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Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis (JIS) – A Comprehensive Guide


Welcome to the Body@Boronia blog on Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis (JIS), a condition that affects children and adolescents. If you suspect your child has scoliosis, please call us on 03 9762 9445. We are based in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs and our osteopaths are here to help. In the meantime, let’s understand what’s going on…

Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis Overview:

Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis is a complex spinal condition. It usually manifests during childhood or adolescence, while young bodies are growing rapidly. Idiopathic means that there’s no clear cause for the scoliosis — the abnormal curvature of the spine. Since there’s no clear cause, it’s important for parents to be vigilant for any signs of JIS in their children.

Anatomy of the Spine:

To better understand JIS, let’s get to grips with the anatomy of the spine. The spine consists of vertebrae, discs, and ligaments that work together to provide support and flexibility. But when scoliosis strikes the spine develops an abnormal sideways curvature, often resembling an ‘S’ or ‘C’ shape.

Causes of Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis:

Despite extensive research, the exact cause of JIS remains elusive. As we mentioned earlier, the very word idiopathic means arising spontaneously or cause unknown. (It’s a mash-up of two Greek words: “idios” meaning “one’s own” or “peculiar” and “pathos” meaning “suffering” or “disease.” The word scoliosis comes from the Greek word for “crooked” by the way.) However, JIS is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Genetics play a crucial role, with a higher likelihood of scoliosis if a family member has had it. Other potential factors include abnormalities in the neuromuscular system and hormonal imbalances during growth spurts.

Complications of Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis:

Left untreated, JIS can lead to various complications. These may include respiratory issues due to the restriction of lung capacity, discomfort, and chronic pain. Additionally, severe cases may impact the heart and other organs, underscoring the importance of early detection and intervention.

How Osteopathy Can Help:

Osteopathy offers a holistic approach to managing JIS. Our osteopaths employ a range of gentle and non-invasive techniques to address musculoskeletal imbalances associated with scoliosis. These may include myofascial release, joint mobilisation, and therapeutic exercises tailored to the individual needs of the child.

Osteopathic interventions aim to:

Improve posture: Osteopaths work to correct postural imbalances, reducing the strain on the spine and associated structures.

Enhance mobility: By addressing restrictions in joint mobility, osteopathy helps restore normal movement patterns in the spine.

Strengthen supporting muscles: Osteopaths provide exercises to strengthen the muscles supporting the spine, promoting stability, and reducing the progression of scoliosis.

Conclusion & Getting Support:

If you suspect your child may be dealing with Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis, the dedicated team at Body@Boronia are ready to assist.

Early intervention is key to managing scoliosis effectively – Call us on 03 9762 9445 or click on the Book Online link to schedule an appointment with our experienced practitioners.

We look forward to helping your child thrive with a straighter, healthier spine.

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Choudhry MN, Ahmad Z, Verma R. Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. The Open Orthopaedics Journal. 2016 May 30;10:143-54. doi: 10.2174/1874325001610010143. PMID: 27347243; PMCID: PMC4897334. [Online] Available at Accessed on 24/01/2024.

Physiopedia. [ND] Idiopathic Scoliosis. [Online] Available at Accessed on 24/01/2024.