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.
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.
People who suffer from Marfan syndrome experience problems with the connective tissues within their bodies; this affects the structure of their form and the support of their internal organs. In most cases, the sufferer will have inherited the condition from their mother or father, as the gene responsible for Marfan syndrome has a very high chance of being passed from parent to child.
Diagnosing this condition can be particularly difficult for medical professionals, as the symptoms often vary from person to person. While in many cases the symptoms are visible in childhood, the condition often remains unidentified until the patient’s teenage years, the process of diagnosis being made even more difficult by the rarity of the condition.
Due to its effect on the body’s tissues, Marfan syndrome can often cause problems with the body’s growth and development. One common side-effect of Marfan syndrome is scoliosis, as it can cause the spine to curve to the sides abnormally. Statistics have shown that more than 6 out of 10 Marfan syndrome sufferers will develop scoliosis, causing them to experience back pain, and even leading to breathing problems in severe cases.
What can Scoliosis SOS do to help?
As there is currently no cure for Marfan syndrome, it is important that the syndrome’s symptoms are managed in the best way possible in order to provide relief from pain and to reduce the risk of further complications. Although surgery is sometimes suggested as a solution for the symptoms of scoliosis, this is a fairly drastic form of treatment that comes with many risks to the patient. It also comes with a long healing time, which is an added inconvenience, particularly for younger patients.
At Scoliosis SOS, we take a different approach to treatment, using a variety of non-surgical therapies to deliver long-lasting results. Combining specially-devised exercises with osteopathic principals and other methods of treatment, the ScolioGold programmes delivered at our clinic are able to provide substantial reductions in spinal curvature. They also allow our patients to continue their progress at home, allowing them to see continued progress and experience ongoing relief from pain.
If you’re a Marfan sufferer who has trouble dealing with the symptoms of scoliosis, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! You can find more details of our treatment courses here.
There was potentially exciting news from Japan last month: researchers at Hiroshima University seem to have identified the gene that kick-starts the “genetic chain reaction” that eventually causes scoliosis.
As we’ve discussed previously
on this blog, the causes of scoliosis are often unclear. However, according to a report from Asian Scientist
, we are now one step closer to a solid answer: experiments on zebrafish have linked the development of scoliosis to an overactive gene called LBX1
It would seem that too much LBX1 activity can cause the spine to become misshapen as time progresses, resulting in scoliosis. This link is supported by the results of two different experiments:
- #1 – Researchers injected a group of zebrafish embryos with extra LBX1 proteins. In these embryos, the cells that would eventually become the fish’s backbone were notably wider than in embryos with normal LBX1 levels. The LBX1-boosted embryos that survived long enough to do so eventually developed misshapen bones in their backs, resulting in scoliosis.
- #2 – A second group of fish were genetically modified to promote extra LBX1 activity in some cells over the course of their lifetimes. Unlike the other group of embryos, some of these fish developed healthy backbones at first, but the spines still began to display a scoliotic curve as they grew older and entered adulthood.
The results of these experiments mirror the development of scoliosis in human beings; the first group of fish are analogous to people who are born with scoliosis, while experiment #2 offers a potential explanation for idiopathic scoliosis, which typically develops during adolescence.
(Even more intriguingly, the Hiroshima researchers noticed that their female test subjects were more likely to develop scoliosis than their male counterparts. Science has yet to provide a concrete explanation as to why scoliosis is more prevalent in women than in men, but it’s certainly interesting to learn that this phenomenon applies to zebrafish as well as to human beings.)
Naturally, it will take a lot more research before these findings can be used to treat scoliosis, but it is very exciting to see these strides being made. In the meantime, if you’d like to find out more about how scoliosis can be treated without the need for surgery, please visit our ScolioGold Therapy
page or contact us
to arrange an initial consultation at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic.