Scoliosis Hong Kong

Over the years, we at Scoliosis SOS have been privileged enough to treat patients from practically every corner of the world. Not only is it very gratifying to know that people are willing to travel thousands of miles in order to receive treatment from our ScolioGold-certified therapists, we also find it very educational and enlightening to meet people from so many different countries. As you'll see on our Overseas Patients map, we've welcomed scoliosis sufferers from all over the world through the doors of our clinic!

For instance, quite a few patients have come to us from China - including Hong Kong, which used to be a British colony but is now a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China. 

Hong Kong Map

Case Study: Saffron & Tobey

Saffron and Tobey Turl are two siblings who live in Hong Kong. Both of them have curved spines: Saffron, who had been experiencing unexplained back pain for a while, was diagnosed thanks to a school health screening, while her younger brother's curvature was spotted by their mum when he was running shirtless one day (Tobey is a keen distance runner!).

In order to get their spinal curves under control, Saffron and Tobey travelled nearly 6 thousand miles to reach our clinic in London. Once here, they completed an intensive exercise-based treatment regime that got great results for both of them.

During a refresher visit, Saffie and Tobey sat down for a quick chat about their experiences at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic. Watch the video below to find out what they had to say.

About Scoliosis SOS

Scoliosis SOS specialise in providing non-surgical treatment for scoliosis and other spinal conditions such as hyperkyphosis. We use a unique treatment method called ScolioGold - this is a combination of numerous proven techniques (including the Schroth method, osteopathy, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy) that we selected ourselves in order to treat every part of each patient's condition.

The Scoliosis SOS Clinic can be found on Mansell Street in the City of London. We offer on-site accommodation for patients who do not live locally, and our convenient location means that all of London's most popular tourist attractions are practically on our doorstep. 

Whether you hail from Hong Kong or another part of the world, we would be thrilled to welcome you to the Scoliosis SOS Clinic. Click here to arrange a consultation - this can be carried out over the phone, via Skype, or in person here at the clinic.
SIJ joint
 
One of the biggest obstacles for those who treat scoliosis is the number of secondary complaints that can arise as a result of a spinal curve. One such issue is sacroiliac joint (SIJ) pain, which can originate from the joint itself as well as being referred from the lumbar spine in many cases. 
 
The SIJ joins the spine to the pelvis, and is made up of the sacrum along with the right and left ilium (as illustrated in the diagram above). The sacrum is a triangular bone that sits just below the lumbar spine, while the right and left ilium comprise part of the pelvis, more commonly referred to as the hip bones.

What causes pain in the sacroiliac joint?

It can be difficult to differentiate between the kind of SIJ pain that originates in the joint itself and the kind that comes from the lumbar spine - this is simply due to the fact that the patterns of referral are often highly similar to one another. Both forms of pain will often occur over the SIJ, buttocks/posterior, or lateral thigh, making it difficult to identify the root cause. 
 
Pain can also be caused by pelvic dysfunction, which refers to a disturbance in the normal movement of the SIJ during movement. This can occur due to myofascial restrictions, which develop when normal patterns of muscle recruitment are altered, or when a restriction within the SIJ itself is present.

How is this connected to scoliosis?

SIJ pain is often reported in those with scoliosis, and this is likely due to the secondary impact of the spinal curvature on this part of the body. The unnatural curvature of the spine has an impact on the alignment of the joint, which results in pain and movement dysfunction in this area.
 
For this reason, it is highly important to monitor and assess the signs of pelvic dysfunction in scoliosis sufferers in order to ensure that any treatment administered for the spinal condition is also considering the possible impact on the SIJ. By doing this, appropriate manual therapy techniques can be applied in order to restore optimal alignment and movement in this area.
 
therapy for SIJ pain

Can SIJ pain be improved?

In order to effectively treat the pain and discomfort caused by pelvic dysfunction, it is important to begin by conducting a thorough assessment. This can be done by performing a variety of kinetic tests (which assess the movement of the ilium and sacrum) during exercises such as single leg standing, as well as trunk flexion whilst upstanding and sitting. 
 
If positional assessment of the area reveals the cause of the dysfunction, this information should be used to prescribe the correct range of manual therapy techniques, selected based on the type of restriction and presentation. These can then be used to restore the correct muscle recruitment pattern, joint alignment, and normal pelvic movement.
 
Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, our aim is to offer a highly tailored and unique treatment to each of our patients, including a thorough evaluation of each individual's specific needs and complaints. This means that sources of pain, secondary conditions and other contributing factors are all taken into consideration so as to offer a treatment plan that meets the specific aims of the patient - without causing reactionary damage to other parts of the body.
 
To find out more about our ScolioGold treatment method, please click here.

While scoliosis usually starts to develop during puberty, it is not unheard of for the condition to arise far later in life. We frequently treat elderly scoliosis sufferers here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, and whereas our younger patients usually have what's known as idiopathic scoliosis (a progressive spinal curvature with no apparent cause), scoliosis in older people almost always occurs as the result of another, underlying condition.

Very often, that underlying condition is osteoporosis.
 
Osteoporosis vs. Normal Bone Density

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a weakening of the bones that commonly occurs in later life. As we age, our bones naturally lose mass and become more fragile, although this process happens more quickly in some people than others. You are particularly at risk of osteoporosis if:
  • You are going through, or have already experienced, the menopause (reduced oestrogen levels often lead to a rapid decrease in bone mass, particularly when the menopause occurs before the age of 45)
  • You have a very low BMI
  • You drink and/or smoke heavily
  • You don't get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet
  • Osteoporosis runs in your family
  • You don't get enough exercise
  • You have had your ovaries removed (e.g. due to ovarian cancer)
  • You have been taking certain medications (such as corticosteroids) for an extended period of time

Symptoms of osteoporosis

Osteoporosis doesn't have any symptoms in and of itself, but it is problematic because weak bones are far easier to break. Reduced bone mass can easily be identified via an X-ray or DEXA bone mineral density scan; however, many osteoporosis sufferers remain unaware of their condition until they break a bone (usually a hip, wrist, rib or vertebra).
 
Increased risk of fracture isn't the only issue that can arise due to osteoporosis. When the bones in the spine lose their strength and density, the spine can begin to slip into a curved position as it becomes too weak to support the weight of your upper body. This is how many osteoporosis sufferers end up suffering from hyperkyphosis (a forward curvature of the spine) or scoliosis (a sideways curvature of the spine).
 
Osteoporosis & Curvature of the Spine

Treating osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related scoliosis

Once osteoporosis has been diagnosed - and again, this often doesn't happen until after the patient has suffered a fracture - the condition can sometimes be managed using medication that helps to strengthen the patient's bones. Doctors may also recommend dietary/lifestyle changes to help slow the deterioration of the bones, and certain measures can be taken to reduce the risk of a fracture (e.g. removing household hazards that may result in a fall).
 
When scoliosis arises as the result of osteoporosis, it can be treated in a number of different ways. Some patients will undergo surgery to correct their spinal curvature, but it is usually possible to manage the condition with physical therapy - eliminating the need for surgical intervention.
 
Located in the City of London, the Scoliosis SOS Clinic treats scoliosis and hyperkyphosis sufferers using the ScolioGold method (a combination of specially selected non-surgical treatment techniques). Click here to see the results that this approach can achieve for elderly patients, or contact Scoliosis SOS now to arrange a consultation.
Scoliosis Prognosis
 

It is very difficult to predict the course that any given case of scoliosis will take. The condition's symptoms and rate of progression can vary significantly, and much depends on the severity of the spinal curve and whether or not it threatens the patient's vital organs. In most cases of scoliosis, the condition is diagnosed during adolescence; however, it can be hard to estimate how severe the spinal curve will become as the patient continues to grow, and the eventual outcome cannot ever be known for certain.  

 
The vast majority of spinal growth takes place within the first 5 years of a person's life and in the adolescent growth spurt that occurs during puberty. Therefore, the spinal growth of children with scoliosis in these age groups should be closely monitored. If action is made early on to reduce the spinal curve and promote healthy spinal growth, the prognosis usually improves.
 
However, if the condition isn't monitored and gets left untreated, the spinal curve may begin to severely threaten the patient's health. As well as the visual symptoms of scoliosis (such as uneven shoulders and hips), the patient may begin to develop back pain, and their spinal curve may start to put pressure on the nerves and even the entire spinal cord. This will lead to weakness, numbness, and pain in the lower region of the patient's spine; also, if the pressure is too severe, it may cause the patient to lose control / coordination of their leg muscles, making it difficult to walk normally.
 
Finally, if the chest becomes deformed due to the spinal condition, the lungs and heart may be affected, potentially leading to breathing problems, fatigue, and even heart failure. Thankfully, these symptoms can easily be prevented if the condition is monitored and interventions are made before the spinal curve can progress.
 
If you or your child suffer from scoliosis, please contact Scoliosis SOS and book an initial consultation with our scoliosis consultants. We will then be able to recommend the best course of action to ensure that your scoliosis prognosis is as positive as possible.
Yoga for Scoliosis

It seems that yoga classes are popping up everywhere these days, and this ancient Indian practices has also become very popular among online communities. Placing emphasis on psychological and physical balance, yoga is often used to improve an individual's physical ability, as well as their mental well-being. This is achieved via a combination of poses and breathing exercises, which are said to improve strength and flexibility while also combating the negative effects of everyday life (such as stress and bad posture).

While yoga has received a lot of good press in the health and wellness industry, it's important to examine how yoga is being promoted to those with specific medical conditions, including scoliosis. The benefits of yoga have been well documented, but we feel that it is also important to scrutinise the ways in which some people are presenting this approach as a viable, non-surgical treatment for curvature of the spine.

How is yoga used to treat scoliosis?

The form of yoga that is sometimes used to treat scoliosis is called hatha (which, in Sanskrit, simply means 'force'). Hatha yoga focuses on physical postures and exercises, but also emphasises proper breathing, mental exercises, and a controlled diet.

The main aim of yoga-based scoliosis treatment is to create proper alignment within the body while minimising pain and spinal damage. This is achieved by focusing on a number of key areas, including:

  • Strengthening the feet and legs (supposedly relieving some of the burden on your spine)
  • Straightening / lengthening the spine
  • Aligning the lower limbs with the torso for improved function
  • Addressing the rounding of the back
  • Strengthening the core muscles to prevent the back from tightening
  • Incorporation of breathing awareness to improve structural alignment

Should I use yoga to treat my scoliosis?

While yoga can lead to a number of positive benefits for scoliosis sufferers - most notably improved posture and muscle strength, as well as pain relief in some cases - the use of yoga as a scoliosis treatment should be regarded with caution. This is especially true if you are visiting a class or treatment centre that does not cater specifically to the demands of scoliosis sufferers; scoliotic spines don't always behave in the same way as healthy spines, and this can prove problematic when scoliosis patients participate in certain exercises and activities.

In particular, scoliosis sufferers who practice yoga should be careful when performing exercises that involve:

  • Backward / forward bending
  • Torso twists
  • Sideways bends
  • Shoulder stands
  • Bending of the rib cage

The problem is the sheer variety of different deviations that exist in scoliosis patients. Ideally, all treatments (whether yoga-based or not) should be specifically tailored to the patient's unique condition while also assessing potential areas of concern in order to avoid secondary risks.

Is there a safer alternative to yoga for scoliosis sufferers?

For those who wish to treat their scoliosis without surgery, there are other non-surgical treatment methods available - methods that provide the corrective and strengthening benefits of yoga while also doing more to address the individual needs of the patient. Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we use our own ScolioGold treatment method: this is a combined programme of non-surgical techniques that we specifically created to address a combination of issues present in individuals suffering from scoliosis. In order to provide the best results, patient outcomes and treatments are constantly monitored and updated in line with the latest medical research in our field.

Click here to find out more about our ScolioGold treatment programme, or get in touch with Scoliosis SOS today to arrange a consultation.

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