Raising Awareness for Scoliosis
As the world continues to grapple with the ongoing pandemic, many people are taking a renewed interest in their personal health. Just as eating well and staying active is a key component of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I believe so too are health screenings and routine doctor visits. Not only do health screenings and visits work to catch issues early on, but they also tend to increase the chances of successful treatment. With that in mind, I recently filed legislation to help raise awareness for one particular health condition where screenings can prove to be valuable.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 15 designates June of every year as Scoliosis Awareness Month. For those unfamiliar with it, scoliosis is the abnormal curvature of the spine, and is often diagnosed in children and pre-teens. In most cases, there’s no known cause for scoliosis, but researchers are continuing to study the condition to learn more about possible contributing factors. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons estimates scoliosis affects between 2-3% of Americans, and women are more likely to require treatment than men.
Since scoliosis is diagnosed through examinations and x-rays, screening programs allow for early detection and open up treatment opportunities, which may alleviate the worst effects of the condition. Treatment for scoliosis depends on the location and severity of the spinal curvature, and ranges from observation and monitoring in milder cases, to bracing or surgery in more severe ones. That said, with proper treatment, observation and follow-ups with a doctor, most children and teens affected by scoliosis go on to live normal, active lives.
Ultimately, I believe SCR 15 has the opportunity to raise awareness for scoliosis, promote screenings and improve the lives of Missourians. I want to thank Shelby Welling, an outstanding young lady and Miss Missouri Pre-Teen who has been helping to educate our community about scoliosis, for bringing this issue to my office’s attention. I look forward to working to pass this legislation, and to observing Scoliosis Awareness Month with you all in the near future.
As always, it is an honor to serve the 6th Senatorial District. If my office can be service to you, please feel free to contact us at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Bernskoetter.