The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are usually administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at average or high risk for certain diseases or conditions. For scoliosis there is no evidence that early detection by screening will have any benefit in the long run.

Professional organizations differ regarding whether children should receive screening for scoliosis. Many states, however, mandate screening in schools. Scoliosis screening is done using the methods listed above. Each state has different regulations on what age screening takes place. Adolescents are at highest risk to develop idiopathic scoliosis during their rapid growth phase. As a result, screening may be done anytime from middle school through high school.

If scoliosis is identified, then the family will receive educational materials about scoliosis, and the child will be referred to their primary care physican for further evaluation.

A back exam should be part of a thorough well-child check-up.

Tests may include:

Adam's forward bend test —With feet and knees together, you will be asked to bend forward with your arms dangling. The screening person will stand first behind you and then in front of you to check for any visible curvature, or any uneven appearance in your rib cage, hipbones, or shoulder blades.