Scoliosis Therapy Centers


How to Prevent Infantile Scoliosis with Spinal Care

ByVivian McNeil


As new parents, you want to do everything possible to keep your baby happy and growing properly. When your baby comes into the world, you ensure your baby eats, bathes, cuddles, and has regular checkups.

When babies grow into preteens, you may notice that some have compromised postures and have to wear a special spinal brace for scoliosis. You may wonder if there are preventative measures to avoid spinal problems in your baby’s future.

What is Infantile Scoliosis?

Infantile scoliosis is an abnormal curve in the spines of infants and toddlers, and doctors do not know the cause of the condition. Babies start to show scoliosis symptoms around six months of age. While infantile scoliosis is not painful, parents should monitor it closely to prevent it from progressing into a severe deformity.

Doctors can treat infantile scoliosis with casting and scoliosis bracing therapy. Braces help align the baby’s spine shape. Babies with mild cases are typically only monitored over a few years. Infants with severe scoliosis may receive scoliosis bracing therapy and scoliosis surgery when they are older.

Symptoms of Infantile Scoliosis

  • one rib appears more prominent than the other
  • the waistline is tilted
  • uneven shoulders
  • one shoulder blade protrudes more than the other
  • one leg appears longer than the other

How Your Baby Lies Down is Important

Since the Back To Sleep campaign of the 1990s, parents put babies on their backs to avoid any suffocation when they sleep. It keeps the spine shape aligned, but there is also the danger of developing flat head syndrome, known as plagiocephaly. To prevent plagiocephaly, experts mandate that babies should alternate positions throughout the day, such as holding the baby or giving the baby tummy time.

Baby at the doctor

Many parents don’t enjoy watching their babies have tummy time, fussing while they bob their heads up and down. Frequently, the babies will tire out and fall asleep on their stomachs, which is acceptable as long as there is supervision. However, back sleeping has unequivocally saved lives and is great for infant spine development as long as the mattress is firm.

Infants have flexible bones to come down the birth canal. The negative side of flexible bones is that parents must be careful not to jeopardize the spine by using devices that could cause curvatures and threaten the back’s stability.

Let’s look at some options you have to prevent flat head syndrome and keep your child’s spine healthy. 

Baby Devices to Help Prevent Infantile Scoliosis

When an embryo develops, the nervous system and the spine are the first to grow. As the nervous system takes shape, there are many necessary movements that the baby needs to experience to develop properly, and these continue after the baby is born. The baby shouldn’t use any gadget that would hinder these developments.

With so many baby gadgets on the market, it can be difficult for parents to decide what to purchase. You might wonder if the device you buy will be good or bad for your baby’s spine. Any baby carrier you use should allow the baby’s feet to rest on your body or a footrest.

Let’s go through some more current baby devices and how they affect the flexible spine of a baby:

  1. Rock n Play – Manufacturers recalled this baby holder because of fatalities. Even when infants use the device with supervision, it can cause plagiocephaly and spinal troubles because the baby sits in a position that’s hard on their spine.
  1. Baby CarriersTwo main types of baby carriers are available: front or back holding. A front carrier dangles the baby’s feet in midair and causes the parent to slump their shoulders, which is bad posture for everyone involved! 

A proper carrier has good back support and keeps the baby’s knees above their hips. This position ensures the thighs support the knees, so there is less tension on the hips. The back carrier is the better carrier to achieve this position. If you look at a baby using a rear carrier, the baby’s legs are in the shape of an “M,” which allows the baby’s legs to hold onto their parent. This position provides proper spinal comfort.

  1. Baby Jumpers and Seats – Baby jumpers and seats are fine if the baby is old enough for the device. Otherwise, these devices can cause stress on the joints, potentially delay the baby’s learning to sit on their own, and cause back problems. Your child is only ready for a jumper when they can sit unassisted. 

How Does My Baby’s Spine Develop?

Let’s look at the four main stages of spinal development.

  1. Newborn stage – The newborn stage is when a baby is born until one year old. The spine constitutes 40% of the baby’s total body length and will grow significantly in the first year. The spine’s shape at birth is like the letter “C.” By three months, the baby begins to lift their head, and the curve reverses, called lordosis. At six months, the baby usually starts to sit and sometimes stand. Sitting alone takes a huge toll on the baby, as they must use their spine, head, and core simultaneously to maintain balance.
Doctor checking Baby's heartbeat
  1. Years 1 to 5 – The spine continues to grow during the first five years of your child’s life, reaching around 20 inches. Healthy spinal development makes it easier for the toddler to walk, crawl, and run easily and naturally. With a solid foundation of the spine, your toddler should learn to balance themselves correctly and fall less frequently.
  1. Years 5 to 10 – The spine grows another four inches during these years. Parents should start to look out for any unnatural curvatures of the spine and unevenness of the back.
  1. Puberty to 18 years old – The spine typically grows another eight inches for boys and six for girls.

Get Help from Scoliosis Therapy Centers

It’s normal for parents to worry about the health of their new baby and feel anxious about all the devices and accessories their baby may need at each stage. However, parents should be aware that certain gadgets can compromise their child’s spinal development and alignment. Choosing safe gadgets for your baby’s spine and proper laying positions is essential for avoiding baby back problems.

Scoliosis Therapy Centers can help your child properly manage a scoliosis diagnosis. We use non-invasive therapies like Schroth therapy to help reduce the progression of infantile scoliosis and avoid surgery as an adult. Therapy has many benefits to manage the symptoms of scoliosis in babies.

Finding an effective treatment for infantile scoliosis is important. Scoliosis bracing has many long-term benefits that can allow your child to live a normal life and enjoy their daily activities. Doctors can also help parents learn about idiopathic scoliosis to look out for symptoms in their child to prevent surgery and major therapies.
Contact Scoliosis Therapy Centers to get help treating your baby’s infantile scoliosis. Find a specialist near you to start treatment right away and help your baby live life to their full potential.

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