The aim of this project was to determine whether or not an intensive 4-week scoliosis exercise programme could decrease patient pain in cases of idiopathic scoliosis, and to ascertain if it could then be maintained. Pain is one of the most common and most debilitating symptoms of the condition for both adults and adolescents, and we therefore wanted to examine whether or not a scoliosis-specific exercise programme would be able to significantly reduce pain.
35 patients took part in this study, and each one was asked to report their pain levels before the course, immediately after the course, and at a check-up session 6 months later. The results were very encouraging, as patients displayed significant reductions in reported pain, as well as displaying further improvements as they continued to use the home exercise programme thereafter.
Cobb Angle Research
This research was conducted to determine the impact of a 4-week scoliosis-specific exercise programme on the Cobb angle in subjects suffering from idiopathic scoliosis. The Cobb angle is the angle between the most tilted vertebral bodies above and below the apex of the spinal curve, and has been the standard by which to assess Scoliosis since 1948.
This study involved 11 patients, each of whom were given X-rays by an independent radiographer to compare the Cobb angle before and after treatment. This research displayed significant reductions in the Cobb angle for a range of patients with juvenile, adolescent and adult scoliosis, proving that scoliosis-specific physiotherapy is demonstrably capable of reducing the Cobb angle.
Body Image Research
For people suffering with scoliosis, body image is often a key motivation for seeking treatment. For this reason, we conducted a study into whether or not an intensive 4-week course of exercises would improve each patient’s body image; we also looked at whether improvements would be rated equally by therapists, a scoliotic rater, and the patients themselves.
82 patients with idiopathic scoliosis rated their own body image, and were also rated by two blinded physiotherapists and a scoliotic rater. Patients reported significant improvements in body image post-treatment, although there were variations between patients’ scores and those of the raters, demonstrating the importance of patient-rated body image in our treatment.