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.
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.
can be caused by a variety of different factors
, but the condition’s most common form is idiopathic scoliosis
. Idiopathic scoliosis has no known cause, but it usually develops during adolescence and – interestingly – it is far more common in girls than in boys. Furthermore, there is some evidence to suggest that scoliosis tends to be more progressive in female patients than in their male counterparts.
So why should idiopathic scoliosis affect women more often (and more severely) than it affects men? As with the question of what causes scoliosis in the first place, science has yet to discover a solid answer to this mystery. However, we have seen a number of theories proposed – here’s one of the more plausible suggestions:
It may be linked to patients’ leptin levels
Leptin is a hormone that performs many different tasks in the human body. One of its best-known functions is appetite suppression; a hormone called ghrelin tells you when you need to eat, and leptin tells you when it’s time to stop.
However, leptin seems to have many other effects beyond simply making you feel full. The hormone has been shown to affect bone growth in mice via the SNS (Sympathetic Nervous System), and it has been suggested
that idiopathic scoliosis in females may occur as a result of “increased SNS activity” that also affects the patient’s weight (girls with scoliosis tend to have a fairly low BMI).
However, it is important to note that this is merely a hypothesis; as stated above, there is no concrete, scientifically proven explanation for the high incidence of scoliosis in females compared to males. It’s equally important to bear in mind that we treat a diverse cross-section of patients here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, and while the majority of our patients are female, we can help men to overcome the effects of scoliosis as well. Kurt, a 29-year-old man who travelled to our clinic from California last year, is a prime example:
Click here for more video testimonials from our previous patients, or contact us now if you’d like to arrange a consultation at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic.