Dry Needling
Originally, we only used the Schroth method to treat our patients here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic. However, over time we realised that there are some disadvantages to only using one method for treating patients, and that there are elements of postural correction that Schroth is unable to address. We still use the Schroth method as a central part of our treatment courses, but we’ve assisted and complimented it with a range of other well-established non-surgical techniques from around the world to ensure that all aspects of each patient’s condition can be fully treated. The end result is what we call the ScolioGold method
By using a unique combination of treatment methods, we are able to offer an unparalleled level of treatment success. We’re always looking to develop this method, and we have recently been in the process of incorporating some new techniques into the ScolioGold programme.
This new technique is called dry needling, and today we’re going to give a brief description of what this treatment method actually entails.

What is dry needling?

Dry needling is a relatively new technique with roots in Western medicine. It was devised by two doctors (Janet Travell and David Simons) in the 1940s when they put a theory of theirs into practice and inserted injections into hyper-irritable points in the muscle in order to reduce sensitivity and relieve pain. Following that, Dr Kavel Lewit concluded in 1979 that this pain relief was primarily caused by the needle itself and actually had nothing to do with the medication being injected at the site of the pain. Since then, dry needling has been used as an effective means of treating knots (also known as trigger points) in the muscles of the human body. 
A ‘knot’ in the muscle can be caused by numerous different factors, such as overuse, poor muscle positioning, or trauma. Knots restrict blood supply to the affected part of the muscle, which means that there is a decreased supply of oxygen as well as an increase in metabolic waste and toxins in that area. This causes abnormal function of the muscle which ultimately results in pain, discomfort, and/or stress on the surrounding area. 

How does dry needling work?

Dry needling works by inserting a small, dry needle (less than 9/100th of the size of a medical syringe) into the trigger point in the muscle with the aim of eliciting a twitch response. A twitch response causes the muscle to ‘jump’, after which the muscle relaxes. Dry needling is not a treatment modality on its own, but it can be effective as part of a holistic treatment programme; it is therefore essential that you complete your exercises and stretches as advised by your physiotherapist in conjunction with the needling therapy for optimal recovery.

How can dry needling benefit scoliosis sufferers?

When you suffer from scoliosis, the muscles surrounding your spine become imbalanced. This results in some of the muscles being overused while other muscles become smaller and contracted from under-use. In both instances, trigger points are likely to form in these muscles. Dry needling of these muscle groups can be effective in reducing some of the muscle imbalances prior to exercise therapy in order to achieve the best results from treatment. 
To find out more about our ScolioGold courses and the exercises involved in our treatment programme, please click here. If you have any questions regarding your condition, or you wish to book an initial consultation, please get in touch with our clinic today.
We often receive questions about our approach to treating scoliosis, particularly with regards to how it differs from other forms of non-surgical treatment. One of the methods most commonly referred to is the CLEAR approach, which is available as either a ‘standard’ or ‘intensive’ treatment plan. 
While there seems to be a prevalent idea that all non-surgical scoliosis exercise and therapy programmes are the same, this is simply not the case, particularly with regards to the ScolioGold method we have developed here at our clinic. In order to illustrate this in greater detail, we thought it would be a good idea to share an in-depth comparison of our treatment programme with another non-surgical treatment method, using CLEAR as an example.
Let’s start with the CLEAR method:
CLEAR Treatment

Who practises CLEAR and what techniques are used?

CLEAR treatments are practised by chiropractors who have been specifically trained in this method. They use a variety of equipment tables, wobble chairs and vibrations to ‘loosen up the muscles’. This is then followed by a series of spinal adjustments, and finally, the use of a traction chair to hold the body in the correct position.

What are the aims / targets of CLEAR?

CLEAR does not involve postural correction or strengthening, and is split into a standard plan (for those who are able to make regular visits) and an intensive plan (for those who are travelling to receive treatment in a shorter space of time). These plans are based solely on Cobb angle reduction, and not the presentation or symptoms of the patient.

What long-term results does CLEAR deliver?

This treatment has not yet been tested over a long period of time, and often Cobb angles ‘spring back’ after an initial course of treatment using this approach.
Now, let’s ask the same questions of ScolioGold…

Who practises ScolioGold and what techniques are used?

ScolioGold is practised by trained, specialist physiotherapists, and is a hybrid of treatment and exercise techniques gathered from all over the world. The treatments have been in use since the early 1900s, and have been modified in accordance with the latest scoliosis research. The programme is tailored to include a combination of hands-on therapy, scoliosis-specific strengthening, stretching exercises and group therapy, in order to achieve the best overall package of care. It also teaches patients how to hold a corrective posture and strengthen muscles to help support this.

What are the aims / targets of ScolioGold?

ScolioGold is a holistic treatment approach that focuses on patient goals, pain reduction, improved function, cosmetic appearance, and Cobb angle reduction (it can also be used very effectively to help patients who have had spinal surgery). There is no limit to the number of sessions patients may attend, as it is viewed as a long-term treatment approach and care plan for a lifelong condition. Ergonomic assessments, pedoscans and insole fitting are also provided to optimise posture and back health.

What are the long-term results of ScolioGold treatment?

The ScolioGold method is continually monitored and developed with the latest scoliosis research in order to ensure continual improvement. Patients are also provided with advice and an exercise plan that allows them to maintain their results at home.
To find out more about our ScolioGold method, click here or get in touch with our team today!
Scoliosis Patient and Rower Phoebe
In August of this year we treated 15-year-old Phoebe, a keen rower and runner who had been diagnosed with scoliosis and whose spine displayed a 30 degree curve.
Phoebe’s mother first spotted the curvature when, while cutting her daughter’s hair, she noticed that her hips weren’t symmetrical. They went to visit her GP, who referred Phoebe to hospital. She was then diagnosed with scoliosis, and when she went back to the hospital a year later, she had grown a lot, causing her spinal curve to get even worse.
Phoebe was then told she may need spinal fusion surgery, but this was mainly for cosmetic purposes, and she was more concerned about the increase in shoulder pain that was stopping her from enjoying her favourite hobbies. This shoulder pain wasn’t all that severe when she was first diagnosed with scoliosis; however, over a period of time, her pain started to worsen and it began to become a large part of her life. At this point, Phoebe decided to research different methods of treating and managing scoliosis, and that’s how she came across the Scoliosis SOS Clinic
Phoebe completed a pair of two-week ScolioGold treatment courses, and this helped to reduce both her spinal curve and the significant amount of shoulder pain she was feeling. During her treatment and rehabilitation program, Phoebe wore Kinesio tape around her neck and shoulder. Taping is used to help reduce muscle tension, allowing the patient to manage the pain without having to receive regular massages. After receiving ScolioGold treatment here at the clinic, Phoebe’s shoulder pain had reduced and she noticed improvements in her posture. 
You can see a full account of Phoebe’s scoliosis treatment in the video below.
To learn more about our ScolioGold treatment method, click here. If you have any further questions, or you would like to book an initial consultation, please contact us today.
If you suffer from scoliosis and you are somewhat familiar with acupuncture, you may be considering using it to help with your condition. After all, if acupuncture helps to ease back pain, then surely it can help with your spinal condition?
In today’s blog post, we will take a look at what this treatment entails and how it might be used to help scoliosis sufferers.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a Latin word where ‘acus’ means needle and ‘punctura’ a pricking. Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body. There are two different types of Acupuncture; Traditional and Modern.

Traditional Acupuncture

Traditional acupuncture is a tried and tested healthcare system that has been practised for thousands of years in China and the Far East. It involves examination of the body’s flow of energy and harmony; supposedly, there are different pathways in the body where this energy flows. These pathways are called meridians.
Traditional acupuncturists posit that, when a person experiences pain or dysfunction (scoliosis, for example), it is because there is a blockage to the flow of energy on one or more of the meridians. Traditional acupuncture treatment aims to restore balance to this flow of energy by inserting needles into specific points along the meridians to remove the blockage of energy flow, thereby eliminating pain or dysfunction.

Western Medical Acupuncture

Western medical acupuncture is a synthesis between traditional acupuncture and our modern understanding of anatomy, physiology and pathology.  There is not a clear separation between modern and traditional acupuncture; rather, the two exist at different points on the same spectrum.
The main aim of Western acupuncture is to reduce pain. This is achieved by blocking the signals sent from the site of the pain to the brain via the spinal cord; acupuncture can also stimulate the brain to release chemicals that block pain signals, which can result in widespread pain reduction.
Additionally, needles are often inserted close to the painful area to help improve blood flow and promote healing to the damaged area, which in turn will also help to reduce pain. 

Acupuncture for Scoliosis

So how can acupuncture help scoliosis sufferers? Many people with scoliosis experience musculoskeletal pain due to the muscular imbalances and postural asymmetry that can arise as a result of the spinal curvature.  Acupuncture treatment can be used to help treat this pain and restore normal movement and function. 
Although acupuncture alone is not an effective treatment for scoliosis, we have recently added acupuncture to our ScolioGold therapy programme as it can be useful for relieving the patient’s pain and improving their general well-being and energy levels.
To find out more about our ScolioGold programme and the exercises involved in the programme, click here. If you have any questions about your condition or you wish to book a consultation, please get in touch with our clinic today.