At Scoliosis SOS Clinics, we use a radiation-free back scanning technology known as the Formetric system. This helps us to clinically measure and document patients’ progress before, during and after treatment. We also use it at any subsequent check-up appointments they may attend.  The advantages of this scoliosis measurement system are that unlike x-rays, which use harmful radiation, a Formetric scan is completely non-invasive and carries no risks regardless of how many times it is repeated.

Formetric radiation-free back scanning system

How does scoliosis Formetric measurement work?

A Formetric scan is a radiation-free surface topography measurement that enables a 3D reconstruction of the spine.  During a scan, a light projects a pattern of parallel lines onto the patient’s back and this is recorded by the inbuilt camera.  The scan is taken over a 10 second period to allow for minor differences in standing position and therefore produces a highly reliable measurement.  Biomedical software then analyses this captured image and generates a three-dimensional model of the patient’s posture and will highlight any asymmetries that may be present.

Why is radiation-free scoliosis measurement beneficial?

The average scoliosis patient who is diagnosed with the condition as an adolescent will have upwards of 25 full spinal x-rays during their lifetime. There are scientific concerns that repeated exposure to radiation increases the risk of breast cancer by 140%.  X-rays are commonly used to diagnose a scoliosis. However, non-invasive measurements have proven effective at monitoring the condition to detect any significant progression.

scoliosis measurement analysis

What can a Formetric scan measure?

From a scan your therapist will be able to calculate:

  • Spinal alignment
  • Any leg length discrepancies
  • Posture-related pain symptoms
  • Pelvic or spinal rotation
  • Hyper-kyphosis or lordosis
  • Muscular imbalances

Where can I get a scoliosis measurement scan taken?

All of our clinics have a Formetric scanner installed. Therefore, regardless of your location you can be sure of your therapist having access to a fast, clinically-accurate measuring system.  We offer a Formetric scan as part of our Initial Consultation. Patients attending for treatment will typically have a scan taken weekly (on our intensive courses) or every 10-20 sessions (for 1:1 care).

Call us on 0207 488 4428 to book an appointment for your radiation-free postural assessment.

Happy person with arms in the air

We at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic are huge advocates for scoliosis self-correction and treatment through exercise!

If you’re suffering because of your scoliosis, there are a lot of things you can do to relieve pain and prevent your spinal curve from worsening. One of these things is active self-correction (ASC), just one of the many treatment methods that make up our ScolioGold therapy programme.

Active self-correction is often referred to as the scientific exercise approach to scoliosis treatment. It involves a series of movements designed to stabilise the scoliosis curvature. Our ScolioGold therapists teach you how to actively self-correct by standing you in front of a mirror and showing you how you can physically unbend and de-rotate the curve in your spine.

 

Active Self-Correction

As much as we’d love to teach you how to actively correct your scoliosis with a few simple instructions, every spine is unique, and each patient needs to be taught how to correct their own curvature. See one of our patients actively self-correcting their scoliosis curvature in this video:

You can see how this patient’s spine moves into a much better position with a few simple, conscious movements. These movements are often called:

  • Activation – ‘unlocks’ the curvature from its resting position
  • Correction – encourages the spine to sit in a more healthy position
  • Repetition – ‘locks’ the straighter spine in place (this involves retraining the postural control centre in the brain to accept the ‘fixed’ position)

Now that our patient knows how to get into this position, they will be able to actively correct their curvature over and over again, until it becomes a more natural sitting and standing position.

See more examples of scoliosis self-correction on our Instagram highlights:

See Our Patients Performing ASC >

 

Posture Awareness

Part of active self-correction is developing a better awareness of your posture. We’ve written numerous blogs about the effects of bad posture on your spine, and unfortunately, people with and without scoliosis fall foul of poor posture all the time. Whether you work in an office, play a musical instrument or make frequent long journeys, you’re often susceptible to slouching and (potentially) damaging your spine.

Scoliosis self-correction teaches you to be continually aware of your posture, actively moving and straightening to create a straighter and stronger spine. There are a whole host of postural exercises that you can do to help improve your spinal position – of course, you’ll need to practice these exercises regularly if you want to see a significant improvement. Most posture-correcting exercises can be done at home and without any equipment!

Posture-Improving Exercises >

 

If you’re interested in finding out more about our exercise-based scoliosis therapy, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 0207 488 4428 or submit an enquiry here.

Hyperkyphosis surgery

‘You need surgery’ isn’t something you ever want to hear. But for some individuals diagnosed with hyperkyphosis, surgery may be the only viable option to improve their condition and reduce their back pain. Non-surgical treatment methods such as physical therapy are often explored before resorting to surgery; however, if the symptoms of kyphosis are still causing problems after a certain amount of time, doctors may recommend an operation.

Other criteria that are taken into consideration include:

  • Curve progression – If the curve of the spine is getting gradually worse, doctors may suggest surgery to correct the curve and halt the progression.
  • Curve severity – In the thoracic spine (upper back), curves that exceed 80 degrees are considered severe. In the thoracolumbar spine (mid-low back), curves greater than 60-70 degrees are classed as severe.
  • Neurological symptoms – Hyperkyphosis can affect the nerves in the spinal cord as a result of spinal changes (e.g. vertebral fractures, which may cause pinched nerves). This can result in numbness, weakness and tingling feelings. In severe cases, the patient may experience bladder or bowel dysfunction.
  • Balance – Due to the spine curving forward in kyphosis, patients may have difficulty standing up straight. If a case of kyphosis results in individuals leaning forward too far, making it difficult to complete everyday tasks, surgery may be needed to rebalance the spine.

The main aims of hyperkyphosis surgery are:

  1. Decrease pain and any neurological symptoms experienced
  2. Reduce deformity
  3. Stop the curve from getting any worse

A number of different surgical procedures may be used, including:

Osteotomy

Osteotomy is a surgical procedure that involves the cutting and reshaping of bones. For individuals who have been diagnosed with hyperkyphosis, osteotomy realigns the bone ends in their spine and allows them to heal. Spinal instrumentation and fusion may then be used to stabilise the spine during the healing process.

Spinal Fusion

Once the spine has been realigned through an osteotomy, surgeons are required to stabilise and help it to heal in its new position. To do this, the surgeon will create an area where the bones in the spine fuse together over a period of time (typically several months) using a bone graft. This fusion aims to prevent movement between the vertebrae, providing more long-term stability within the spine. Based on the severity and location of the kyphosis curve, the surgeon will dictate whether the spinal fusion is performed from the front (anterior approach) or the back (posterior approach).

Balloon kyphoplasty

Kyphoplasty is a minimally-invasive treatment that’s performed through a number of very small incisions. Here, a special orthopaedic balloon is placed into the compressed vertebra and then inflated in an attempt to return the vertebra to the correct height and position. The balloon creates an empty space in the vertebra which is filled with a special surgical cement. This helps to stabilise the spine.

 

Hyperkyphosis surgery risks

As with any other surgical procedure, kyphosis surgery does carry some risks that you should be aware of before you decide to go under the knife. These include:

  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Instrumentation becoming loose or breaking
  • Development of a secondary curve

 

Treating hyperkyphosis without surgery

If you don’t like the idea of having surgery, you’ll be pleased to learn that it is often possible to treat Scheuermann’s disease and other forms of hyperkyphosis without any invasive procedures. Here at Scoliosis SOS, we offer world-class therapy in the form of our ScolioGold programme, which helps to straighten the back, reduce feelings of pain and improve overall quality of life.

We can also help individuals who have already undergone hyperkyphosis surgery. Our combination of proven treatment methods can help to speed up the recovery process, easing the pain experienced post-surgery, improving mobility and correcting any secondary curves that may have developed above or below the fusion.

If you would like to find out more about why our treatment courses are a great alternative to surgery, 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.

Get in Touch >

Surgical team at work

Being diagnosed with scoliosis is a life-changing experience. It can then be even more life-changing when you are told that your curved spine can only be corrected with spinal fusion surgery.

What Happens During Scoliosis Surgery?

If you’ve never had surgery before and you’re hearing about how the operation is performed for the first time, it’s perfectly natural to feel a little worried. Whether you’re considering the possibility of surgery or you’ve already had the operation, we at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic can help you.

 

Pre-spinal fusion treatment

Here at Scoliosis SOS, we provide scoliosis patients with physiotherapy-based treatment that aims to reduce their Cobb angle measurement. Our ScolioGold treatment programme combines the Schroth method with an assortment of other well-established therapeutic techniques from around the world, including:

  • FITS Method
  • PNF Technique
  • SEAS Method
  • Taping
  • Myofascial Release
  • Osteopathy
  • Trigger Point Therapy
  • Medical Acupuncture

This ensures that all aspects of the patient’s condition are addressed.

By increasing the range of motion in the back and strengthening the muscles around your spine, our pre-spinal fusion treatment aims to reduce the severity of your spinal curve, often meaning that surgery is no longer required at all.

 

Post-spinal fusion treatment

If you have already undergone spinal fusion surgery, our exercise-based therapy can still benefit you. Common problems after spinal fusion surgery include infection, pseudarthrosis and failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS), all of which can result in continued episodes of pain and discomfort as well as reduced mobility. If you are experiencing any of these issues in the wake of your spinal fusion surgery, our treatment courses may help to alleviate your symptoms.

But even if the operation went perfectly, it often takes a long time to fully recover from spinal fusion surgery. ScolioGold treatment can help to speed up this process whilst limiting several other post-op issues you may have. Our treatment plan is great for:

  • Reducing back pain
  • Improving mobility
  • Speeding up the correction of your spinal curve
  • Correct any secondary curvatures that may have progressed or developed above/below the fusion

Watch the video below to hear from one of our past patients, Rachel, who had surgery for her scoliosis and unfortunately experienced post-surgery complications. A number of years after her first operation, Rachel was told that another curve was developing in a different part of her spine and would require further surgery. Hoping to avoid having to go through this again, Rachel began to look for alternatives.

Rachel’s story is a great example of how our treatment can be utilised by post-surgery patients to address various issues they may encounter. Thanks to her 4-week ScolioGold treatment course, Rachel was able to avoid a second appointment with the surgeon.

If you would like to learn more about how our scoliosis treatment course can help you either pre- or post-spinal fusion surgery, please do not hesitate to get in touch today.

We at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic are all about helping our patients to manage their scoliosis independently. When you attend one of our treatment courses, our therapists will teach you a range of corrective and strengthening exercises to combat your spinal curvature; you will then need to continue performing these exercises at home in order to keep your scoliosis under control.

Many of the exercises we recommend require particular pieces of equipment. These are, for the most part, relatively common, and may even be things that you already own. Read on to find out what you’ll need to keep up your scoliosis exercises once you’ve left the clinic.

Please note: all exercise equipment can be purchased from the Scoliosis SOS Clinic directly. Please don’t stop or avoid doing your scoliosis exercises if you can’t find the equipment you need in shops.

 

Poles for scoliosis exercises

Poles and Chin-Up Bars

One of the main ways we are able to control our patients’ elongation during treatment is by using poles and wall bars. They help to straighten the spine while giving the patient something to hold on to for guidance and stability. We recommend that our patients use a chin-up bar in place of wall bars and, because many chin-up bars are portable and relatively inexpensive, this can be a great investment for patients who are going on holiday.

 

Plastic tubes and wooden blocks

Wooden Blocks and Plastic Tubes

You will become very familiar with these plastic pipes and wooden blocks by the end of your ScolioGold course. Our physiotherapists use the blocks to correctly position you during exercises, and they use the pipes to help you stretch and elongate when prone.

Having these pieces of equipment at home will help you achieve the same results, although you may need to ask a friend or partner for some assistance.

 

Strap and belt exercises

Strap and Belt

These are definitely among the more unusual pieces of equipment that we use in our scoliosis exercise routines. The strap and belt are secured to the wall bars, and they help our physiotherapists to stabilise the patient’s pelvis during different exercises.

This is a great piece of equipment for you to purchase if pelvis alignment is one of your key treatment goals.

 

Beanbags, wedges and resistance bands

Wedges, Beanbags and Resistance Bands

Besides being nice and comfortable, these beanbags and wedges help to de-align and rotate your spine. They will also come in very handy while you complete other exercises that require different parts of your body to be supported while you exercise.

We also recommend that you purchase a variety of resistance bands. These will help you to build up the strength of your muscles during FITS, PNF and stabilisation techniques.

 

Exercise mats and stability ball

Exercise Mats and Stability Balls

Suitable for most forms of floor-based exercise, an exercise mat can cushion you against hard and cold floor surfaces. If you plan to exercise on wood flooring (or even outside on the patio), investing in an exercise mat is a great idea!

The stability ball is a piece of equipment that we incorporate into many of our scoliosis exercises. It’s an incredibly versatile apparatus that can help you to build strength and improve your balance. If you don’t already have one at home, we recommend purchasing one – they’re great fun and very useful!

 

Plastic stool and trigger point balls

Plastic Stools and Trigger Point Balls

Lightweight plastic stools are perfect for positioning yourself during exercises. We’re sure you already have something like this at home, but if not, now might be the time to purchase some.

The colourful, spikey balls you see above are trigger point balls. They provide proprioceptive feedback and muscle stimulation.

 

Foam roller and stability disk in use

Foam Rollers and Stability Disks

Foam rollers (like the blue one pictured above) are specifically for hyperkyphosis patients. They help patients to work the deep tissue around the spine, and can also be used to relieve muscular aches and pains.

Stability disks are used by patients who have completed more advanced exercises during their treatment. By balancing on the stability disk while holding corrective poses, patients are able to improve their balance and strength.

Remember that you can purchase all of this scoliosis exercise equipment directly from the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, so don’t worry if you’re struggling to find something that you’ve enjoyed using during your treatment.

Contact Scoliosis SOS >>