Scoliosis Awareness Month

Physical therapist Andrew Merget, DPT, Cert. MDT, SST

MARTINEZ, Ga.–  June is Scoliosis Awareness Month.

It’s something your kids are screened for in school, but what can it mean down the road? It’s also a time to pay attention to a physical ailment hitting the tech-savvy generation: “text neck.”

Doctors say it could cause serious damage.

“I always look down at my phone.” Looking down at her smart phone, often for hours at a time, left 14-year old Sarah Atchison with a pain in her neck.

Sarah Atchison/Texting Teen: “It was mostly just achy. And it made it really hard to concentrate.”

“Text neck is where the proper curve in the cervical spine actually gets reduced and can even move forward. A good curve is ideally 40 degrees, but these x-rays show a very different story. But this girl has lost that neck curve and it has moved to a classic reverse curve or text neck.”

Physical therapist Andrew Merget sees it in his office, too.

Physical therapist Andrew Merget, DPT, Cert. MDT, SST

“If you think about what the spine needs to heal, if we’re constantly putting ourselves in that position, it’s like a finger cut. If we’re constantly moving that finger it takes longer to heal. The body loves movement but too much movement in one direction starts to create too much force and cause an obstruction or pain.”

But there’s another spine issue to watch for this month: scoliosis.

“Scoliosis itself is defined as a three dimensional abnormal curvature of the spine, ok. So that means there’s an abnormal lateral curvature, and there’s an abnormal curvature of the rotational aspect. And that’s why it needs to be screened.”

Females 10 – 15 years old, depending on their curvature, can be at risk of progression. If they’re not monitored correctly, this can lead to surgery, pain or disruption in movement, and even at a certain age, poor body image and awareness.”

You can get a free scoliosis screening from Georgialina Physical Therapy on Friday, June 30th… 2:00 – 3:00pm… at their Martinez location, which is at 500 Fury’s Ferry Road, in the Bi-Lo shopping center.

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