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How to Screen for Scoliosis

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Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month, so here we've included information from the National Scoliosis Center about how to screen at home, courtesy of Arcola's own Lisa Korhnak.


(Fairfax, VA/Baltimore, MD) - June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month. Given that well-check appointments have been postponed due the COVID-19 pandemic and one key to successfully treating scoliosis is catching it early, we recommend that parents do a simple scoliosis screening at home.

To identify the potential presence of scoliosis, have your child:

  1. Stand up comfortably with their feet forward and their knees straight. Then, stand behind your child and look for any of the following:
    1. Visible asymmetry of the spine
    2. Uneven shoulders (one shoulder being higher than the other)
    3. Uneven torso, waist or hips
  2. Next, have your child bend forward and hang their arms/hands downward. While still standing behind your child, view their back at eye level and look for a prominence or hump on one side.

If you identify any of the above characteristics contact your pediatrician.

An estimated 7 million Americans have scoliosis* -- defined as an abnormal curvature of the spine greater than 10 degrees with observable three-dimensional prominence. It often appears during growth spurts in girls and boys between the ages of 10 and 15; however, scoliosis can affect infants, young children and adults. Most curves are minor and require only monitoring by a doctor. Bracing is typically recommended for curves of 20 degrees or more, and larger curves (over 50 degrees) may require surgery.

The consequences of missing warning signs can be detrimental to a child’s health. Luke Stikeleather, President and Founder of National Scoliosis Center says, “Early detection can mean the difference between a child wearing a brace, versus a child needing spinal fusion surgery.”

Scoliosis treatment with non-operative bracing is achievable through early intervention and a dedicated care team that consists of the child, their family, an orthopedist and an orthotist.

National Scoliosis Center was founded by Luke Stikeleather where he serves as the President and Chief Orthotist. Luke is an internationally recognized scoliosis expert, with over 30 years in the field. Some of his accolades include: associate fellow of the Scoliosis Research Society, founding member and 2018-19 President of the International Society of Spinal Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment (SOSORT) and serving on the BrAIST Bracing Evaluation Committee 2008-2014.

*National Scoliosis Foundation,

Posted by Lisa Korhnak with

Sleep During Pandemic

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The Health and Wellness Ministry has been talking about different ways to help each other during these difficult times. One issue that keeps coming up revolves around sleeping and disturbed sleeping.  Jenny Fabian offers a simple strategy: "I always had issues sleeping. This year I started writing in a gratitude journal before bed as the last thing I do. Many people like to start their day with a gratitude journal, but I find that (sometimes) it changes my mindset before I go to bed. Instead of worrying about all the things that are wrong, I force myself to think about what’s right. It interrupts my tendency to fixate on things that may or may not happen. This is just one thing I do to help myself sleep and I hope that it can help someone else. "

This is the journal that Jenny uses:

Good Days Start With Gratitude: A 52 Week Guide To Cultivate An Attitude Of Gratitude: Gratitude Journal

Marilee Moot offers another option to help with sleep, called Insight Timer, a free app. Some of the topics include help with falling asleep, stress, anxiety, mediation for kids, and more. You can set the length of time, guided or not, music, courses, and more. Find more info about the app here:

Sweet dreams to all of you!

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