Don’t Get Thrown for a Curve - National Scoliosis Foundation Urges Families to Step up to the Plate and Learn about Their Child’s Scoliosis

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June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month.

The National Scoliosis Foundation (NSF) recognizes and celebrates the sixth annual National Scoliosis Awareness Month (NSAM) by announcing the launch of a new online educational series called Living with Scoliosis. Living with Scoliosis will launch this June with a patient seminar titled, “Adolescent Scoliosis: Staying Ahead of the Curve”.

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) is the most common form of scoliosis, occurring in children ages 10 to 18 for unknown reasons and its progression ranges from mild curves to the more severe, which may require exercise, bracing or surgery. Following the webinar, the program will be archived on the NSF website as an important new resource for patients and their families.

“While diagnosing AIS is relatively straightforward after a spinal curve is recognized and then confirmed via X-ray, the prognosis can be confusing for both physicians and patients because exactly how the spinal curve will progress over time is uncertain,” said Joe O’Brien, President and CEO of the National Scoliosis Foundation. “The National Scoliosis Foundation is making a strong effort, particularly during National Scoliosis Awareness Month, to connect with patients and their families to provide both support and education about AIS.”

In addition to launching Living with Scoliosis, the National Scoliosis Foundation is publishing for parents a new online brochure called, “Parents Connect: What you need to know about your child’s scoliosis.” The brochure provides a comprehensive overview of the prevalence of and prognosis for AIS as well as possible treatment outcomes for both newly diagnosed and established scoliosis families. The brochure is part of the NSF’s National Scoliosis Awareness Month awareness campaign and developed by one of the NSAM partners, Transgenomic, the makers of the validated ScoliScore Test. The ScoliScore Test is the first and only genetic test proven to give physicians and parents very accurate data about the anticipated progression of AIS, thereby reducing the uncertainty of prognosis and allowing for a more personalized treatment plan.

“Most children will not need to be treated for AIS, which is great news. Depending on the patient’s genetics and clinical factors we can monitor their spines as needed to make sure nothing is changing,” stated Dr. Suken Shah, Director of the Nemours Spine and Scoliosis Center and a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. “But we want to encourage patients and their families to educate themselves about adolescent scoliosis and develop a close relationship with their physician so that their treatment plan can be personalized for best outcomes.” Dr. Shah will be the initial guest speaker in the Living with Scoliosis educational series.

Melody Tanner, from Raleigh, NC, agrees that her family’s relationship with their daughter’s scoliosis specialist has helped them cope with daughter, Katie’s, scoliosis diagnosis, particularly since her doctor prescribed bracing to manage a curve predicted to progress over time.

“We were worried when our daughter, Katie, was diagnosed with scoliosis, because we didn’t know what to expect for her, physically and emotionally, as she grew,” said Melody Tanner, “But once we got over the shock, I took a step back and said, ‘OK, she has it, we need to do something about it!”

To read the new brochure that details AIS diagnosis, prognosis and treatment options, visit http://www.scoliosis.org.

About Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis:

Scoliosis occurs when the spine twists and develops an S- or C-shaped sideways curve. Typically, scoliosis that occurs between the ages of 10 and 18, whose cause is unknown, is called Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS). This is the most common type of scoliosis in adolescents, occurring more often in girls than in boys. The cause of AIS is largely unknown, however it has been shown to run in families.

AIS is not caused by anything that the child or the child's parents did, or did not do. Diet, exercise, poor posture, or carrying a backpack do not cause AIS. In fact, AIS often develops in children who are otherwise healthy. While 25 percent of curves may worsen to some degree as the child matures, the good news is that the number of children that require treatment for AIS is small

About the National Scoliosis Foundation:

The National Scoliosis Foundation (NSF) is a patient-led nonprofit organization dedicated since 1976 to helping children, parents, adults, and health-care providers to understand the complexities of spinal deformities such as scoliosis.

Severe scoliosis impacts the quality of life, putting pressure on the heart, diminishing lung capacity, and limiting physical activity. Thankfully, through early detection and treatment advances, the worst effects of scoliosis may be prevented.

We are involved in all aspects of scoliosis support, whether the issue is early detection through screening programs, treatment methods, pain management, or patient care. Our focus is on promoting public awareness, providing reliable information, fostering ongoing research in the field, and educating and nurturing the community of those affected by scoliosis.

For more information and interviews:
Jessica Daitch, Kanterman Communications Associates
917-816-6712 (cell)
704-321-0813 (office)
Jessica_Daitch(at)yahoo(dot)com

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Jessica Daitch
Kanterman Communications Associates
704-321-0813
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