Did you see the Scoliosis SOS team on TV earlier this week?

A Matter of Life and Debt is a BBC One documentary series that focuses on credit unions, responsible moneylenders, and the people whose lives have been transformed by ethical loans.

The third episode of A Matter of Life and Debt‘s current series aired on Wednesday (21 August 2019), and it featured a segment about our Clinic Principal Erika Maude and the loan that helped her to set up the Scoliosis SOS Clinic back in 2006.

Having been let down by a high-street bank, Erika instead sought assistance from Foundation East, a responsible lender that provides finance and support for businesses. They approved Scoliosis SOS for a loan of £50,000 – a sum that, thanks to the clinic’s instant success, was repaid within just nine months!

If you missed our appearance on A Matter of Life and Debt, don’t worry – you can watch it below!

More Media Coverage   About Scoliosis SOS

BASRaT Student Conference 2020

The British Association of Sport Rehabilitators and Trainers (BASRaT) is the UK regulator and professional association for sport rehabilitators. On Friday 14th February, the University of Nottingham hosted its third student BASRaT conference.

What is the student BaSRat conference?

The student BASRaT conference allows sports injury and rehabilitation students from all over the UK to participate in a day of continued professional development via workshops and talks from keynote speakers.

How were Scoliosis SOS involved?

This year, our Birmingham satellite therapist Sian – a University of Nottingham graduate – delivered an educational talk to conference attendees.

Sian’s speech covered:

  • Scoliosis education
  • Screening tools that can be used to detect scoliosis
  • Current treatment options provided by the NHS
  • Our in-house ScolioGold method

Here’s what Sian had to say about the 2020 BASRaT conference…

“This was a great opportunity to go back to my own university and raise awareness to future sport rehabilitators who are sure to come across patients with scoliosis at some point during their practice. It is a subject that is often overlooked and certainly not explored in depth as part of undergraduate courses, so providing these talks regarding the anatomy changes and screening tools for scoliosis is so important!”

Sian has received some great feedback from the students, some of whom have already expressed further interest in gaining work experience with the Scoliosis SOS Clinic!

About Scoliosis SOS   Our Birmingham Clinic

yawning baby

For over 20 years, biologist Olivier Pourquié has been researching an intriguing ‘tick’. When he was studying chicken embryos, Pourquié discovered the ‘ticking’ of a cellular clock that seemed to be linked to the formation of somites – structures that later turn into vertebrae.

Since then, Pourquié and his team have been studying this ‘segmentation clock’ in a variety of other organisms to determine how the ‘tick’ is linked to the development of the spine. They were able to replicate the ‘tick’ in a lab dish using mouse cells, but had never confirmed whether it existed in humans…until now!

After decades of research, Pourquié and his team have successfully replicated the segmentation clock using stem cells derived from adult human tissue. This incredible achievement has huge implications for the study of spinal conditions such as congenital scoliosis. This innovative in-vitro system will give the scientific community the ability to look at early spine development in humans. “Our system should be a powerful one to study the underlying regulation of the segmentation clock,” said Porquié.

When the discovery was first made, researchers were shocked that they were able to see the segmentation clock ticking in the cell dishes without having to replicate conditions similar to the human body. Pourquié described this two-dimensional model as a “dream system”.

Firstly, researchers want to use the system to compare the segmentation clocks of different animal species. Initial comparisons between the segmentation clock in mice and humans showed that the human clock ticks roughly once every 5 hours, while the mouse clock ticks once every 2.5 hours. The difference in these times directly parallels the difference in time for human and mouse gestation.

Besides looking at embryonic development, the system will also allow researchers to create different kinds of differentiated tissue (tissues that arise from the same region of the embryo as the vertebrae). From these studies, new treatments can be devised that could potentially stop various medical conditions from developing. Researchers hope to study:

  • Skeletal muscle cells and their relationship with muscular dystrophy
  • Brown fat cells and their ties to the development of type 2 diabetes

As well as exploring:

  • What controls the segmentation clock’s variable speed
  • What regulates the length of embryonic development in different animal species

We’re looking forward to seeing how this technology will impact the development of infantile spine conditions like scoliosis. It’s great to see such impressive and innovative work being done in this field. Read the full story here.

If you’re suffering with scoliosis and looking for an exercise-based treatment option, we can help! Enquire here.

The Scoliosis SOS Clinic in Birmingham is based right in the heart of the city centre, so if you’re staying nearby during your treatment, there are lots of attractions to be seen!

For shopaholics…

Our clinic is located in Birmingham’s Great Western Arcade (pictured below). Originally built in 1877 as a tunnel spanning the rail line between Snow Hill and Moor Street stations, the arcade is now home to independent retailers and is often described as a ‘home of hidden gems’. The arcade is bursting with character and Victorian charm.

Great Western Arcade in Birmingham
Photo from Wikimedia Commons

We also have The Bullring and Grand Central (only 0.4 miles from the Scoliosis SOS Clinic), which have linked up to highlight Birmingham as one of the ultimate UK shopping destinations. With over 200 shops between the two – including Selfridges, John Lewis and Debenhams – you can shop until you drop!

For a family day out…

Thinktank, Birmingham’s science museum, is an attraction not to be missed. Located within the Millennium Point building (only 0.6 miles from our Scoliosis SOS Clinic), Thinktank is your opportunity to experience hands-on exhibits and historical collections that explore the science of the world around us. There’s something for everyone to see and enjoy – highlights include the science garden, the planetarium and an exciting programme of events and activities.

You can also see how your favourite confectionery is made at Cadbury World. Explore the history behind Cadbury chocolate and watch the chocolatiers reveal the secrets of traditional chocolate making. You’ll even have the chance to enjoy some of your favourite Cadbury treats along the way. This attraction is only a short train journey from Birmingham New Street station.


Photo by Elliott Brown

Other museums in Birmingham include:

Take in a show…

Located just 0.6 miles from our scoliosis clinic, the Birmingham Hippodrome is Birmingham’s flagship theatre. Shows not to be missed in 2020 include the Nutcracker ballet, Mamma Mia! and Les Misérables. More seats are sold at the Hippodrome each year than by any other British theatre, including those in London’s West End!


Photo by Elliott Brown

Other places to take in a show:

Off the beaten track…

Just ten minutes from The Bullring and Grand Central, Digbeth is Birmingham’s bohemian district. Here you’ll find the Custard Factory, a creative hub that’s home to many independent shops, cafés, bars, restaurants and the Mockingbird Cinema & Kitchen.


Photo by Sharon VanderKaay

Digbeth is full of character, and there’s plenty to see and do, from street art to street food at the Digbeth Dining Club‘s weekly food and drink festival.

There’s also Birmingham’s oldest pub, The Old Crown, which first opened in 1368.

Getting to and from the clinic

Our Birmingham clinic is located within easy walking distance of three train stations:

Scoliosis SOS Birmingham Travel Map

  • Snow Hill Railway Station is 0.1 miles away (2 minute walk)
  • Birmingham New Street is 0.3 miles away (6 minute walk)
  • Birmingham Moor Street is 0.4 miles away (7 minute walk)

For information on bus services that run to and from Birmingham city centre, visit nxbus.co.uk.

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