As we’ve seen several times on this blog over the last few months, scoliosis is not just a condition in its own right but also – in some cases – a symptom of other conditions. 80% of scoliosis sufferers have idiopathic scoliosis, meaning that there is no known cause, but for many others, scoliosis is part of a larger disorder that potentially comes with all kinds of other symptoms as well.
For Louise, a young acrobat from Jersey, that larger disorder is Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (or EDS for short).
Scoliosis patient with EDS

What is Ehlers-Danlos syndrome?

There are multiple different types of EDS, but all of them affect the body’s connective tissues. Typical symptoms include:
  • Very stretchy skin
  • Joint hypermobility (also known as being ‘double-jointed’)
  • Fragile skin that breaks/bruises easily
This is because EDS sufferers have a genetic abnormality that affects their collagen, the protein that serves as the main component in all connective bodily tissues (some refer to collagen as the ‘glue’ that holds the body together).
In addition to the above symptoms, many EDS patients also suffer from:
  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Dysautonomia (problems with the nerves that carry information to the heart, bladder, intestines, sweat glands, pupils and blood vessels)
  • Curvature of the spine
However, symptoms vary considerably depending on which type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome you have.

Louise’s story

Louise came to the Scoliosis SOS Clinic to receive treatment for a sideways curve in her spine. Spinal curvature is a common problem for people who suffer from a form of EDS called kyphoscoliotic Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (also known as EDS type VI).
Circus acrobat Louise understood that she needed treatment for her scoliosis, but she also knew that traditional scoliosis treatment methods (spinal fusion surgery or back bracing) could seriously affect her flexibility and thus her ability to perform.
Acrobat with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
In the end, she travelled from Jersey to London with her mother in order to complete a 4-week ScolioGold course. We’ll let Louise and her mum tell you the rest of the story:
If you suffer from curvature of the spine (whether as the result of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or something else), we at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic may be able to help you. Please contact us today to arrange an initial consultation, or give us a call on 0207 488 4428 to speak with a member of staff.

Learn about some of the other conditions that can result in a curved spine:

 
Scoliosis in Young Children
Scoliosis is relatively uncommon amongst young children. In most cases of scoliosis, the patient’s spinal curve doesn’t develop until adolescence, and so the majority of the people we treat here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic are at least old enough to be in secondary school.
However, that’s not to say we haven’t welcomed our share of younger patients to the Clinic – in fact, we’ve treated scoliosis in children as young as 4!

How does our treatment differ when the patient is a young child?

One of the most difficult things about treating scoliosis in young children is judging whether or not any treatment is even required. If the child is still growing, there is a chance that their spinal curve will straighten itself out over time; however, it’s also possible that the curve will progress (grow more severe), and this in turn can affect the development of other parts of the patient’s body, including vital internal organs.
For this reason, observation is absolutely crucial when treating a young scoliosis sufferer. It’s very important to know whether the curve is progressing, improving, or simply staying the same, as this will determine the most appropriate course of action. Best practice is to take regular X-rays and monitor the patient’s condition for a time before deciding what treatment – if any – is required.
The treatment courses we deliver are somewhat different for younger patients, but the key principles remain the same: instead of correcting the spine’s curve using surgical methods or a scoliosis brace, we achieve huge improvements via an exercise-based treatment programme. Our chartered physiotherapists use a range of therapeutic techniques (including those listed here) to:
  • Reduce the patient’s Cobb angle
  • Improve posture and muscle strength
  • Increase mobility
  • Relieve pain
  • Enhance the patient’s quality of life
Our ScolioGold courses are a popular choice amongst parents whose children suffer from scoliosis. Many young children have been brought to our clinic because their parents were understandably reluctant to wait and watch their child’s scoliosis get worse, or to put them in for surgery without first exhausting all possible alternatives. The treatment we offer is safe and demonstrably effective – again, we invite you to view these before and after photos of some of our youngest scoliosis patients.
If you or your child suffer from scoliosis, please contact us today to arrange an initial consultation at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic and find out more about how we may be able to help.
We’re often asked questions regarding the severity of an individual’s spinal curve and whether or not this makes them a suitable candidate for ScolioGold treatment. While there is some debate regarding which treatments are best-suited to different cases, many doctors recommend surgical intervention for those with a Cobb angle of 40-50 degrees or more.
Despite this, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that scoliosis sufferers with a 55 degree curve or more can be successfully treated via non-surgical methods, which help to relieve pain, reduce the visibility of the scoliotic curve, and prevent the condition from progressing further. Here at Scoliosis SOS, we have treated countless patients whose angles exceed the proposed threshold for surgery, with consistently impressive results.
While we have treated curves ranging from 12 to 120 degrees, the majority of our patients fall within the range of 20-65 degrees, with many having explored the possibility of surgery already. One of our previous patients, Veronica Gabinet, had a curve of 55 degrees, and had attempted treatment with a Boston brace to no avail. She came across the Scoliosis SOS Clinic while researching non-surgical treatments online; in the end, she decided against undergoing an operation to treat her spinal curve, and decided to enrol on one of our treatment courses instead.
For Veronica, as for many young people who suffer from scoliosis, the risks associated with surgery were a daunting prospect. Veronica took part in activities such as dance, tennis, and other physically-demanding hobbies, and in cases such as these, a spinal operation can be an extremely restrictive and drastic solution, presenting an entirely new set of problems even as it helps with the scoliosis itself.
In an interview we conducted with Veronica after her treatment with us, she said that she would definitely recommend trying non-surgical therapies before surgery. Despite having a curve of 55 degrees, she was able to see a marked improvement in her symptoms, particularly with regards to her posture. You can hear her full story, and find out more about her experience at Scoliosis SOS here:
If you have a 55 degree curve or higher, and are unsure as to whether our treatment would benefit you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We can arrange a professional consultation which will help you to select the best course of action for your individual case.
Although we’re located in London, we’ve treated patients from all over the world, including numerous scoliosis sufferers from the USA. Our excellent accommodation facilities and unique treatment methods have persuaded many people to make the long journey from America to the UK in search of an alternative to scoliosis surgery.
Here are two of our success stories, from individuals who were unable to get the scoliosis treatment they required in the USA:

Patient #1: Nadia Browne

14 // Female // New Jersey
 Sara Van Zandt
Until her diagnosis, neither Nadia nor her family had heard of scoliosis, which meant that there was a great deal of worry and confusion when the doctor brought it up. Nadia became anxious that her curved spine would impact her love of sports, and found that her outgoing personality was beginning to slip away.
Why did Nadia choose Scoliosis SOS?
After deciding not to undergo a risky 9-hour operation to correct her spine, Nadia and her mother began looking for alternatives. They found a chiropractor who claimed that he would be able to help Nadia’s condition, but after two years of treatment, no progress had been made – in fact, Nadia’s condition sadly got worse during this period. This heightened the family’s urgent need to find a viable alternative to surgery, which is why they made the decision to travel from the US to the UK for Nadia to receive scoliosis treatment at our clinic.
Results:
After four weeks of treatment at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, Nadia’s physical appearance and spinal rotation improved dramatically, which meant that she no longer required surgery. Her pain disappeared, and her personal wellbeing improved as she was able to return to playing sports.

Patient #2: Tina Barlow

41 // Female // Florida
 Tina Barlow
Although Tina was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 12, she did not experience physical or emotional issues until her mid-thirties, after she had given birth to her third child and suffered a car accident.  This meant that she was in agonising pain for 3 months, and experienced flare-ups on a regular basis thereafter.
Why did Tina choose Scoliosis SOS?
Having read articles about our work here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, Tina was convinced that we could help her. This decision was made even easier and more urgent when Tina discovered that her daughter was affected by scoliosis as well.
Results:
Since receiving treatment with Scoliosis SOS, Tina and her daughter have been pain free, and are able to manage their conditions with the advice provided to them. Tina can now ensure that her condition doesn’t deteriorate while also preventing her daughter from having to undergo major corrective surgery.

Patient #3: Kurt Wunder

29 // Male // California
Another patient who crossed the Atlantic to reach our clinic is Kurt Wunder from California. Watch the video below to learn his story.
If you don’t have access to non-surgical scoliosis treatment in the USA, please feel free to get in touch with the Scoliosis SOS team to find out how we can help. Alternatively, for more examples of how our treatment programmes have helped patients from overseas, please click here.
Famous People with Scoliosis
 
Scoliosis affects roughly 4% of the population – that’s 1 in every 25 people, or just under 300 million people worldwide.
 
With this in mind, it should come as no surprise to discover that many celebrities and public figures are affected by this condition. We’ve even treated some of them here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, including EastEnders actress Rita Simons:
 
 
Here are 4 other people you’ve probably heard of who suffer (or used to suffer) from scoliosis:

Usain Bolt

Jamaican sprinter Usain St. Leo Bolt has won six Olympic gold medals to date, and with the 2016 Games taking place in Brazil this summer, one suspects he’ll be adding to that tally very soon. Bolt has said that his curved spine “really hampered” his early career, but obviously the condition has done very little to slow him down more recently!
 
Here’s what Bolt had to say when asked about his scoliosis in a 2011 interview with ESPN:
 
“When I was younger it wasn’t really a problem. But you grow and it gets worse. My spine’s really curved bad…but if I keep my core and back strong, the scoliosis doesn’t really bother me. So I don’t have to worry about it as long as I work hard.”
 

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar – best known for her leading role in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series – grew up with scoliosis, and she still has trouble with the condition today. According to this Daily Mail article, Gellar finds that “working out on the treadmill and Pilates” both help her to deal with her spinal curvature.
 

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain was the guitarist and lead singer of grunge band Nirvana, who formed in 1987 and achieved international fame in the years leading up to Cobain’s tragic death by suicide in 1994. Cobain seemingly suffered from pain throughout his lifetime – here is an excerpt from an interview that the troubled frontman gave in 1993 (the interview can be read in its entirety here):
 
“I had mild scoliosis in junior high, and since I’ve been playing guitar ever since, the weight of the guitar has made my back grow in this curvature. So when I stand, everything is sideways, it’s weird.
 
“I go to a chiropractor every once in a while…most people have a small curvature in their spine anyhow, though some people have it really bad and have to wear metal braces. It gives me back pain all the time. That really adds the pain to our music. It really does.”
 

Liza Minnelli

Liza Minnelli is the daughter of Hollywood star Judy Garland, and she has had a hugely successful acting career in her own right, appearing in films like Cabaret (for which she won an Oscar) and TV shows like Arrested Development. Here, in her own words, is how Minelli found out about her scoliosis:
 
“I didn’t realise I had anything wrong with my back until…I guess it was around the time of [1969 movie] The Sterile Cuckoo that Fred [Karlin, composer] said, ‘Come on, somebody’s imitating you. Let’s go see her.’ So we go down to one of those places that used to be in the Village and we sit down and I’m all excited and this girl comes on and she goes like this: [walks with twisted, uneven shoulders]
 
“I was so indignant. I said, ‘I don’t do that.’ And he said, ‘Yes, you do.’ I found out that because of the scoliosis, if I lean back one way, it hurts.”
 
If you suffer from scoliosis, attending a four-week course at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic may help you to overcome your condition and significantly improve your quality of life. Click here to get in touch and book an initial consultation.
 
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