What exactly does a physician do to check for scoliosis?

Xrays. In many cases, the findings on a patient with even a large scoliosis curve can be subtle. This is in part why schools will screen for scoliosis. The most common findings are an asymmetry in the hips and pelvis, an elevation of one shoulder, and a rib hump, otherwise known as an asymmetric trunk rotation. An xray is the definitive test. Thank you for your question.
Standing xray. Physical exam looking for asymetry of the ribs while bending over rib cage rotationmeasure curve on xray under15 degrees is spinal asymetry.
Examination &x-ray. One can usually detect scoliosis on physical exam. If the patient is obese or the curve mild , it may not be apparent except by standing x-ray. Physical signs of a scoliosis: shoulder and waist height differences, waist crease differnces from right to left, how close or far one arm is hanging next to body compared to the other, a difference in breast sizes, a hump on the back and curve seen.