Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a multifactorial, three-dimensional deformity of the spine and trunk. School scoliosis screening (SSS) is recommended by researchers as a means of early detection of AIS to prevent its progression in school-aged children. The traditional screening technique for AIS is the forward bending test because it is simple, non-invasive and inexpensive. Other tests, such as the use of Moiré topography, have reduced the high false referral rates. The use of infrared (IR) thermography for screening purposes based on the findings of previous studies on the asymmetrical paraspinal muscle activity of scoliotic patients compared with non-scoliotic subjects was explored in this study. IR thermography is performed with an IR camera to determine the temperature differences in paraspinal muscle activity. A statistical analysis showed that scoliotic subjects demonstrate a statistically significant difference between the left and right sides of the regions of interest. This difference could be due to the higher IR emission of the convex side of the observed area, thereby creating a higher temperature distribution. The findings of this study suggest the feasibility of incorporating IR thermography as part of SSS. However, future studies could also consider a larger sample of both non-scoliotic and scoliotic subjects to further validate the findings.
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