Scoliosis Scan
The first step for every Scoliosis SOS patient is attending our clinic for an initial consultation. At the beginning of your consultation, we will go through your medical records, evaluate any symptoms you’re currently experiencing, and ask you about any previous treatments you may have received for your back problems. Next, we will conduct a medical examination and evaluation of your spine and back; this means taking many measurements and performing a formetric scan of your back. 
A Formetric scoliosis scan is used to assess and monitor the curvature of your spine. This is done by isolating numerous anatomical markers of the patient’s back. From a Formetric scan, we’re able to quantitatively measure and record a patient’s body characteristics, posture, scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis and many other forms of spinal deformity. The 4D software allows for measures to be taken over a period of time (up to 1 minute) to improve measurement precision. It has been shown to be a useful tool in reviewing the ‘actual state of the patient’ when compared to previous review methods. Furthermore, a Formetric scan does not require any further X-rays and radiation exposure.
In a short period of time, the Formetric 4D System can accurately evaluate:
  • Weight distribution
  • Pelvic position – including torsion, obliquity and anterior/posterior tilt
  • Waistline symmetry
  • Coronal (head above hips) balance
  • Sagittal (side-on) balance, including evaluation of kyphosis and lordosis
  • Shoulder levels
  • Scapular position
  • Neck alignment
Another form of scoliosis scan that we use here at Scoliosis SOS is the Pedoscan. This scan is used for analysis and recording of static and dynamic foot pressures alongside gait analysis. Using precise high-frequency pressure plates, a Pedoscan provides an intricate analysis of the weight distribution and behaviour of the patient’s feet both when standing still and during movement. This scan gives us an insight into how your spinal curve might be affecting your posture and walking habits.
If you wish to book an initial consultation at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, please complete the enquiry form on our Contact Us page.
Will My Child Have Scoliosis?
When you’re told for the first time that you have scoliosis, the diagnosis instantly raises a whole host of questions. How will this affect my daily life? Am I going to be in lots of pain? Will I need surgery? Of course, if you’re planning to have children at some point in your life, there’s another big question that may well pop into your head:

Will my child have scoliosis too?

We at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic are often asked this question by patients who are still learning about their condition. It seems as though a lot of scoliosis sufferers are troubled by the possibility that they might pass on their spinal curvature to their son or daughter, so today we’d like to take a closer look at this issue.

Is scoliosis passed on genetically?

For the purposes of this discussion, we’re going to talk exclusively about idiopathic scoliosis, by far the condition’s most common form. If your scoliosis is non-idiopathic and arose because of some underlying condition (such as osteoporosis or Marfan syndrome), you will need to research the underlying condition in order to assess the likelihood that your child will be affected. Idiopathic scoliosis, by definition, has no known cause, but it seems to occur as a result of genetic factors. However, that absolutely does not mean that idiopathic scoliosis sufferers always bear scoliotic children. Here are some statistics that may put your mind at ease:
  • Just 1 in 4 scoliosis sufferers (approx.) have at least one other case of scoliosis in their family.
  • If you are the child or sibling of a scoliosis sufferer, you have roughly an 11% chance of developing the condition yourself.
Bear in mind that lots of other variables still apply here: for example, scoliosis is far more likely to occur in females, so the risk of passing scoliosis on to your child is significantly lower if you’re expecting a boy.

How do I check if my child has scoliosis?

Here’s how to check your child for signs of scoliosis:
  • Ask your child to stand in front of you with their back to you. They will need to take off their top so that you can see their back and spine.
  • Firstly, check to see if both sides of their neck, shoulders, rib cage, waist and hips look even and symmetrical.
  • Secondly, ask your child to bend forwards from the waist. Look at both sides of their rib cage: does one side appear higher than the other?
This is called the Adams forward bending test – watch this video for a demonstration:

Remember, every body is unique, so some minor differences are to be expected – this may not indicate the presence of scoliosis. That being said, if you are concerned, it is a good idea to get your child checked by a medical professional.

If your child develops scoliosis…

Even if your child does develop a spinal curve as they grow, it’s important to remember that scoliosis sufferers can live just as well as people with healthy spines. Young scoliosis sufferers should be monitored closely, as medical observation will ensure that treatment can begin right away if and when it becomes necessary. Tackling scoliosis early (i.e. before the curve can progress too far) goes a long way towards limiting the condition’s effect on the patient’s health and quality of life – watch the video below for a real-life example of this (Lottie, a 12 year-old girl from Surrey).
An exercise-based treatment course that is specifically tailored to scoliosis patients (such as our own ScolioGold method) can be very effective at combating scoliosis, especially when it is still at an early stage. If you or your child need scoliosis treatment, please feel free to contact Scoliosis SOS and arrange a consultation with our scoliosis consultants.

See also:

Dextroscoliosis vs. Levoscoliosis
 
Scoliosis – a sideways curvature of the spine – comes in many different forms. The cause, location and severity of the curve can vary hugely from one patient to the next: for example, a 12-year-old girl with idiopathic scoliosis and an older woman whose spine is curved due to the degeneration of her intervertebral discs could both be said to suffer from scoliosis even though their conditions are very, very different.
 
One of the most obvious defining characteristics of any spinal curve is its direction – does the patient’s spine curve to the left, or to the right?

What do the words ‘dextroscoliosis’ and ‘levoscoliosis’ mean?

‘Dextroscoliosis’ and ‘levoscoliosis’ look like two intimidatingly dense pieces of medical jargon, but they actually just refer to the direction in which a scoliosis patient’s spine curves
  • Levoscoliosis curves towards the left side of the body
  • Dextroscoliosis curves towards the right side of the body
Unlike the word ‘scoliosis’, which is Ancient Greek vocabulary, these terms are derived from Latin. It’s relatively easy to remember which is which, because ‘levoscoliosis’ and ‘left’ both begin with the same sound (and the average person is more dexterous with their right hand, although admittedly that mnemonic may be a little counter-intuitive if you yourself are left-handed).

Is it better to have dextroscoliosis than levoscoliosis?

At this point, you may be wondering which set of scoliosis sufferers has it worse. Is it more painful to have a spine that curves to the left than one that curves right? Or is it the other way around? Or does it not really make any difference?
 
First of all, it should be reiterated that every scoliosis sufferer has a different experience, and that applies to both dextro- and levoscoliosis sufferers. The direction of your curve is not a reliable indicator of how much pain you will experience, how far the curve will progress, or the extent to which your condition might impair your ability to move around.
 
That being said, some people have suggested that levoscoliosis is more dangerous than dextroscoliosis because (among other reasons) the heart is on the left side of the body. While a right-leaning spinal curve can indisputably have a hugely detrimental impact on a person’s quality of life, there is some evidence that a left-leaning curve is more likely to be accompanied by other health conditions and diseases. A study entitled Left thoracic curve patterns and their associations with disease (Goldberg et al, 1999) noted that there was some correlation between levoscoliosis and disease; however, the authors of that study concluded that the correlation wasn’t especially strong, and that several other factors were more reliably associated with disease in scoliosis patients.
 
More details on the link (or lack thereof) between levoscoliosis and disease can be found here.

Treating dextroscoliosis and levoscoliosis

Both levo- and dextroscoliosis are traditionally treated using the same methods:
  • Bracing
  • Spinal fusion surgery
However, here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we have achieved excellent results through treating both levoscoliosis and dextroscoliosis using an exercise-based physiotherapy regime called ScolioGold therapy. Our intensive treatment courses have helped many scoliosis sufferers to combat the symptoms of their condition, achieve a higher quality of life, and avoid undergoing surgery.
 
Click here to see what our patients have said about their ScolioGold treatment courses, or contact us today to book a consultation.
Scoliosis – a sideways curvature of the spine – has been observed in human beings since the days of Ancient Greece (and probably much earlier). It has affected many notable people, and much has been written about it, although many aspects of the condition remain mysterious even today.
 
If you’ve been diagnosed with scoliosis and you’re eager to learn more about the condition, here are 10 interesting facts for you to memorise and share with friends and family:
 
Scoliosis
 
  1. The word ‘scoliosis’ is derived from the Ancient Greek word σκολίωσις (skoliosis), which literally meant ‘a bend‘ or ‘a twisting‘.
  2. The first notable person to treat and write about scoliosis was Hippocrates, the Greek physician who is often referred to as ‘the father of modern medicine’. He coined the name ‘scoliosis’, and he treated curved spines with extensions and stretches, performed using devices like the Hippocratic board, the Hippocratic ladder, and the Hippocratic bench.
  3. Many depictions of Alexander the Great show him looking up at an angle, as if he had a twisted spine. This has led some to theorise that Alexander – one of history’s most prolific conquerors – may have suffered from scoliosis or a similar spinal curvature.
  4. Richard III, who was King of England from 1483 to 1485, famously had scoliosis, although modern imaging techniques suggest that Richard’s condition was mild enough to be disguised with the right clothing.
  5. Scoliosis is significantly more common in females than in males. Adolescent females may be up to 10 times more likely to develop idiopathic scoliosis than their male peers.
  6. Usain Bolt has scoliosis – the Olympic gold medallist has said that the condition hampered his early career, but it obviously hasn’t stopped him from succeeding more recently! Click here for more famous scoliosis sufferers.
  7. It’s estimated that scoliosis affects roughly 3% of the population – that’s well over 200 million people worldwide.
  8. Animals can suffer from scoliosis. The condition has been found to exist in dogs, cats, horses, fish, and a number of other creatures; interestingly, though, it has not been observed in chimpanzees or gorillas, in spite of the fact that both are members of the same taxonomic family as humans (Hominidae).
  9. Severe scoliosis may be treated using a surgical technique known as spinal fusion. This operation dates back to the 1900s, and notable people who have undergone spinal fusion surgery include Princess Eugenie, actress Elizabeth Taylor, Chinese-American cellist Yo Yo Ma, and actress/singer Vanessa Williams.
  10. A lot of exciting scoliosis research is currently being carried out using zebrafish as test subjects. In 2016 alone, zebrafish experiments linked the development of idiopathic scoliosis both to a specific gene and to the flow of fluid in the spinal column – both of these findings could have huge implications for scoliosis treatment in the future.
The Scoliosis SOS Clinic is located in London, England, and is an internationally-renowned provider of non-surgical treatment for scoliosis and other spinal conditions. Click here for more information, or contact Scoliosis SOS to arrange a consultation today.
Scoliosis Symptoms
 
Scoliosis is a debilitating condition that often has a very adverse impact on the lives of those it affects, which is why it is important that the scoliosis symptoms are spotted early. Many scoliotics suffer from chronic pain, limited flexibility, and muscular imbalance, and more severe cases of spinal curvature can even lead to even harsher scoliosis symptoms, such as compromised breathing. Furthermore, the medical treatments that some scoliosis sufferers undergo in order to correct their curved spines frequently make for rather unpleasant experiences; back braces can be uncomfortable and restrictive, while spinal fusion surgery is a daunting prospect that carries several risks and tends to necessitate a long recovery period even when it goes perfectly.
However, it is possible to avoid all of this hardship, and your chances of doing so are greatly increased if your scoliosis symptoms are spotted, diagnosed, and treated as early as possible – that is, before the curve has a chance to progress too far. In order to spot spinal problems early and nip them in the bud (so to speak), you need to know the early scoliosis symptoms and act as soon as you notice them developing. Here are some of the main scoliosis symptoms to look out for:
  • Shoulders sitting at different heights
  • One shoulder blade being noticeably more prominent than the other
  • Body leaning to one side
  • Uneven hips, legs, waist, and/or rib cage
Many people worry that they have scoliosis because they experience chronic back pain. However, as discussed here, back pain alone is not a reliable indicator that scoliosis is present (although it is certainly worth seeking treatment for back pain, regardless!).
 

What should I do if I notice these scoliosis symptoms?

If you or your child display any of the scoliosis symptoms listed above, you would be well advised to attend a scoliosis screening as soon as possible. It may be nothing to worry about, but if these symptoms are traced back to scoliosis or a similar spinal condition, early detection will give you (or your child) the best possible chance of beating the condition with minimal difficulty.
 
 

Case Study: Sara from Hertfordshire

Sara is a nine-year-old girl from Hitchin who came to the Scoliosis SOS Clinic shortly after being diagnosed with scoliosis. Sara’s family had a history of scoliosis, including her brother who needed scoliosis surgery. Due to this, Sara’s mother was on the lookout for scoliosis symptoms in Sara and as soon as she noticed the symptoms in her daughters back, she took her for a consultation. Sara was then diagnosed with a 17-degree curvature in her spine.
Even though 17 degrees is not the most debilitating case of scoliosis, Sara’s mother recognised the need to improve her daughter’s condition before the curvature had the chance to progress even further and cause more severe scoliosis symptoms. Eager to avoid the same path Sara’s brother had taken with scoliosis surgery, Sara’s mother decided to bring her to our Scoliosis SOS clinic for physical therapy.
They decided to split up the course into two-week bouts at different times to fit around Sara’s schooling. Sara found she was a bit nervous at first but became accustomed to the course after the first couple of days. After the first two weeks, Sara and her mother continued practicing the exercises at home which made it easier for Sara when she returned for another 2 weeks.
After the completion of the course, they had some incredible results and found that the Cobbs angle had been reduced from 17 degrees to just 7.
 
 
“The therapists are nice and friendly, and really help you get on the way to straightening your back.”
– Sara, 9 years old
 
Sara’s story proves that keeping an eye out for the early symptoms of scoliosis can prove incredibly beneficial in the long run. The sooner you spot the spinal condition, the quicker and more efficiently it can be treated. 
 
If you would like to book a scoliosis consultation for yourself or a loved one, please call the Scoliosis SOS Clinic on 0207 488 4428 or get in touch here. Consultations can be conducted via Skype or over the phone if you are unable to attend our clinic in person.