Screening tests can lead to early diagnosis and treatment. They are often given to people without symptoms, but who may be at high risk. There is no evidence that screening for scoliosis has any long-term benefit.
Experts do not agree on whether children should be screened. But, many states require screening in schools. Each state has different rules on what age it happens. Adolescents are at highest risk. Screening may be done from middle school through high school.
A back exam should be part of a well-child checkup.
An Adams forward bend test will be done. With feet and knees together, you will be asked to bend forward with your arms hanging. The person screening will stand first behind you and then in front of you to check for any curve or uneven rib cage, hipbones, or shoulder blades.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/adolescent-idiopathic-scoliosis. Updated June 1, 2019. Accessed July 24, 2019.
Congenital scoliosis and kyphosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/congenital-scoliosis-and-kyphosis. Updated January 19, 2016. Accessed July 24, 2019.
Idiopathic scoliosis in children and adolescents. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons website. Available at: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/idiopathic-scoliosis-in-children-and-adolescents. Updated March 2015. Accessed July 24, 2019.
Infantile and juvenile idiopathic scoliosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/infantile-and-juvenile-idiopathic-scoliosis. Updated March 5, 2018. Accessed July 24, 2019.
Scoliosis in children and adolescents. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/scoliosis. Updated December 30, 2015. Accessed July 24, 2019.
Last reviewed June 2019 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 10/18/2019