Lots of Scoliosis SOS patients ask us the same question:

What will I need to do after my treatment to continue seeing results?

The typical length of a ScolioGold treatment course is 4 weeks, and while our patients routinely see significant improvements within this short time, it is the long-term results that they (and we) are most concerned with!

During those 4 weeks of treatment, we teach every patient a set of exercises and stretches that will help them to continue their treatment independently when they get home. Each patient leaves our clinic with a daily exercise plan that's tailored to their condition and long-term goals.

To give you a better idea of what those daily exercise routines contain, we spoke to Eleanor - who started ScolioGold treatment back in 2016 - and asked her a few questions about her daily exercise routine and how her scoliosis has been since she left the clinic.

Scoliosis SOS patient Eleanor

Hi Eleanor! How did your initial ScolioGold treatment course help you?

I started treatment 3 years ago, when I was 12 years old. My consultant had told me that I needed to have surgery on my back because my curve was progressing, but my mum researched other options on the Internet and found the Scoliosis SOS Clinic. I did a 4-week course during my summer school holidays, and within a couple of days of starting treatment, my parents noticed that I was standing taller and straighter. By the time I finished treatment a month later, I had grown 3cm!

The main thing it has helped with is my self-confidence; I no longer feel ashamed of my back or have to hide under baggy jumpers. The best part was when we saw the consultant for a check-up appointment he said that I was no longer a candidate for surgery.

 

How often have you come back to the clinic since then?

I usually come back to see my therapist Charlie every 3 months, but once I have finished growing this will change to every 6 months. I grew a lot last year, so at Christmas, I did a refresher week where I learnt a few more advanced exercises and joined a couple of the group therapy sessions too.

 

What exercises do you do at home?

At my appointments, Charlie gives me a new exercise schedule that tells me what I have to do on each day. It's nice to have a change, and it keeps me motivated when I go back home. Each day includes 3 specific exercises and a couple of stretches. My favourite is side-lying with a pole as I can really feel my muscles working when I do it and it always makes me feel straighter afterwards.

Some of the other things I do are: muscular cylinder, prone on stool, semi-hanging, PNF Pacquet and ASC.

 

How often do you do scoliosis exercises at home?

As I am still growing, I have to do 45 minutes of exercise each day.

 

Are the continued exercises helping you to manage your condition?

I have been discharged from the hospital, but the measurements and scans Charlie does at my check-ups show that my condition is stable and it improved a bit more after I did the refresher week.

 

If you're suffering from scoliosis, we can provide an entirely exercise-based treatment course that will help you to manage your condition independently. To enquire about our treatment courses, give us a call on 0207 488 4428 or use the links below.

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Sad dog waiting

The people of the UK are very lucky to have the National Health Service, but it's fair to say that the NHS is far from perfect.

Issues like crowded waiting rooms, bed shortages and understaffing have plagued hospitals across the nation for decades. These problems are largely caused by insufficient NHS funding.

However, for scoliosis sufferers seeking spinal treatment on the NHS, one negative outweighs all others: the notorious length of NHS waiting lists.

 

NHS Waiting Times

Unfortunately, a lot of NHS services come with interminable waiting times. Even a simple X-ray can take weeks to arrange, while surgical operations and other treatments can roll into the months, depending on the perceived urgency.

According to www.nhs.uk, the maximum waiting time for non-urgent, consultant-led treatments is 18 weeks from the day your appointment is booked through the NHS e-Referral Service or the hospital receives your referral letter.

If the hospital cancels your operation at the last minute for non-clinical reasons, they should offer another binding date within 28 days; however, if your operation is cancelled before the day of admission, the hospital is not obliged to provide an alternative option within 28 days.

 

Luck of the Draw?

This NHS patient information pamphlet on scoliosis surgery simply states that "there is usually a wait before your operation, and the amount of time can vary".

You may be seen sooner if your case is especially urgent, but in most cases, the length of your wait will come down to luck.

 

Hospital waiting room

The Effects of Waiting Times on Scoliosis

A study published in Orthopaedic Proceedings reported that, according to an independent investigation of 61 scoliosis patients, the average waiting time for scoliosis surgery was actually ten months.

Worse still, the extended waiting time resulted in 20% of those patients suffering "significant curve progression" as a result, and 10 of the 61 patients (approximately 16%) required more extensive surgery than originally planned.

The report concluded that long waiting times can have a detrimental effect on the surgical management of scoliosis patients.

 

ScolioGold: An Alternative to Waiting

The stats and figures surrounding NHS waiting times can be rather alarming for people with scoliosis, especially for those awaiting surgical treatment.

But there may be another way. The Scoliosis SOS Clinic run regular scoliosis treatment courses, allowing you to choose your preferred treatment dates instead of spending months on a waiting list.

After your initial consultation, you will be given a summary of the clinical diagnosis, informed of the proposed treatment (including expected outcomes) and given an overview of our estimated timescales.

Our therapists treat scoliosis patients using the ScolioGold method, which encompasses a variety of proven non-surgical techniques such as the Schroth method and FITS.

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International Federation for Spina Bifida

Friday 25 October 2019 is World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day. This year also marks the milestone 40th anniversary of the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.

What is Spina Bifida?

To mark this occasion, we'd like to share the story of Samantha Joyce, a Scoliosis SOS patient who has spina bifida as well as scoliosis.

 

Patient Story: Samantha from Sidcup

Samantha is a woman from Sidcup, Greater London who got in touch with the Scoliosis SOS Clinic after our recent appearance on BBC One. She was diagnosed with scoliosis at 11 years old; she also has spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

Samantha was prescribed a scoliosis brace, and when she was 13, surgeons placed screws in her spine in order to correct her spinal curve. Unfortunately, this operation did not have the desired effect - after a long and arduous recovery process, Samantha had to have the screws removed at the age of 18 because they had caused an abscess and she had lost the use of her left leg!

Samantha is now in her 40s, and she was still experiencing back pain as a result of her scoliosis and her spina bifida. She came to the Scoliosis SOS Clinic in the hope that our therapists would be able to help her - watch the video below to find out how she got on.

Feedback from Samantha

"Thank you all so very much for all you have done. I'm so glad I found out about this clinic and had the opportunity to experience the wonderful work you do.

"It's amazing how I have changed since I started: pain-free, more definition in my legs, and my whole body feels freer. A friend said, without prompting, how much straighter I was sitting, and I'm able to sit and stand for longer without any pain.

"I have now been discharged from King's College Hospital after a year and a half. Thank you for being a valued part of my recovery, and keep up the fantastic work you do - it's invaluable!"

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Child sitting in W position

Anyone who has scoliosis will be well aware of the importance of posture and sitting correctly when it comes to spinal comfort.

However, did you know that there is one position in particular that can be particularly damaging when it comes to children's spinal health?

That position is the so-called 'W position'.

 

What is the W position?

First things first, you're probably wondering what the W position is. While the name may not be familiar, the pose most certainly will be.

A favoured position for many children and even some adults, the W position is where a person sits flat on their rear with their legs folded underneath, yet spread out to each side.

The result creates a 'W' shape from foot to foot - not too dissimilar to the Virasana ('Hero Pose') in yoga.

 

Why is the W position problematic?

While the effect of the W position on the body is a matter of some debate. It's becoming an increasingly hot topic among parents, particularly due to its perceived impact on children's development.

A number of osteopathic experts have reported that the W position can cause the lower back to arch. It's also been said that it can put pressure on lower body joints such as the hips and knees, weakening the core muscles as a result.

The widespread concern has seen the story picked up by numerous news outlets across the UK in recent years, including national publications like the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail.

However, conflicting reports have been published that suggest it has no bearing at all on spinal development - for example, see this article from Today.com.

 

Is there cause for concern?

Despite the mixture of opinions on the matter, this is one of those scenarios where it's better to err on the side of caution.

If a simple adjustment in sitting positioning might improve your child's posture and spinal health, it's undoubtedly a precaution worth taking.

A weakened core can have a notable impact on agility, sporting performance (such as running and jumping) and general balance.

Meanwhile, evidence suggests that the W position can also increase the likelihood of hip dislocation and may even lead to a curvature of the spine.

 

Correcting the W position

If you notice that your child is routinely sitting in the W position, try to get them out of the habit.

Encourage them to sit with their backs against a solid surface for support, and instruct them to sit with their legs out in front of them.

Ideally this would be on a chair; however, if floor sitting is preferred, provide pillows for increased comfort.

SEE ALSO: How to Check Your Child for Scoliosis >>

Scoliosis and rugby

The Rugby World Cup is currently taking place in Japan, and as a result, global interest in rugby is running high.

Success in the Rugby World Cup often translates to an increase in the winning country's participation figures, as more and more people look to explore the sport in the wake of the tournament.

But is rugby a wise sport to take up if you have scoliosis?

 

Can You Play Rugby with Scoliosis?

Rugby is one of the impact sports that scoliosis patients are often advised to avoid, primarily due to the physical nature of the game.

After all, a game of rugby can be pretty hard on even the healthiest body, let alone one that's hindered by the effects of a spinal curvature.

However, with determination and a sensible approach, even high-impact sports like rugby needn't necessarily be off-limits for people with scoliosis.

 

Childhood Scoliosis and Rugby

In the five years after England won the Rugby World Cup in 2003, participation figures for 7 to 13-year-olds skyrocketed by an incredible 78%.

The impressionable 7-13 age group coincidentally overlaps with the age at which scoliosis is usually diagnosed (most cases of idiopathic scoliosis are diagnosed between the ages of 10 and 15).

Children and teenagers can be very receptive to sporting trends, and some parents may find themselves in a tough spot if their child wants to take up rugby yet also suffers from scoliosis.

Many scoliosis parents, in the interest of protecting their child, would simply forbid them from participating entirely. However, this isn't necessarily the only feasible course of action.

In fact, depending on the extent of the child's spinal curve, they may well be able to enjoy a fully active lifestyle, even if their preferred activity is a contact sport like rugby.

 

Case Studies: Our Rugby-Playing Patients

At Scoliosis SOS, we've encountered numerous rugby enthusiasts who were faced with the unenviable proposition of giving up their beloved sport due to scoliosis. Here are some of their stories...

Marcus with rugby ball

Marcus Pond, 20

"I knew I didn't want the surgery and was terrified of losing my flexibility at such a young age...why would you have major risky surgery if you can just do a few simple exercises?"

Read Marcus's Story >

 

Rugby player Hannah

Hannah Chapman, 15

"Since being at the clinic I have benefited immensely. My pain has decreased and I know how to stand with a corrected posture."

Read Hannah's Story >

 

Rugby player Patrick

Patrick O'Kane, 37

"I feel stronger and more confident about how my back looks, and I am looking forward to getting my life back on track. My pain has gone and I have been able to go back to playing rugby, something I never thought would be possible."

Read Patrick's Story >

 

Patient Video: Ben from Australia

Ben Stanton, another keen rugby player, came to the Scoliosis SOS Clinic from Sydney in 2016. Watch the video to find out what he had to say about his Scoliosis SOS experience.

 

Scoliosis Treatment with Scoliosis SOS

Whether you're a young aspiring sportsperson longing to take to the field or an older veteran of the sport eager to keep playing, the Scoliosis SOS Clinic has a proven track record for helping rugby lovers with scoliosis and other curvatures of the spine.

We don't believe that scoliosis should be a life sentence that banishes you to the sidelines. While it may be an obstacle, it can often be overcome if you tackle it head-on with the help of Scoliosis SOS.

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