Muscular Atrophy
Spinal muscular atrophy, often abbreviated to SMA, is a genetic disease which impacts the nerve cells connecting the brain and spinal cord to the body’s muscles. Due to deterioration of the link between these nerves and muscles, physical activity becomes progressively difficult, as the muscles begin to weaken and shrink.
While the cause remains the same in each type of SMA, different classifications of the disease exist, according to age, symptoms and mobility of the sufferer, which are classified as follows:
  • Type I SMA – This is the most common and severe form of the disease, which manifests itself during the first six months of an infant’s life. In these cases, complications include severe muscle weakness, breathing problems and trouble swallowing. Due to the severity of type I SMA, also know as Werding-Hoffmann disease, sufferers rarely live past 2 years old.
  • Type II SMA – This form of SMA is usually detected at a later stage than type I, usually between the ages of 7-18 months, and is often identified by failings to meet expected motor milestones. While type II does cause serious mobility issues, which will require the affected individuals to use a wheelchair, the majority of sufferers will enjoy long lives, without any additional impairments.
  • Type III SMA – While this type is often diagnosed between the ages of 18 months and 3 years, it is possible that the condition will not be identified until the individual’s teenage years, depending on the extent of their ability to walk independently. As they grow, individuals with type III SMA, otherwise known as Kugelberg-Welander disease, may find that their mobility becomes increasingly limited as they age.
  • Type IV SMA – This is the most rare form of SMA, which manifests itself during adulthood, usually in individuals aged 35 or more. In these cases, the disease progresses very gradually, leading to mild motor impairment.

How is This Connected to Scoliosis?

Due to the impact of the condition on the muscles supporting the spine, almost all children with SMA will develop scoliosis. The progression of the spinal curvature depends on the severity of the SMA, and is decreased in cases where the patient is able to walk. For the most active individuals, with only a mild form of SMA , scoliosis does not have a huge impact on their mobility levels, nor does it deteriorate substantially over time.
As well as scoliosis, which refers to the sideways curvature of the spine, patients with SMA may also experience other forms of spinal curvature, such as hyperkyphosis and hyperlordosis. These refer to the forward curvature of the spine, which affects the upper area in cases of hyperkyphosis, and the lower in cases of hyperlordosis. 

Can Scoliosis SOS Help Patients With SMA?

Here at the Scoliosis SOS clinic, we have been treating scoliosis and related spinal conditions for over a decade, using a combination of proven, non-surgical methods to construct highly-specific treatment programmes for our patients. Thanks to our thorough consultation and evaluation process, we are able to provide carefully tailored advice and treatment, which is personally customised to fit the needs of each patient’s curvature and condition.
If you would like more information regarding treatment with Scoliosis SOS, and how this could help you manage the symptoms of your spinal condition, please get in touch with us today!
Francisco 30 Degree Scoliosis
Earlier this year, we treated 17-year-old Francisco, who had been diagnosed with scoliosis and whose spine was displaying a 30-degree curve.
Francisco’s scoliosis was first spotted by a physiotherapist he had been seeing after picking up a shoulder injury while playing tennis; he was sent to the hospital for an X-ray, and a week later, Francisco was diagnosed with a spinal curve of 23 degrees. He was fitted with a back brace in the hope that this would arrest the development of his scoliosis, but six months on, Francisco returned for a check-up and was informed that his spinal curve had progressed to 30 degrees.
Because Francisco’s spinal curve was causing him pain and restricting him from taking part in his hobbies – such as tennis and ice hockey – he decided to get in touch with the Scoliosis SOS Clinic to enquire about our non-surgical treatment courses. A friend of his had already received treatment here a couple of years prior to his own diagnosis, and that friend strongly recommended the Clinic based on her own good experience with us.
Francisco completed a 4-week ScolioGold treatment course, and this reduced his curve down to 18 degrees. 18 months after starting his course, Francisco’s back pain has gotten a lot better, and his posture has improved significantly. Best of all, after taking a forced break from tennis and ice hockey while wearing the back brace, he is now able to enjoy the sports he loves once again.
You can see Francisco’s full account of his 30 degree scoliosis treatment in the video below.
To learn more about our unique ScolioGold treatment method, click here. If you have any further questions, or you would like to book a consultation please contact Scoliosis SOS today.
If you work in an office or frequently spend long periods of time driving, it’s likely that you may well have poor posture. Bad posture occurs when your spine is held in unnatural positions, putting stress on your joints, muscles and vertebrae. Slouching in your chair, hunching over your keyboard, or looking down at your mobile phone for extended periods can cause a build-up of pressure on these tissues.
 
Poor Posture
Lower back, neck, shoulder, and even arm pain can be linked to bad posture, and it can lead to even more severe, painful and visible symptoms such as hyperkyphosis – a condition where the thoracic spine (upper back) develops a forward-curved posture.
 
This condition is most commonly associated with people over 40, and it can continue to worsen with age. That said, hyperkyphosis can affect anyone at any time of life, and it is believed that 20-40% of adults will develop this condition at some point.
 
Hyperkyphosis sufferers may not recognise a change in back posture at first because the curvature is often quite gradual, but if left untreated, you may find that you are having difficulty performing normal tasks and keeping your balance. Some people will also experience upper back pain and spinal fractures as the condition advances. 
 
Hyperkyphosis can be treated by undergoing surgery, but like most surgical procedures, there are a number of risks. If you’re put off by the prospect of having surgery to treat your condition, you’ll be glad to know that we at Scoliosis SOS treat spinal conditions (including hyperkyphosis) using our non-surgical treatment method called ScolioGold
 
ScolioGold is a mixture of exercise-based techniques that are continuously monitored and developed to ensure that all aspects of the patient’s condition are fully treated. For more information on our ScolioGold treatment method, click here. If you have any questions or you wish to book a consultation, please contact our clinic today.
Scoliosis – a sideways curvature of the spine – has been observed in human beings since the days of Ancient Greece (and probably much earlier). It has affected many notable people, and much has been written about it, although many aspects of the condition remain mysterious even today.
 
If you’ve been diagnosed with scoliosis and you’re eager to learn more about the condition, here are 10 interesting facts for you to memorise and share with friends and family:
 
Scoliosis
 
  1. The word ‘scoliosis’ is derived from the Ancient Greek word σκολίωσις (skoliosis), which literally meant ‘a bend‘ or ‘a twisting‘.
  2. The first notable person to treat and write about scoliosis was Hippocrates, the Greek physician who is often referred to as ‘the father of modern medicine’. He coined the name ‘scoliosis’, and he treated curved spines with extensions and stretches, performed using devices like the Hippocratic board, the Hippocratic ladder, and the Hippocratic bench.
  3. Many depictions of Alexander the Great show him looking up at an angle, as if he had a twisted spine. This has led some to theorise that Alexander – one of history’s most prolific conquerors – may have suffered from scoliosis or a similar spinal curvature.
  4. Richard III, who was King of England from 1483 to 1485, famously had scoliosis, although modern imaging techniques suggest that Richard’s condition was mild enough to be disguised with the right clothing.
  5. Scoliosis is significantly more common in females than in males. Adolescent females may be up to 10 times more likely to develop idiopathic scoliosis than their male peers.
  6. Usain Bolt has scoliosis – the Olympic gold medallist has said that the condition hampered his early career, but it obviously hasn’t stopped him from succeeding more recently! Click here for more famous scoliosis sufferers.
  7. It’s estimated that scoliosis affects roughly 3% of the population – that’s well over 200 million people worldwide.
  8. Animals can suffer from scoliosis. The condition has been found to exist in dogs, cats, horses, fish, and a number of other creatures; interestingly, though, it has not been observed in chimpanzees or gorillas, in spite of the fact that both are members of the same taxonomic family as humans (Hominidae).
  9. Severe scoliosis may be treated using a surgical technique known as spinal fusion. This operation dates back to the 1900s, and notable people who have undergone spinal fusion surgery include Princess Eugenie, actress Elizabeth Taylor, Chinese-American cellist Yo Yo Ma, and actress/singer Vanessa Williams.
  10. A lot of exciting scoliosis research is currently being carried out using zebrafish as test subjects. In 2016 alone, zebrafish experiments linked the development of idiopathic scoliosis both to a specific gene and to the flow of fluid in the spinal column – both of these findings could have huge implications for scoliosis treatment in the future.
The Scoliosis SOS Clinic is located in London, England, and is an internationally-renowned provider of non-surgical treatment for scoliosis and other spinal conditions. Click here for more information, or contact Scoliosis SOS to arrange a consultation today.
 
Lumbar scoliosis refers to the sideways curving of the lower back, known as the lumbar area of the spine. While this form of curvature can be linked with congenital scoliosis at birth, and may also occur as a result of a neuromuscular condition in adulthood, it is most commonly identified in patients with idiopathic scoliosis.  
 
Lumbar scoliosis can be visually identified using an X-ray or Adam’s forward-bend test, and is characterised by the distinctive ‘C’ shaped curve in the lower section of the spine and the apex of the curve has to be one of the lumbar vertebra. It differs from thoracolumbar scoliosis, which is when a single curve spans between the bottom few vertebrae of the thoracic spine and the top few vertebrae of the lumbar spine and the apex of a thoracolumbar curve has to be at either T12 (twelfth thoracic vertebra) or L1 (first lumbar vertebra). A lumbar scoliosis can occur in combination with a thoracic scoliosis to form an ‘S’ shaped curve, with the thoracic curve going in one direction (left or right) and the lumbar curve going in the other (right or left).
 
In most cases, symptoms of lumbar scoliosis will be distinguished during early to mid childhood, although in cases of adult degenerative scoliosis, it can also be linked with a number of corresponding conditions, including lumbar spinal stenosis and osteoporosis. 
 
Some visual symptoms of lumbar scoliosis include:
  • Uneven shoulders
  • Unusually raised hips
  • Uneven rib cage alignment 
  • Uneven waist 
  • Body leaning to one side

How is Lumbar Scoliosis Treated?

The recommended treatment for lumbar scoliosis may vary depending on a variety of factors, from the age and health of the patient, to the severity of the spinal curve, and its long-term implications. For those who experience pain and inflammation as a result of lumbar scoliosis, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen may be prescribed, in an attempt to reduce discomfort for the patient. In other cases, doctors may recommend a course of corticosteroid injections into the spine, which are performed under X-ray, and can be received no more than four times in a 6-12 month period.
 
In the most severe cases, where the curvature is seen as being likely to progress, and may impact the patient’s overall health and wellbeing, a doctor will often recommend that the patient undergoes a corrective surgical procedure. This is known as spinal fusion surgery, and involves the insertion of rods and screws into the backbones, which prevents the spine from curving. 

Are There Viable Alternatives to Drugs and Surgery for Lumbar Scoliosis? 

An increasingly popular method for treating scoliosis, is the use of physical therapy and exercises, which is the treatment approach that we employ here at Scoliosis SOS. Performing a variety of movements, a physical therapist will work to correct the existing spinal curve and strengthen the patient’s back muscles, for continued maintenance and progress. Those who enrol on our ScolioGold programme, will receive a treatment plan that is tailored specifically to their condition, with an at-home exercise routine to complete once they have concluded their treatment.
 
For more information about how we can treat patients with lumbar scoliosis, please feel free to get in touch today!  You can contact the Scoliosis SOS team by calling 0207 488 4428, or by filling in our contact form.