Back brace for scoliosis
 

If you suffer from scoliosis and the curve in your spine is getting worse, your doctor may recommend that you wear a back brace. A back brace doesn't directly cure scoliosis or correct the curve, but it can help to prevent the curve from progressing any further.

 
If you require a brace, you will often have to get a cast taken of your back; this will be done at an outpatient appointment, so you will not be required to stay overnight at the hospital. Scoliosis braces are often made from a rigid plastic, although flexible braces are sometimes used instead for milder curves. While many scoliosis sufferers worry that a brace will be visible through their clothes, most modern scoliosis braces are designed to be difficult to see under loose-fitting clothing. Usually, a scoliosis brace will have to be worn for 23 hours a day, coming off only for showers and baths; however, in some cases, the patient is only required to wear the brace at night.
 
Many of the patients we treat here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic have experience with scoliosis braces. The video below features an interview with one such patient, 12-year-old Yana from Malta:
 

If you already wear a scoliosis brace...

During the period of brace wear (sometimes up to 6 or 8 years for juvenile scoliosis patients), it is crucial to maintain the strength of the patient's back muscles and not allow them to atrophy due to the constant support provided by the external plastic shell. A lack of back muscle strength can result in correctional benefits being lost at the end of the bracing period, leading to an increase in the patient's curve.
 
Attending a four-week ScolioGold course at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic can complement the effects of a back brace, helping to maintain spinal flexibility and strength, correct your spinal curve, and reduce any pain you may feel as a result. If, like Yana, you'd like to supplement your bracing treatment with a Scoliosis SOS treatment course, please click here to contact our clinic.

If you are still researching your treatment options...

In many cases, our non-surgical treatment courses can actually eliminate the need for a scoliosis brace entirely. Our ScolioGold method is demonstrably effective at reducing the Cobb angle and changing each patient's quality of life for the better. We're constantly monitoring and developing our methods to reflect the latest advances in the non-surgical field, and because of this, our therapy continues to deliver gold-standard results.
 
To find out whether our scoliosis treatment courses could help you, we recommend arranging an initial consultation (which can either be carried out via telephone, via Skype, or here at the clinic itself).
Famous People with Scoliosis
 

Scoliosis affects roughly 4% of the population - that's 1 in every 25 people, or just under 300 million people worldwide.

 
With this in mind, it should come as no surprise to discover that many celebrities and public figures are affected by this condition. We've even treated some of them here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, including EastEnders actress Rita Simons:
 
 
Here are 4 other people you've probably heard of who suffer (or used to suffer) from scoliosis:

Usain Bolt

Jamaican sprinter Usain St. Leo Bolt has won six Olympic gold medals to date, and with the 2016 Games taking place in Brazil this summer, one suspects he'll be adding to that tally very soon. Bolt has said that his curved spine "really hampered" his early career, but obviously the condition has done very little to slow him down more recently!
 
Here's what Bolt had to say when asked about his scoliosis in a 2011 interview with ESPN:
 
"When I was younger it wasn't really a problem. But you grow and it gets worse. My spine's really curved bad...but if I keep my core and back strong, the scoliosis doesn't really bother me. So I don't have to worry about it as long as I work hard."
 

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar - best known for her leading role in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series - grew up with scoliosis, and she still has trouble with the condition today. According to this Daily Mail article, Gellar finds that "working out on the treadmill and Pilates" both help her to deal with her spinal curvature.
 

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain was the guitarist and lead singer of grunge band Nirvana, who formed in 1987 and achieved international fame in the years leading up to Cobain's tragic death by suicide in 1994. Cobain seemingly suffered from pain throughout his lifetime - here is an excerpt from an interview that the troubled frontman gave in 1993 (the interview can be read in its entirety here):
 
"I had mild scoliosis in junior high, and since I've been playing guitar ever since, the weight of the guitar has made my back grow in this curvature. So when I stand, everything is sideways, it's weird.
 
"I go to a chiropractor every once in a while...most people have a small curvature in their spine anyhow, though some people have it really bad and have to wear metal braces. It gives me back pain all the time. That really adds the pain to our music. It really does."
 

Liza Minnelli

Liza Minnelli is the daughter of Hollywood star Judy Garland, and she has had a hugely successful acting career in her own right, appearing in films like Cabaret (for which she won an Oscar) and TV shows like Arrested Development. Here, in her own words, is how Minelli found out about her scoliosis:
 
"I didn't realise I had anything wrong with my back until...I guess it was around the time of [1969 movie] The Sterile Cuckoo that Fred [Karlin, composer] said, 'Come on, somebody's imitating you. Let's go see her.' So we go down to one of those places that used to be in the Village and we sit down and I'm all excited and this girl comes on and she goes like this: [walks with twisted, uneven shoulders]
 
"I was so indignant. I said, 'I don't do that.' And he said, 'Yes, you do.' I found out that because of the scoliosis, if I lean back one way, it hurts."
 
If you suffer from scoliosis, attending a four-week course at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic may help you to overcome your condition and significantly improve your quality of life. Click here to get in touch and book an initial consultation.
 
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Type 1 Chiari Malformation

Despite the fact that there is no underlying cause for the development of scoliosis in 8 out of 10 cases, there are a number of medical conditions that can lead to a curvature of the spine.  We've discussed some of these conditions - including Marfan syndrome -  in the past, and today we'd like to talk about another: Chiari malformations.

What is a Chiari malformation?

A Chiari malfomation is a structural defect in the human brain that causes part of the cerebellum to sit below the foramen magnum. When the bony space at the lower rear of the skull is smaller than usual, the cerebellum and brain stem can be pushed downwards, affecting the function of this part of the brain. This can cause reduced muscle strength, balance problems, neck pain and dizziness, along with several other symptoms and medical issues.

How are Chiari malformations linked with scoliosis?

Spinal curvature is common among people with a type 1 Chiari malformation (CM), the most common form of the condition. In this form of CM, the lower part of the cerebellum extends into the foramen magnum without the brain stem, an opening that only the spinal cord passes through in normal circumstances. This form of CM is often left unnoticed until adolescence or adulthood, and is usually diagnosed during an examination for another condition. This means that you may already have identified your scoliosis without realising that CM is an underlying cause. 

Both a sideways (scoliosis) and forward (kyphosis) curvature of the spine can be caused by a type 1 Chiari malformation, and both of these conditions are often present in children due to the fact that their skeletons have not yet fully matured. As is the case with scoliosis itself, CMs are more commonly found in women than in men.

What treatment is available?

For sufferers of CM type 1, symptoms can usually be managed with medication. In more serious cases, skull and spinal surgery may be considered as an option to relieve pressure on the brain, or to correct a tethered spinal cord in children. To help relieve the pain and discomfort caused by spinal curvature, treatment options such as our ScoliGold method can provide lasting results without the need for surgical intervention. As with all of our patients, CM sufferers who attend a course at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic will receive a range of therapies tailored to their exact needs, relieving the symptoms of their spinal curvature while keeping their underlying medical issues in mind at all times.

For more information on how we can help to treat the symptoms of CM, please feel free to contact Scoliosis SOS today.
Back pain consultation

If you're interested in attending one of our ScolioGold treatment courses, the first step is to undergo an initial consultation with one of our scoliosis specialists. This allows us to assess whether or not our ScolioGold programme could benefit you. 

Your initial consultation will take one of two forms:

  • Visit to our Clinic - If you are able to travel to our London clinic, one of our consultants will evaluate your symptoms in an appointment lasting 40 to 60 minutes.

  • Remote Consultation via Telephone/Skype - We treat many patients from all over the UK and the rest of the world, and so we are more than happy to carry out your consultation over the phone if you are unable to visit our clinic in person. These appointments are conducted in the same way as our face-to-face consultations, although we will require you to send over some photographs of your back and/or your X-rays beforehand so that we may assess your condition properly.

What will happen during my consultation?

First, one of our expert consultants will go through your medical history and symptoms, gathering information about your condition and any previous treatments you may have received. The consultant will then evaluate your spinal measurements, a process that includes a radiation-free back scan if you visit our clinic in person. The consultant will then outline the treatment options available to you, offering their recommendations for a treatment plan along with expected outcomes and a rough time scale.

If you are interested in finding out how our treatment courses could dramatically alter the symptoms of scoliosis without surgery, get in touch with Scoliosis SOS and book your initial consultation today!
People who suffer from Marfan syndrome experience problems with the connective tissues within their bodies; this affects the structure of their form and the support of their internal organs. In most cases, the sufferer will have inherited the condition from their mother or father, as the gene responsible for Marfan syndrome has a very high chance of being passed from parent to child.

Diagnosing this condition can be particularly difficult for medical professionals, as the symptoms often vary from person to person. While in many cases the symptoms are visible in childhood, the condition often remains unidentified until the patient's teenage years, the process of diagnosis being made even more difficult by the rarity of the condition. 

Due to its effect on the body's tissues, Marfan syndrome can often cause problems with the body's growth and development. One common side-effect of Marfan syndrome is scoliosis, as it can cause the spine to curve to the sides abnormally. Statistics have shown that more than 6 out of 10 Marfan syndrome sufferers will develop scoliosis, causing them to experience back pain, and even leading to breathing problems in severe cases.

What can Scoliosis SOS do to help?

As there is currently no cure for Marfan syndrome, it is important that the syndrome's symptoms are managed in the best way possible in order to provide relief from pain and to reduce the risk of further complications. Although surgery is sometimes suggested as a solution for the symptoms of scoliosis, this is a fairly drastic form of treatment that comes with many risks to the patient. It also comes with a long healing time, which is an added inconvenience, particularly for younger patients.

At Scoliosis SOS, we take a different approach to treatment, using a variety of non-surgical therapies to deliver long-lasting results. Combining specially-devised exercises with osteopathic principals and other methods of treatment, the ScolioGold programmes delivered at our clinic are able to provide substantial reductions in spinal curvature. They also allow our patients to continue their progress at home, allowing them to see continued progress and experience ongoing relief from pain.

If you're a Marfan sufferer who has trouble dealing with the symptoms of scoliosis, please don't hesitate to get in touch! You can find more details of our treatment courses here.
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