Scoliosis X-Rays
Since scoliosis cannot be ‘cured’ in the true sense of that word, treatment efforts tend instead to focus on managing the condition. The key aims of scoliosis management are as follows:
  • Stop the patient’s spinal curve from progressing any further
  • Reduce the Cobb angle (i.e. the severity of the curve) if possible
  • Treat symptoms such as back pain, reduced flexibility, etc.
In this post, we will describe some of the most commonly-used scoliosis management strategies to give you an idea of how this condition can be dealt with.


When diagnosing a patient with scoliosis, a doctor may initially recommend that no treatment be undertaken at all. This is particularly common when the patient is a child (and thus still growing) and when the angle of the curvature is quite mild. In lieu of immediate treatment, the patient’s spine will be observed over time so as to find out whether the curve is getting better, getting worse, or staying where it is. This will then allow the medical practitioner to select the best course of corrective action to manage the patient’s scoliosis (if any).

Treating the Symptoms

Even if the patient’s spinal curve is not being directly treated, it may still be necessary to treat certain symptoms that may be negatively affecting their quality of life. Common treatments include:
  • Pain medication – Painkillers of various strengths may be prescribed to help the patient cope with any pain they are experiencing as a result of their scoliosis.
  • Physical therapy – Physiotherapy and exercise can help scoliosis sufferers to retain their flexibility and mobility. Physiotherapy-based programmes can also constitute an effective treatment for the scoliosis itself (see below).


Scoliosis patients sometimes have to wear a rigid plastic brace in order to help manage the condition. This brace doesn’t reverse the progression of the spinal curvature, but it can arrest progression so that the curve doesn’t get any worse.
Scoliosis braces are typically worn for 23 hours per day and should only be removed when bathing/showering. This, of course, is a fairly invasive and irritating form of scoliosis management, that most patients would prefer to avoid if possible. Click here for more information on bracing.


If the patient’s spinal curve has progressed beyond a certain point (usually 40-50 degrees, also the threshold is different in different parts of the world), scoliosis management may no longer be a viable option and they may have to go in for spinal fusion surgery. During this procedure, general anaesthetic is used to keep the patient unconscious while the surgical team uses small hooks/screws to correct the curve and effectively fix the spine in place. Click here to learn more about spinal fusion surgery.

Physical Therapy

Wondering how we can help you manage your scoliosis? As noted above, physiotherapy can help to minimise the impact of scoliosis on the patient’s flexibility/mobility. However, exercise-based treatment programmes have also been shown to:
There are many different exercise-based treatment routes available to scoliosis patients, some of which are more effective than others. Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we treat patients via a regime called the ScolioGold method, which combines a number of proven non-surgical techniques into one programme that addresses every different aspect of the condition in question. Once the 4-week course is completed, patients can practice the exercises they’ve learned at home to continue to manage the progression of their scoliosis. 
After Scoliosis Surgery
Some scoliosis sufferers undergo spinal fusion surgery to correct their spinal curve. As with any surgical procedure, there are many risks involved – risks that put many people off the idea of scoliosis surgery altogether.
For some people, however, surgery is the only treatment available. If you are preparing for a spinal fusion procedure, you should bear in mind that surgery is not an instant miracle cure – after scoliosis surgery there is a long recovery period, and the exact results of the operation can vary.

What happens after the operation?

After scoliosis surgery, you will be required to stay in hospital for a certain amount of time, with the exact duration differing from one case to the next. The discomfort that immediately follows spinal fusion surgery is generally greater than for other spinal surgeries, and patients usually stay in hospital for three or four days after the operation, but a longer stay after a more extensive surgery is not uncommon. If you have undergone extensive surgery, or if you’re an elderly patient, it is recommended that you stay in a rehabilitation unit after release from hospital.

How long will it take to fully recover and return to a normal lifestyle?

After surgery, it usually takes a while before the patient can return to a normal active lifestyle. This is because the surgeon will need to see evidence of the bone healing first; the speed of the fusion process varies greatly because all bodies heal (and incorporate the bone graft fusing the vertebrae together) at different rates. In some cases, you won’t see any evidence of the bone healing until at least 6 weeks after the surgery.
During this period, the patient’s activity is restricted. Large-scale bone healing doesn’t take place until three or four months after surgery. After this period, the patient’s activity can be increased.
Some spinal fusion patients are required to wear a back brace for a period of time after the operation. The decision to use a brace and the degree of restrictiveness depends upon your surgeon’s preference and other factors related to your surgery.

How long will I need off work?

Time off work also varies depending on how extensive your surgery was and also what type of job you do. Downtime can vary from 4-6 weeks (common for a single-level fusion in a young, healthy patient with a desk job) to as much as 4-6 months (which may be necessary after more extensive surgery on an older patient with a more physically demanding occupation).

How can Scoliosis SOS help?

It is difficult to predict the length of your recovery period and the amount of pain and discomfort you will feel after undergoing spinal surgery – these things vary greatly from one patient to the next. However, if you wish to speed up the recovery process and reduce any pain you’re still experiencing, we at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic can help! Our ScolioGold method can help to reduce back pain, improve mobility, speed up the correction of a spinal curve, and correct any secondary curves that may have developed above or below the fusion site. 
Our ScolioGold programme is largely based around the Schroth method – however, unlike many other clinics, we don’t solely use Schroth exercises to treat scoliosis. Instead, we compliment it with a range of non-surgical spinal treatment techniques, resulting in a more well-rounded treatment regime.
If you wish to find out more about our ScolioGold method and how it can help you recover from scoliosis surgery, please contact Scoliosis SOS and book an initial consultation today.
Scoliosis diagram

If you’re a scoliosis sufferer, learning all about your condition can be a daunting prospect, especially if you have only recently been diagnosed with a spinal curvature. There is a great deal of information available, from both reliable and untrustworthy sources, which can make the subject rather overwhelming and difficult to get your head around at first.

Here on the Scoliosis SOS blog, we are committed to informing those with spinal issues about their condition, as well as reassuring sufferers about the treatment options available to them. In today’s blog, we will be clearing up some of the common fears and myths that those with scoliosis are often exposed to – we hope that this will help you to understand more about your condition and how to manage it.

Tip: gather as much information as possible.

Once you’ve been diagnosed with scoliosis, it’s important to develop an understanding of the condition and explore the forms of treatment that are available to you. Seeking advice from a qualified medical professional is always the best place to start, but this does not mean that you shouldn’t seek out a variety of opinions and sources of advice. Here on our blog, we have covered a variety of topics and commonly-asked questions, ranging from where the condition comes from to the pros and cons of undergoing surgery.

Remember, your scoliosis is not your fault.

Many scoliosis sufferers and their family members worry that they have caused scoliosis to develop by engaging in or encouraging certain activities or lifestyle habits. In truth, however, the vast majority of scoliosis sufferers have idiopathic scoliosis, which means that there is no clear cause behind the development of the spinal curve. Most other forms of scoliosis are caused by underlying medical conditions that the patient has no control over, such as neuromuscular disorders, birth defect, or simply getting older.

Surgery is not the only option.

Many believe that spinal fusion surgery is the only effective treatment option for scoliosis, but this is simply not the case. In fact, many cases of scoliosis do not require surgical intervention at all, especially if the angle of the curve falls short of the 40-50 degree range that is normally used as the threshold for recommending surgery. Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we have helped patients with curves ranging from mild to severe, allowing them to reduce their Cobb angle and level of pain using proven non-surgical methods.

Scoliosis should not prevent you from achieving your goals. 

One of the biggest worries for those diagnosed with scoliosis is the fear that it will be a permanent restriction on their life. Whether it’s a career aspiration or much-loved hobby, the thought of not being able to live your life according to your passions and aspirations can be completely disheartening, taking a toll on your mental health as well as your physical well-being. The good news for those who have experienced these feelings of uncertainty is that scoliosis does not have to place unnecessary restrictions on the way you live your life. Many individuals with scoliosis go on to have successful careers and lead incredibly active lifestyles, even competing in sports at a competitive level. One incredibly famous example is none other than Olympic athlete Usain Bolt

Scoliosis does not impact your ability to get pregnant or give birth.

One commonly-circulated myth about scoliosis is that it causes difficulties during labour and reduces your ability to conceive. This is almost completely untrue, as scoliosis has no effect on conception and in the majority of cases does not impact the patient’s ability to give birth naturally. You should make your midwife aware of your condition, however, especially if you wish to have an epidural, as the anaesthetist will need to adjust their approach when injecting your spine.

There is support available to you.

The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone, and that there are a variety of support networks available for those who are suffering with scoliosis and their families. From charities such as Scoliosis Association UK to groups like Curvy Girls, you will find an abundance of online support sites and forums that connect scoliosis sufferers from all over the UK and beyond. It can be a great help to speak with those who share your experiences and understand what it’s like to live with scoliosis, which is why we often find that patients who meet during our courses tend to keep in touch after their therapy.

Get in touch with Scoliosis SOS to find out more about our non-surgical treatment courses for scoliosis sufferers.
scoliosis operation
If you have a particularly severe spinal curve or are considered to be at risk of further curve progression, it is likely that you will be offered the option of undergoing spinal fusion surgery to correct your scoliosis. While it is true that spinal surgery is a major operation that involves some risky procedures, there is also a lot of misinformation surrounding the subject, which can make things extremely stressful and intimidating for those who are thinking of undergoing the procedure.
To clear up some of these issues, and to provide more information for sufferers who have been offered a scoliosis operation, we have assembled a list of some of the most commonly-asked questions on this topic, complete with answers:
Q. How severe does your curve have to be before you’re offered the scoliosis operation? 
A. Although there is some debate regarding the threshold for scoliosis surgery, many doctors will recommend the operation to those who have a Cobb angle greater than 40-50 degrees. 
Q. Does it take a long time to recover after a scoliosis operation?
A.  Although recovery times can vary somewhat from patient to patient, those who undergo surgery should expect to be out of action for some time following their scoliosis operation. After surgery patients will generally stay in the hospital for three or four days, although this may increase depending on the extent of the operation. Your activity will be limited until the doctor can see evidence of healing, which can take up to 6 weeks. Large-scale healing will not take place until 4-6 months after the surgery, after which activity can be increased once more. We can help with the spinal fusion recovery process here at Scoliosis SOS – click here for more information.
Q. Can surgery cause paralysis?
A. Like any form of surgery, scoliosis operations can carry additional risks to the patient’s overall health and wellbeing. This fact is important to consider before undergoing surgery, but should not be used to scare patients unnecessarily. There are several possible risks associated with scoliosis surgery, including paralysis and other neurological complaints. The actual risk of experiencing these risks, however, is very low, with paralysis occurring in less than 1% of cases.
Q. What happens to my spine during my scoliosis operation?
A. The operation used to treat scoliosis is referred to as spinal fusion surgery, and it involves anchoring a series of rods to your spine, reducing the angle of your curve and serving as a splint to hold the spine in place. Following this, a bone graft (sometimes real, sometimes synthetic) will be applied to eventually fuse with your spine, preventing the curve from progressing any further. You can find out more about the process here.
Q. Can I still have a baby after undergoing spinal fusion surgery?
A. Yes – there is no reason why someone who has undergone a scoliosis operation should not be able to conceive (unless there are other mitigating factors to take into account). In addition, most women who have undergone spinal fusion will still be able to give birth naturally, as this does not necessarily increase your risk of having to undergo a C-section.
Q. Is there anything I can do to improve my recovery after my scoliosis operation?
A. If you are having difficulties with your recovery, or are finding that some aspects of your scoliosis have not improved in the way you would have liked, it is possible to seek post-fusion therapy. Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we provide assistance with back pain, mobility, secondary curves and more. Find out more about the spinal fusion recovery services we can offer here.
Q. Will the rods stay in my back, or will I have to have them removed?
A. Yes, in the vast majority of cases the rods are implanted for life, due to the serious nature of the operation and possible complications associated with removing them. Rods are removed in around 2% of cases, the most common cause for this being the irritation of the overlying muscles. In most cases, the fusion will hold despite removing the rods, although in some cases it is possible that bending may occur.
Q. Can my symptoms be reduced without undergoing an operation? 
A.  Although surgery may sometimes be the only option for correcting a severe spinal curve, it is often possible to reduce the symptoms of scoliosis without undergoing surgery. Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic in London, we provide effective treatment to patients from all over the world who have been told that they require an operation for their scoliosis. To find out more about our ScolioGold treatment programme, please click here or visit our video experiences page.
Would you like to speak to us about how our non-surgical scoliosis therapy programmes can help to avoid a scoliosis operation? Get in touch to find out more or to book a consultation.