affects people's lives in all kinds of different ways, but for many scoliosis sufferers, the single worst thing about having a curved spine is the pain it causes. Just as back pain doesn't always mean scoliosis, a scoliotic curve isn't always painful, but when pain is present it's often incredibly debilitating. This leads patients to seek out various methods of pain relief for their condition.
Many scoliosis sufferers use painkilling medication to help them cope with the discomfort that accompanies their condition. Some find that over-the-counter remedies like paracetamol are sufficient; others require stronger painkillers to bring their pain down to a manageable level. Some scoliotics even receive local anaesthetic or steroid injections to relieve the pain.
Treating the cause
Of course, painkilling medication is not an effective long-term solution. Paracetamol and ibuprofen have no effect on the source of the pain - that is, the muscle imbalance caused by the patient's curved spine - and so, in order to live a pain-free lifestyle using painkillers alone, a scoliosis sufferer would have to medicate several times a day for the rest of their life.
Far better, then, to treat the cause
of the pain rather than temporarily getting pain relief via medication. Common treatments for scoliosis include spinal fusion surgery
and back bracing
, but neither treatment is routinely prescribed to specifically target back pain, and methods have their drawbacks: surgery is risky and comes with a long recovery period, while many people find the brace to be uncomfortable and cumbersome.
There is a third option, however. Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we deliver exercise-based treatment courses that are specifically designed to reduce back pain, correct spinal curvature, and improve scoliosis sufferers' overall quality of life. Watch the video below to hear how Anne Sellick, a patient of ours from London, overcame her excruciating back pain by attending one of our ScolioGold
If you'd like to find out more about our treatment courses and how they can provide long-term pain relief for scoliosis sufferers, please get in touch
to arrange an initial consultation with a member of our team.
The Scoliosis SOS Clinic has now been open for over 10 years
, and in that time we've treated a number of people who suffer from Klippel-Feil syndrome
. Today, we'd like to look at this rare disorder in detail - read on to find out what Klippel-Feil syndrome is and how our physiotherapists
can help those who have it.
What is Klippel-Feil syndrome?
Kilppel-Feil syndrome (KFS) is a rare congenital disorder that is thought to affect roughly 0.0025% of newborn babies. The human neck has 7 cervical vertebrae, but people who suffer from KFS are born with two or more of those cervical vertebrae fused together. This results in limited neck/head movement and - in most cases - a visible shortening of the neck.
People with Klippel-Feil syndrome also commonly suffer from a variety of associated issues, such as heart defects, respiratory problems, and scoliosis
How can we help KFS patients?
As previously mentioned, we at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic
have treated numerous KFS sufferers over the years, including Jack Gaffney, an 18-year-old from the Republic of Ireland. Three of Jack's cervical vertebrae were fused together, and he had also suffered from curvature of the spine since birth. Jack was told that he would need a spinal fusion operation, but he and his family were acutely conscious of the risks associated with surgery, and so they were desperate to find an alternative treatment option.
An internet search led the Gaffneys to our website, and they decided that - given what was at stake - it was worth travelling to England and spending 4 weeks in London while Jack attended a ScolioGold
The results were astounding. Jack's condition improved to the point that it could no longer be classified as scoliosis, and our treatments helped his mobility to the point that he was able to start skateboarding again.
Jack Gaffney (18 years old), before and after his 4-week ScolioGold course.
Here's what Jack had to say at the end of his time with us:
"My life was such a whirlwind...every consultant I saw told me something different and I was terrified of surgery. I had no confidence and my self-esteem was badly affected. Now I can say, with all honesty, that I feel 100% better. My spine is improving every day."
Our exercise-based treatment courses can drastically reduce spinal curvature and boost KFS sufferers' mobility, self-confidence, and overall quality of life. If you'd like to find out more, contact us now
to arrange a consultation for yourself or a loved one.
Scoliosis can be an incredibly debilitating condition, and many scoliosis sufferers choose to undergo surgery to correct their spinal curves. Spinal fusion surgery is the process of attaching rods, hooks, wires or screws to the curved portion of the patient's backbone in order to straighten out the curve over time. Small pieces of bone are then placed over the spine; these will eventually grow together with the spinal bone, 'fusing' it into the correct position.
The spinal fusion procedure is a major surgical operation that usually takes several hours to complete. The success of the operation depends on many factors, including the flexibility of the curve and the surgical techniques used. The goal of the surgery is not a perfectly straight spine, but a balanced spine in which fusion prevents the curve from getting worse.
However, as with most surgical procedures, a spinal fusion usually carries with it a long recovery period. Some pain/discomfort is to be expected, and reduced mobility and flexibility are common too. After surgery, the symptoms of scoliosis (e.g. back pain) may get better over time, although it is not uncommon to for patients to still experience pain even after they have fully recovered due to the fact that their muscle imbalance has not been addressed.
So how can Scoliosis SOS help with spinal fusion recovery?
If you have had spinal fusion surgery already and you're looking for something to speed up the recovery process or reduce any back pain you are still experiencing, then our ScolioGold method could be the solution you're looking for. You may have heard of the Schroth method, and this forms a large part of our methodology, but where some clinics solely utilise Schroth exercises we compliment them with a range of other non-surgical spinal treatment techniques, resulting in a far more well-rounded treatment regime that our patients find exceptionally effective.
- Reduce back pain
- Improve mobility
- Speed up correction of spinal curve
- Correct any secondary curvatures that may have progressed or developed above/below the fusion
The video below features one of our patients from the Faroe Islands. She had spinal fusion surgery on her back when she was much younger, but visited the Scoliosis SOS Clinic earlier this year to address the chronic pain that she was still experiencing.
If you would like to find out more about our treatment courses, please contact Scoliosis SOS
and book an initial consultation with one of our scoliosis consultants, who will more than happy to recommend the best course of action for you.
Our clinic was established in 2006 - this year, we celebrate our 10th anniversary!
What were you doing 10 years ago? 2006 was the year when Sven-Göran Eriksson stepped down from his role as England manager, Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond cheated death after crashing a jet powered car, and Daniel Craig made his triumphant debut as James Bond, with Casino Royale becoming the highest-earning 007 movie to date.
It was also the year when the Scoliosis SOS Clinic opened its doors for the very first time. Erika Maude, the Clinic's founder, had recently returned from a trip to Spain, where she completed an intensive regime of exercise-based treatments to correct the curve in her spine. Erika was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 11, and after a back brace failed to improve her condition, she was told that she would probably need to undergo a complex surgical operation in order to straighten her back. However, Erika decided to refuse surgery, and instead journeyed to Europe to try something called the Schroth method. This technique uses stretches and exercises to correct the patient's spinal curvature and improve their overall quality of life (e.g. by reducing pain and improving mobility). Erika's Schroth treatment worked exceptionally well, and it was this experience abroad that inspired her to found the Scoliosis SOS Clinic upon her return to the UK.
The Clinic's original location was in Suffolk, and as the first non-surgical scoliosis clinic in the UK, it quickly became very popular indeed, with countless scoliosis sufferers travelling great distances to receive the treatments that Erika had brought back from Spain. To begin with, Scoliosis SOS patients were treated using the Schroth method alone, but over time, it became clear that the Clinic's patients would be better served by a treatment programme that incorporated a range of different techniques rather than focusing on just one.
And so the ScolioGold method was born. This multi-faceted treatment method includes a number of different therapeutic techniques from all over the world, including:
- Schroth Method (Germany)
- Rigo-Schroth Method (Spain)
- Osteopathy (USA)
- Taping (Japan)
- FITS Method (Poland)
- SEAS Method (Italy)
- Myofascial Release (USA)
- Orthopaedic Medicine (UK)
- Trigger Point Therapy (USA)
With this new, more effective treatment programme helping scoliosis sufferers to achieve even better results, Scoliosis SOS continued to grow, and in 2009, the Clinic relocated from Suffolk to its current home in London
. Moving to the UK capital made ScolioGold therapy significantly more accessible to patients from further afield, and as a result, the Clinic's patient list has grown exceptionally diverse over the last few years. Visit our Overseas Patients
page for a few examples - we've welcomed people from many, many different countries where non-surgical scoliosis treatments simply aren't available at present.
It's now 2016, and we at Scoliosis SOS have been treating patients for a full 10 years. Throughout that time, our primary goal has always remained the same: to offer scoliosis sufferers a real alternative to surgery and help them to live their lives to the full. Scoliosis (and the other conditions that we can help with, such as hyperkyphosis
) can be severely debilitating, causing extreme suffering for innumerable people across the globe. But our exercise therapy has given hundreds of people - including young children, seniors, and everyone in between - the chance to lead a better life, one free of back pain and the constant, looming fear of a risky operation.
Our treatment methods are becoming more advanced and more innovative on a daily basis, and the Scoliosis SOS Clinic remains one of the world's leading lights in the field of non-surgical spinal treatment. We hope to keep it that way for many years to come - here's to the next decade!
If you suffer from scoliosis or hyperkyphosis, please contact Scoliosis SOS today to find out more about how we can help you.
The first signs of scoliosis commonly appear during adolescence, although with that being said the condition can affect an individual at any point in their lifetime. Some people develop scoliosis as they approach old age, whereas others may notice the symptoms far earlier in life; there have even been cases of babies born with scoliosis.
Sadly, there isn't a true 'cure' for scoliosis at present.
In around 80% of cases, it's not even clear what has caused the spine to curve in the first place - this is referred to as idiopathic scoliosis
, and it is the condition's most common form by far. Some researchers in Japan are believed to have found the gene that kick-starts the "genetic chain reaction
" that eventually leads to idiopathic scoliosis, but while this is undeniably a huge step forward, a lot more research is needed before we can use these findings to prevent scoliosis from developing.
But while curing scoliosis is currently not possible, there several different methods for treating scoliosis and helping those affected by the condition to enjoy a higher quality of life. One common method is to correct the curve via spinal fusion surgery, but this is a major operation and it may take up to a year for the patient to fully recover from the surgery. Like any surgical procedure, the spinal fusion operation also carries the risk of potentially serious complications, such as infection, blood clots and damage to the nerves.
With this in mind, it's easy to see why many scoliosis sufferers turn to exercise-based therapy in order to avoid undergoing surgery. Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we deliver scoliosis treatment courses that are based around our own proven ScolioGold method. You may have heard of the Schroth method, and this programme forms a large part of our own methodology, but where some clinics solely utilise Schroth exercises, we complement them with a large range of other non-surgical spinal treatment techniques, resulting in a far more well-rounded treatment regime that our patients find exceptionally effective.
If you suffer from scoliosis, please contact Scoliosis SOS
and book an initial consultation with one of our scoliosis consultants, who will be happy to recommend the best course of action for you.