1. Social Distancing: To minimize the risk of exposure, healthcare facilities are limiting the number of patients present in the office at any given time.
  2. Temperature Checks: Temperature checks are conducted upon entry to the office to identify potential COVID-19 symptoms.
  3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Healthcare professionals wear masks and gloves to protect themselves and patients.
  4. Disinfection Protocols: Equipment and tables are thoroughly disinfected between patients to maintain a clean and safe environment.

Home Care Instructions and Telehealth Services

To ensure continuity of care, healthcare providers may offer home care instructions and telehealth services. This allows them to monitor patients remotely, supervise exercises, and continue treatment programs while minimizing in-person visits.


In order to check your child’s spine for scoliosis is crucial to detect any changes and take appropriate action promptly. By observing the height of the shoulders, hips, and general shape of the spine, you can identify potential signs of scoliosis. Utilizing apps like the Skullyometer or similar alternatives can help you check your child’s spine for scoliosis. During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare facilities are taking necessary precautions to protect patients, and home care instructions and telehealth services are being offered to ensure uninterrupted care. Stay vigilant and seek professional medical advice if you notice any concerns with your child’s spine.

Also read: Nutrition and Scoliosis: What to Eat and What to Avoid


Dr. Strauss is the director of the Hudson Valley Scoliosis Correction Center in New York. He has been actively engaged in scoliosis treatment for the past 30 years and has authored two books on the subject, Your Child Has Scoliosis and The Truth About Adult Scoliosis

He is Vice President of the CLEAR Scoliosis Institute and a lecturer for their introductory and advanced workshops.  He is certified in scoliosis bracing and in the use of  scoliosis specific exercises.  Dr. Strauss is a graduate of the ISICO World Masters of Scoliosis.His postgraduate studies also include a Masters Degree in Acupuncture as well as training in Grostic, Pettibon, CBP, Clinical Nutrition, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Manipulation under Anesthesia, and Electrodiagnosis.

His scoliosis practice has treated patients from 25 states and 32 other foreign countries.If you have questions about childhood and adult scoliosis and how it can be successfully treated without surgery subscribe to our channel!