The Scoliosis SOS Clinic has now been open for over 10 years, and in that time we’ve treated a number of people who suffer from Klippel-Feil syndrome. Today, we’d like to look at this rare disorder in detail – read on to find out what Klippel-Feil syndrome is and how our physiotherapists can help those who have it.

What is Klippel-Feil syndrome?

Kilppel-Feil syndrome (KFS) is a rare congenital disorder that is thought to affect roughly 0.0025% of newborn babies. The human neck has 7 cervical vertebrae, but people who suffer from KFS are born with two or more of those cervical vertebrae fused together. This results in limited neck/head movement and – in most cases – a visible shortening of the neck.
 
Klippel-Feil syndrome
 
People with Klippel-Feil syndrome also commonly suffer from a variety of associated issues, such as heart defects, respiratory problems, and scoliosis.

How can we help KFS patients?

As previously mentioned, we at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic have treated numerous Klippel Feil syndrome sufferers over the years, including Jack Gaffney, an 18-year-old from the Republic of Ireland. Three of Jack’s cervical vertebrae were fused together, and he had also suffered from curvature of the spine since birth. Jack was told that he would need a spinal fusion operation, but he and his family were acutely conscious of the risks associated with surgery, and so they were desperate to find an alternative treatment option.
 
An internet search led the Gaffneys to our website, and they decided that – given what was at stake – it was worth travelling to England and spending 4 weeks in London while Jack attended a ScolioGold treatment course to help improve his poor posture and mobility.
 
The results were astounding. Jack’s condition improved to the point that it could no longer be classified as scoliosis, and our treatments helped his mobility to the point that he was able to start skateboarding again. It’s wonderful to know that Klippel Feil syndrome treatment helped give jack some of his independence back again.
 
Before and after Klippel-Feil syndrome treatment
Jack Gaffney (18 years old), before and after his 4-week ScolioGold course.
 
Here’s what Jack had to say at the end of his time with us:
 
“My life was such a whirlwind…every consultant I saw told me something different and I was terrified of surgery. I had no confidence and my self-esteem was badly affected. Now I can say, with all honesty, that I feel 100% better. My spine is improving every day.”
 
Our exercise-based treatment courses can drastically reduce spinal curvature and boost Klippel Feil syndrome sufferers’ mobility, self-confidence, and overall quality of life. If you’d like to find out more, contact us now to arrange a consultation for yourself or a loved one. Don’t leave your Klippel Feil syndrome un-treated.
Spinal Fusion Recovery
 

Scoliosis can be an incredibly debilitating condition, and many scoliosis sufferers choose to undergo surgery to correct their spinal curves. Spinal fusion surgery is the process of attaching rods, hooks, wires or screws to the curved portion of the patient’s backbone in order to straighten out the curve over time. Small pieces of bone are then placed over the spine; these will eventually grow together with the spinal bone, ‘fusing’ it into the correct position.

 
The spinal fusion procedure is a major surgical operation that usually takes several hours to complete. The success of the operation depends on many factors, including the flexibility of the curve and the surgical techniques used. The goal of the surgery is not a perfectly straight spine, but a balanced spine in which fusion prevents the curve from getting worse. 
 
However, as with most surgical procedures, a spinal fusion usually carries with it a long recovery period. Some pain/discomfort is to be expected, and reduced mobility and flexibility are common too. After surgery, the symptoms of scoliosis (e.g. back pain) may get better over time, although it is not uncommon to for patients to still experience pain even after they have fully recovered due to the fact that their muscle imbalance has not been addressed.

So how can Scoliosis SOS help with spinal fusion recovery?

If you have had spinal fusion surgery already and you’re looking for something to speed up the recovery process or reduce any back pain you are still experiencing, then our ScolioGold method could be the solution you’re looking for. You may have heard of the Schroth method, and this forms a large part of our methodology, but where some clinics solely utilise Schroth exercises we compliment them with a range of other non-surgical spinal treatment techniques, resulting in a far more well-rounded treatment regime that our patients find exceptionally effective.
 
Here’s how our treatment courses can help with spinal fusion recovery:
  • Reduce back pain
  • Improve mobility 
  • Speed up correction of spinal curve
  • Correct any secondary curvatures that may have progressed or developed above/below the fusion
The video below features one of our patients from the Faroe Islands. She had spinal fusion surgery on her back when she was much younger, but visited the Scoliosis SOS Clinic earlier this year to address the chronic pain that she was still experiencing.
 
 
If you would like to find out more about our treatment courses, please contact Scoliosis SOS and book an initial consultation with one of our scoliosis consultants, who will more than happy to recommend the best course of action for you.
Our clinic was established in 2006 – this year, we celebrate our 10th anniversary!

Scoliosis SOS is 10

What were you doing 10 years ago? 2006 was the year when Sven-Göran Eriksson stepped down from his role as England manager, Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond cheated death after crashing a jet powered car, and Daniel Craig made his triumphant debut as James Bond, with Casino Royale becoming the highest-earning 007 movie to date.

It was also the year when the Scoliosis SOS Clinic opened its doors for the very first time. Erika Maude, the Clinic’s founder, had recently returned from a trip to Spain, where she completed an intensive regime of exercise-based treatments to correct the curve in her spine. Erika was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 11, and after a back brace failed to improve her condition, she was told that she would probably need to undergo a complex surgical operation in order to straighten her back.

However, Erika decided to refuse surgery, and instead journeyed to Europe to try something called the Schroth method. This technique uses stretches and exercises to correct the patient’s spinal curvature and improve their overall quality of life (e.g. by reducing pain and improving mobility). Erika’s Schroth treatment worked exceptionally well, and it was this experience abroad that inspired her to found the Scoliosis SOS Clinic upon her return to the UK.

The Clinic’s original location was in Suffolk, and as the first non-surgical scoliosis clinic in the UK, it quickly became very popular indeed, with countless scoliosis sufferers travelling great distances to receive the treatments that Erika had brought back from Spain. To begin with, Scoliosis SOS patients were treated using the Schroth method alone, but over time, it became clear that the Clinic’s patients would be better served by a treatment programme that incorporated a range of different techniques rather than focusing on just one.

And so the ScolioGold method was born. This multi-faceted treatment method includes a number of different therapeutic techniques from all over the world, including:
  • Schroth Method (Germany)
  • Rigo-Schroth Method (Spain)
  • Osteopathy (USA)
  • Taping (Japan)
  • FITS Method (Poland)
  • SEAS Method (Italy)
  • Myofascial Release (USA)
  • Orthopaedic Medicine (UK)
  • Trigger Point Therapy (USA)
With this new, more effective treatment programme helping scoliosis sufferers to achieve even better results, Scoliosis SOS continued to grow, and in 2009, the Clinic relocated from Suffolk to its current home in London. Moving to the UK capital made ScolioGold therapy significantly more accessible to patients from further afield, and as a result, the Clinic’s patient list has grown exceptionally diverse over the last few years. Visit our Overseas Patients page for a few examples – we’ve welcomed people from many, many different countries where non-surgical scoliosis treatments simply aren’t available at present.


It’s now 2016, and we at Scoliosis SOS have been treating patients for a full 10 years. Throughout that time, our primary goal has always remained the same: to offer scoliosis sufferers a real alternative to surgery and help them to live their lives to the full. Scoliosis (and the other conditions that we can help with, such as hyperkyphosis) can be severely debilitating, causing extreme suffering for innumerable people across the globe. But our exercise therapy has given hundreds of people – including young children, seniors, and everyone in between – the chance to lead a better life, one free of back pain and the constant, looming fear of a risky operation.

Our treatment methods are becoming more advanced and more innovative on a daily basis, and the Scoliosis SOS Clinic remains one of the world’s leading lights in the field of non-surgical spinal treatment. We hope to keep it that way for many years to come – here’s to the next decade!

If you suffer from scoliosis or hyperkyphosis, please contact Scoliosis SOS today to find out more about how we can help you.

The first signs of scoliosis commonly appear during adolescence, although with that being said the condition can affect an individual at any point in their lifetime. Some people develop scoliosis as they approach old age, whereas others may notice the symptoms far earlier in life; there have even been cases of babies born with scoliosis.

Sadly, there isn’t a true ‘cure’ for scoliosis at present. In around 80% of cases, it’s not even clear what has caused the spine to curve in the first place – this is referred to as idiopathic scoliosis, and it is the condition’s most common form by far. Some researchers in Japan are believed to have found the gene that kick-starts the “genetic chain reaction” that eventually leads to idiopathic scoliosis, but while this is undeniably a huge step forward, a lot more research is needed before we can use these findings to prevent scoliosis from developing.

But while curing scoliosis is currently not possible, there several different methods for treating scoliosis and helping those affected by the condition to enjoy a higher quality of life. One common method is to correct the curve via spinal fusion surgery, but this is a major operation and it may take up to a year for the patient to fully recover from the surgery. Like any surgical procedure, the spinal fusion operation also carries the risk of potentially serious complications, such as infection, blood clots and damage to the nerves.

With this in mind, it’s easy to see why many scoliosis sufferers turn to exercise-based therapy in order to avoid undergoing surgery.  Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we deliver scoliosis treatment courses that are based around our own proven ScolioGold method. You may have heard of the Schroth method, and this programme forms a large part of our own methodology, but where some clinics solely utilise Schroth exercises, we complement them with a large range of other non-surgical spinal treatment techniques, resulting in a far more well-rounded treatment regime that our patients find exceptionally effective.

If you suffer from scoliosis, please contact Scoliosis SOS and book an initial consultation with one of our scoliosis consultants, who will be happy to recommend the best course of action for you.

We’re very lucky here at Scoliosis SOS – our clinic is staffed by a skilled team of chartered physiotherapists, all of whom are utterly dedicated to helping our patients to change their lives for the better.

If you choose to attend one of our 4-week scoliosis treatment courses, here are some of the people that you can expect to meet:

Georgie Frere

Georgina (Georgie) Frere is our Clinical Manager and one of our Consultants. She graduated from Cape Town University in South Africa with a BSc (Hons) Degree in Physiotherapy. She is both a chartered physiotherapist (registered with the CSP and HCPC) and an accredited Langer practitioner. She also holds Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications in dry needling, and recently gave a scientific presentation at the 2018 SOSOSRT conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Charlie Kydd

Charlotte (Charlie) Kydd is one of our Deputy Clinical Managers and Consultants. She holds two BSC (Hons) degrees, the first in Sport & Exercise Science from Birmingham and the second in Physiotherapy from King’s College London. Besides being a chartered physiotherapist, an accredited Langer practitioner and trained in Kinesiology taping, she also holds a Diploma in Sports Massage. Recently, she has developed a passion for hydrotherapy (having attended an Aquatic Physiotherapy Foundation Course) and enjoys finding ways to combine both land- and water-based exercise programmes. In 2018, she attended the 15th international SOSORT conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and she is currently an Expert Panellist for the James Lind Alliance (JLA) Scoliosis Priority Setting Partnership. 

Chrissy Pilcher

Chrissy Pilcher is one of our Deputy Clinical Managers. She has a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Brighton, as well as a BSc (Hons) Degree in Exercise Science from Bournemouth University. She is a chartered physiotherapist (registered with both the CSP and the HCPC), and she has been trained in Integrated Myofascial Therapy (Level 1), Mulligan Concept Mobilisations with Movement (Level 1), and acupuncture. She is also an accredited Langer practitioner.

Luke McKendrick

Luke McKendrick holds a Master of Science Degree in Physiotherapy from Oxford Brookes, plus a BSc (Hons) Degree in Sports and Exercise Science from the University of Wolverhampton. Like our other ScolioGold Therapists, he is a chartered physiotherapist (registered with the CSP and HCPC). He is also certified in the SEAS method.

Mollie-Rose Turkentine

Mollie-Rose Turkentine has a BSc (Hons) Degree in Sports and Exercise Science from the University of Brighton. In addition to this, she holds a First Aid Qualification and a Level 2 in Personal Training. She recently became the highest-qualified Sports Massage Therapist in London’s Square Mile when she passed her BTEC Level 5 Professional Diploma in Sport and Remedial Massage Therapy.

London Physiotherapists at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic

Kara Cattell – pictured above, far right – completed a BSC (Hons) Degree in Sports Therapy at the University of Essex. She has extensive experience as a sports massage therapist, first aider, and was previously a judge for acrobatic gymnastic competitions. She is also a certified Medical Acupuncture and Dry Needling practitioner.

Adam Frymorgen – pictured above, 2nd from left – holds both a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Physical Education in Krakow, Poland. A chartered physiotherapist (CSP and HCPC registered), he is also trained in sports rehabilitation.

All of our physiotherapists are certified practitioners of the ScolioGold method, our own unique therapeutic method that is specifically designed to combat scoliosis and other spinal conditions. If you would like to find out whether our physiotherapists can help you, please contact us now to arrange an initial consultation at our clinic in London.

Last updated 8 March 2019.

Scheuermann’s kyphosis is a condition that causes an excessive curvature of the spine, usually in the cervical, thoracic and sacral regions, resulting in a visible back hump. Hyperkyphosis, much like scoliosis, can be caused by a number of different factors. In many cases, the exact cause is not known, whereas in others it can be traced back to conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis.
 
One of the most common causes of hyperkyphosis in juvenile and adolescent patients is a disorder known as Scheuermann’s disease, which is why it is known as Scheuermann’s kyphosis. This is when the spinal vertebrae don’t develop properly and assume a wedge shape, as shown here:
 
 
As you can see above, these wedge-shaped vertebrae end up giving the spine a pronounced hyperkyphotic curve. This, in turn, causes the back to take on a hunched/rounded appearance.

Scheuermann’s Kyphosis Treatment Methods

When hyperkyphosis arises as a result of Scheuermann’s disease, it can be treated via a number of different methods, many of which are also used to treat scoliosis. Back braces can help to correct Scheuermann’s kyphotic spinal curvature, although in more severe cases, spinal fusion surgery may be recommended instead of/as well as a brace.
 
Quite often, however, neither a brace nor a surgical procedure is necessary. The Schroth method, a type of physiotherapy that forms the basis for our own ScolioGold treatment courses, is another very effective treatment for Scheuermann’s kyphosis; the technique has been shown to reduce pain in Scheuermann’s patients while also significantly decreasing the angle of their spinal curvature.

 Scheuermann’s Kyphosis Exercises (to try)

  • Work opposite – this involves moving in a way that’s opposite to your condition. Stand tall, tuck your chin in slightly and bring your head directly over your shoulders. Your shoulder blades should move backwards and down slightly, stretching the muscles in your back. If you start to feel pain, stop immediately.
  • Laying head retraction – another great Scheuermann’s Kyphosis exercise to try – simply lay on the floor and pull your chin back into the ‘double chin’ position. Repeat.
  • Superman – another Scheuermann’s Kyphosis floor exercise, lay on your front and stretch your arms and legs out straight. Lift your arms and legs up towards the ceiling. This will improve your flexibility, strengthen your core and reduce the appearance of your condition.
We have treated a number of Scheuermann’s disease patients here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, and our unique spinal-specific exercise therapy courses help these people to combat their condition and greatly improve their quality of life. You can see the results of our physiotherapy courses on patients who have Scheuermann’s kyphosis here
 
If you suffer from Scheuermann’s kyphosis and are looking for treatment, please contact us today to arrange an initial consultation and find out whether the Scoliosis SOS Clinic could help you.
Although we’re located in London, we’ve treated patients from all over the world, including numerous scoliosis sufferers from the USA. Our excellent accommodation facilities and unique treatment methods have persuaded many people to make the long journey from America to the UK in search of an alternative to scoliosis surgery.

Here are two of our success stories, from individuals who were unable to get the scoliosis treatment they required in the USA:

Patient #1: Nadia Browne

14 // Female // New Jersey

 Sara Van Zandt

Until her diagnosis, neither Nadia nor her family had heard of scoliosis, which meant that there was a great deal of worry and confusion when the doctor brought it up. Nadia became anxious that her curved spine would impact her love of sports, and found that her outgoing personality was beginning to slip away.

Why did Nadia choose Scoliosis SOS?

After deciding not to undergo a risky 9-hour operation to correct her spine, Nadia and her mother began looking for alternatives. They found a chiropractor who claimed that he would be able to help Nadia’s condition, but after two years of treatment, no progress had been made – in fact, Nadia’s condition sadly got worse during this period. This heightened the family’s urgent need to find a viable alternative to surgery, which is why they made the decision to travel from the US to the UK for Nadia to receive scoliosis treatment at our clinic.

Results:

After four weeks of treatment at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, Nadia’s physical appearance and spinal rotation improved dramatically, which meant that she no longer required surgery. Her pain disappeared, and her personal wellbeing improved as she was able to return to playing sports.

Patient #2: Tina Barlow

41 // Female // Florida

 Tina Barlow

Although Tina was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 12, she did not experience physical or emotional issues until her mid-thirties, after she had given birth to her third child and suffered a car accident.  This meant that she was in agonising pain for 3 months, and experienced flare-ups on a regular basis thereafter.

Why did Tina choose Scoliosis SOS?

Having read articles about our work here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, Tina was convinced that we could help her. This decision was made even easier and more urgent when Tina discovered that her daughter was affected by scoliosis as well.

Results:

Since receiving treatment with Scoliosis SOS, Tina and her daughter have been pain free, and are able to manage their conditions with the advice provided to them. Tina can now ensure that her condition doesn’t deteriorate while also preventing her daughter from having to undergo major corrective surgery.

Patient #3: Kurt Wunder

29 // Male // California

Another patient who crossed the Atlantic to reach our clinic is Kurt Wunder from California. Watch the video below to learn his story.


If you don’t have access to non-surgical scoliosis treatment in the USA, please feel free to get in touch with the Scoliosis SOS team to find out how we can help. Alternatively, for more examples of how our treatment programmes have helped patients from overseas, please click here.
Is Scoliosis Painful
 
 
A curved spine can disrupt your life in all kinds of different ways. It can have a severe impact on flexibility and mobility, which is particularly problematic if the patient participates in sports or other physical activities; scoliosis also tends to affect one’s appearance, and many scoliosis sufferers find that their self-esteem is diminished as a result.
 
However, for many scoliotics, the very worst part of their condition is the pain that it causes them. Although some patients suffer minimal discomfort, many can scoliosis painful to varying degrees. Chronic back pain can have a very damaging effect on a person’s life, and many people find that it even impacts their ability to work. Rachel Webster, a 35-year-old woman who completed a ScolioGold course late last year, is a good example – watch the video below to hear about her experience:
 
 
All this having been said, the pain that scoliosis causes does vary greatly from one patient to the next. Some scoliotics may not experience much pain at all, whereas others suffer such debilitating back pain that they require maximum strength medication. Interestingly, there seems to be little if any correlation between the angle of someone’s spinal curve (their Cobb angle) and the level of pain they experience. For instance, someone with a 60-degree curve may not feel any pain at all, whereas someone with only a 20-degree curve may experience a huge amount of pain. Every case of scoliosis is unique.
 
When pain does develop, it tends to happen because your body is over-compensating for the curve in your spine. Your muscles will be working overtime to help control the curvature of your spine, and this extra exertion can lead to muscle pain, which can be incredibly uncomfortable.

I experience a lot of back pain – does this mean I have scoliosis?

No, not necessarily. Almost everyone experiences some back pain from time to time, and even if your pain is more persistent, that doesn’t mean it’s a sure sign of scoliosis. Back pain can arise due to all sorts of different factors, and this in itself is not sufficient evidence for a diagnosis of spinal curvature. More reliable symptoms of scoliosis include:
  • A visible sideways curve in the spine
  • Ribcage being more prominent on one side
  • One hip/shoulder sticking out more than the other
  • One leg being longer than the other
  • One shoulder appearing higher than the other
If you are unsure whether or not you suffer from scoliosis, be sure to visit your GP for a professional diagnosis before seeking treatment.  We also offer screening checks for anyone who is concerned that they may have developed a spinal curvature.

Overcoming the pain of scoliosis

If you are experiencing pain due to a curved spine, we at Scoliosis SOS can help you to reduce that pain and improve your overall quality of life. If you find scoliosis painful, you don’t need to suffer alone – use the links below to find out how we can help you.