If you have scoliosis
(sideways curvature of the spine), it can impact your life in all manner of different ways. Common symptoms of this condition include compromised breathing, reduced mobility / flexibility, and muscle imbalances, as well as more visual signs such as uneven shoulders or hips.
In addition to the above symptoms, many scoliosis sufferers also endure varying degrees of back pain. But does this mean that your own back pain could be a sign that you too have a curved spine?
Scoliosis isn’t always painful
First of all, it’s important to understand that not all scoliosis sufferers experience back pain as a result of their condition. Some scoliotics suffer severe and debilitating pain every day, while others report no back pain whatsoever. Some people have to take maximum-strength painkillers to cope with their scoliosis, while others get by on a lighter dose and others don’t need any medication at all.
You might assume that the level of pain you feel depends on the severity of your spinal curvature, but there’s no evidence to support this – we have seen people with relatively mild curves go through absolute agony, and we have met patients with extremely pronounced scoliosis who experience practically zero pain as a result of this.
So now that we’ve established that scoliosis doesn’t necessarily equal back pain, let’s take a look at that equation in reverse: is back pain a strong indicator that you may be suffering from scoliosis?
In a word: no.
Back pain alone is not a reliable symptom of scoliosis
The problem is that back pain can arise due to any number of factors besides scoliosis. You might have a different curvature of the spine
(such as hyperkyphosis), or you might have some other problem entirely – you may have injured yourself lifting heavy objects incorrectly, or perhaps you have poor posture and it’s beginning to take its toll.
Instead of jumping to the conclusion that you have scoliosis simply because you are experiencing persistent back pain, look for these other, more reliable signs of a spinal curvature:
- Shoulders sitting at different heights
- Body leaning to one side
- One shoulder blade protruding more prominently than the other
- Uneven hips, waist, rib cage and/or legs
Whether or not they are accompanied by back pain, these symptoms are far more likely to point to scoliosis than back pain and back pain alone.
However, here at Scoliosis SOS, we treat a variety of patients with a range of different conditions, not just those with scoliosis. We use our specialised ScolioGold therapy to address a multitude of back and spinal conditions, thereby improving each patient’s quality of life and well-being.
Whether you suffer from scoliosis or just general back pain caused by poor posture, it’s a good idea to seek treatment right away, as your condition may progress further if left unchecked. Contact Scoliosis SOS today to arrange a consultation at our clinic in London and find out how we can help eliminate any muscular pain you are currently experiencing.
While we’re proud to have treated many cases of severe scoliosis
here at our clinic, we’re often asked about the need to address mild scoliosis, and whether or not those with less pronounced curves should even seek treatment at all.
Generally, scoliosis sufferers with a Cobb angle
of 20° or less are categorised as having ‘mild’ scoliosis, and are often told to simply monitor their condition as opposed to seeking treatment immediately. This is often due to the assumption that the condition is not considered to be particularly problematic or inhibitive at this level, although there is evidence to challenge that assumption – many people with mild scoliosis still suffer from pain, postural problems, and difficulties with certain physical activities, among other issues.
The biggest risk associated with milder cases of scoliosis is that of gradual wear and tear on the body’s soft tissues, vertebrae and disks, along with the possibility that the condition could eventually progress into a more severe curvature. There are several factors which increase the possibility of the condition progressing, including the growth of sufferers who are diagnosed at a young age. Simply being female, in fact, can also mean that a patient has a greater chance of their curve progressing, which is why it is important to consider preventative measures in order to halt further damage.
Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we believe in providing a treatment plan which not only reduces the Cobb angle but also provides a means of continued improvement and relief from the negative side effects of scoliosis. This makes it ideal for patients with mild scoliosis, as it not only facilitates a further reduction of the existing spinal curve, but also helps to prevent a progression of the condition over time. It is also ideal for children who show symptoms of developing scoliosis at an early age, allowing them to avoid further complications and restrictions later in life.
Nine-year-old Sara is one such patient. She was diagnosed with scoliosis after her brother required spinal surgery for his own severe curvature. Desperate to prevent her condition from progressing to the same stage as her sibling’s, Sara’s family sought early-stage treatment at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, with amazing results:
If you have been diagnosed with mild scoliosis, or suspect that you or a loved one is at risk of developing the condition, please get in touch with Scoliosis SOS today to find out how our treatment programmes could help.
Even in its mildest form, scoliosis can have an immense impact on a person’s life; at its most severe, it can practically prevent people from living their lives at all.
The definition of what exactly constitutes severe scoliosis
tends to vary depending on who you’re asking. Some specialists define as ‘severe’ any case where the Cobb angle
is greater than 55 degrees (in fully-grown patients; the threshold for adolescents and children is lower). This is roughly the line beyond which surgery tends to be recommended as a suitable course of treatment.
However, while the Cobb angle is a useful tool for measuring the progress of scoliosis, that number is not necessarily the be-all and end-all when it comes to determining the true severity of a scoliosis sufferer’s condition. Many people have walked through the doors of the Scoliosis SOS Clinic with curves a long way short of that 55-degree threshold that nevertheless makes life miserable for the patients themselves. Symptoms such as chronic pain, limited mobility, and reduced self-esteem are not exclusive to those with a Cobb angle of 55+ degrees, and patients who are over that line don’t necessarily suffer any more than those who aren’t. Every patient is unique, and the treatment provided ought to reflect that fact.
Help for those with severe scoliosis
The effects of severe scoliosis are multifaceted and can be dealt with in a number of different ways. Doctors may prescribe medication to help with chronic pain, whereas the psychological impact of scoliosis (e.g. negative body image, low self-esteem) can sometimes be helped by counselling.
As mentioned, surgery is often recommended as a means of correcting more pronounced spinal curvatures, but this is not always necessary, even in severe cases. Here at Scoliosis SOS, we routinely treat patients with Cobb angle measurements of 60 degrees or more – in fact, our ScolioGold
treatment courses have helped people exhibiting curves of up to 120 degrees
Here’s what our treatment programmes can achieve for people with severe scoliosis:
Our exercise-based courses can also significantly improve the flexibility and mobility of scoliosis sufferers, helping them to enjoy a better quality of life all around.
Severe scoliosis – before and after:
A patient with severe scoliosis, before (left) and after (right) ScolioGold treatment.
Take a look at our video here where we helped treat a patient suffering from severe scoliosis and a 55-degree Cobb angle:
You can find more information about our treatment courses to help with your severe scoliosis or contact us to arrange an initial consultation (this can be conducted via Skype or over the phone if you are unable to visit our clinic in person) below!
Here at Scoliosis SOS, we treat scoliosis using what we call the ScolioGold method. This is our very own unique approach to scoliosis therapy, and it combines a range of different non-surgical techniques to ensure that our patients are getting the best possible results.
One of the techniques included in our ScolioGold programme is the SEAS method. SEAS stands for Scientific Exercise Approach to Scoliosis, and it’s an approach that was first developed in Italy during the 1990s. SEAS is a specific form of auto-correction (active self-correction) that’s taught individually to each patient. This is then complemented by stabilisation exercises that focus on neuromuscular control, proprioception and balance.
About the SEAS Method
The SEAS method is the result of research efforts by ISICO (Istituto Scientifico Italiano Colonna Vertabrale), Italy’s largest network for the treatment of spinal conditions. The method is a special type of energetic self-correction and the exercises implemented through SEAS are intended to train the neuromotor function to stimulate a self-corrected posture during the activities of daily life. The exercises that are included in this method help to prevent further deterioration of the patient’s spine, and since they are very simple, they can be applied in any location with minimal use of external support or equipment.
The reason why we include the SEAS method in our treatment programme is because it is a very active correctional technique and allows patients to minutely control their muscles without reliance on complicated exercises. Many of our patients are intimidated by the prospect of going through spinal surgery to treat their condition, as surgery can limit ease of movement, and there is also a high risk that the patient may experience considerable pain post-operation. For these reasons, SEAS and ScolioGold often prove to be a viable alternative treatment choice for scoliosis and hyperkyphosis patients facing spinal fusion surgery.
As with all of the methods included in our ScolioGold programme. SEAS has been thoroughly researched and scientifically proven, so you can rest assured that you are in safe hands when receiving treatment here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic.
If you would like to learn more about the methods included in our ScolioGold treatment, please click here
. To book an initial consultation, or you have any questions or queries about our non-surgical treatments, get in touch today