As those with scoliosis may well know, a curvature of the spine doesn’t just affect your back – it can also affect other parts of your body. This includes the hips and legs, which can sometimes lead to a change in the way you walk.
Today we will look at how scoliosis affects walking, the causes behind this, and what can be done to rectify it.
How does scoliosis affect walking?
A sideways curvature of the spine can sometimes cause the hips to misalign. This misalignment can cause one leg to appear shorter than the other, affecting the patient’s gait. They also may be restricted while they are walking, as scoliosis sometimes causes stiffness and impairs overall mobility.
In severe cases of scoliosis, the knock-on effects of the spinal curvature can disrupt the coordination between the leg muscles. This also stiffens the muscles and makes it difficult to walk with ease. This is usually due to the degeneration of the spine applying excessive pressure on the nerves and spinal cord.
Treating scoliosis-related walking problems
There are a variety of ways to treat scoliosis and resolve any associated walking problems. The best method of treatment usually depends on the severity of the curvature – here’s a look at some of the most popular scoliosis treatment methods:
- Bracing – Bracing is often the first port of call when treating a case of scoliosis, especially if the patient is young and their body is still growing. A rigid brace is used to halt the progression of the curvature while the patient finishes growing. Further treatment may be necessary later on.
- Specialised physiotherapy – Physical therapy is a popular non-surgical method for treating scoliosis. It combines a mixture of exercises, orthotics, stretches, massages, and – in some cases, including that of our own ScolioGold treatment programme – hydrotherapy. A comprehensive physical therapy programme can help to reduce the curvature of the patient’s spine and improve their overall quality of life.
- Surgery – Surgery is usually the last option given to the patient and is reserved for extreme cases. The operation may involve spinal fusion or magnetic growth rods, depending on the age of the patient (and where in the world they live).
Each of these treatments can help towards fixing a scoliosis patient’s walking problems; it is up to you to decide which method is right for you.
Here at Scoliosis SOS, we specialise in the non-surgical approach to scoliosis treatment. Our clinic, based in London, provides intensive physiotherapy courses which aim to improve the curvature of your spine. We have treated patients from all over the world for over a decade, and we are very proud of the results we achieve.
To see the results of our ScolioGold treatment courses, browse our ‘Before & After’ photo gallery here.
If you’re interested in attending a ScolioGold course, please contact us today to book an initial consultation.