When we discussed the signs and symptoms of scoliosis on this blog previously, we explained that spinal curvature often causes the hips to appear uneven, with one side sitting higher than the other. This uneven posture can cause pain for the patient when walking or standing for long periods of time, limiting the range of activities that they are able to perform without experiencing discomfort.


hip bone
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

How are scoliosis and hip pain linked?

The condition known as scoliosis (where the spine curves sideways) can lead to a variety of secondary problems, with hip pain sometimes developing as a result of stretched ligaments due to the spinal deformity. In addition, one hip may end up carrying more weight than the other because of the tilting caused by scoliosis; this leads to a misuse of tendons and muscles, which also results in pain.
 
sacroiliac joint

What is the source of this hip pain?

The hip pain experienced by scoliosis sufferers usually occurs as a result of straining the iliolumbar and sacroiliac ligaments, strong bands of connective tissue which help to stabilise the lumbosacral spine at the pelvis. This type of pain is referred to as sacroiliac joint (SIJ) pain, with discomfort also resulting from pelvic dysfunction due to disturbance in normal moving patterns, and from the myofascial restrictions that develop as a result of muscle recruitment patterns being altered.

Can scoliosis treatment help with hip pain?

Once a thorough assessment has been conducted in order to determine the nature and cause of the hip pain, this information can be used to create a targeted treatment plan that uses manual therapy to address the problematic areas. This approach is then used to restore alignment and to correct abnormal patterns of movement, relieving stress and preventing future pain in the process.
 
Here at Scoliosis SOS, we tailor our non-surgical treatment programmes to the specific needs of each patient, allowing us to achieve the best results for each individual. If you suffer from hip pain due to your spinal condition, we will be able to take this into consideration when devising and delivering your treatment programme in order to provide relief from the pain and restore normal movement going forward.
 
Click here to learn more about our ScolioGold treatment method, or book an initial consultation here.
Spinal Fusion Surgery
 
Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that is commonly recommended in severe cases of scoliosis. In the UK, spinal fusion surgery will usually be considered as a treatment option once the patient's spinal curve measures 40 degrees; in some other countries, it may not be recommended without a Cobb angle measurement of at least 50 degrees.
 
 

Does spinal fusion surgery have a high success rate?

There are lots of stories on the Internet about spinal fusion procedures that didn't have the desired effect (i.e. reducing curvature, preventing further progression of the curve, and easing symptoms such as back pain). There are even some accounts of operations that made things worse, leaving the patient in more pain and even less able to move around freely.
 
It is true that spinal fusion surgery can go wrong, but in the majority of cases, there are no significant complications and the treatment works well. As Leah Stoltz, founder of the Curvy Girls support group for young scoliosis sufferers, told us when we interviewed her:
 
"Something I've noticed a lot is that you really only hear scary or worrisome stories of surgeries not going well. For the innumerable number of cases that go well, they don't necessarily need to talk about it as much...that's one of the reasons I try to talk about [my experience of spinal fusion surgery] so much."
 
According to the University of Washington's Department of Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, the average curve correction achieved when spinal fusion is carried out on someone under 16 with idiopathic scoliosis is roughly 70%. The operation carries a 2-3% risk of complications.
 

What complications can arise?

When complications do arise from spinal fusion surgery, they vary greatly in severity and seriousness. Possible complications include:
  • Infection
  • Failed fusion
  • Paralysis
However, as stated above, the risk of complication - especially severe complication - is very low.
 

Alternatives to spinal fusion surgery

If your scoliosis has progressed to the point where you are being considered for surgery, you have probably already tried other treatment methods such as bracing. However, even advanced cases of scoliosis (40-50 degrees and over) may be treated via a non-surgical, exercise-based programme such as ScolioGold.
 
ScolioGold
 
Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we have treated countless scoliosis patients who thought that surgery was their only remaining option. The ScolioGold method, our own carefully-selected combination of non-surgical treatment techniques, has proven very effective in relieving pain, reducing curvature, improving mobility and muscle balance, and improving overall quality of life.
 

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Kyphoscoliosis
 
Kyphoscoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine on two different planes: the coronal plane, which divides the stomach and back; and the sagittal plane, which divides the body into its left and right sides.
 
This curvature is effectively a combination of hyperkyphosis (forward spinal curve) and scoliosis (sideways spinal curve). Kyphoscoliosis can occur at any age, and in some cases it may even be present at birth due to congenital issues.

Symptoms of kyphoscoliosis

Kyphoscoliosis is typically noticed due to the visible signs of a hunched or uneven back. If the curvature is excessive, it can also cause physical debilitations. 
 
If you believe that you (or a loved one) may have kyphoscoliosis, here are the symptoms to look for:
  • A hunched back
  • Uneven shoulder blades
  • Arms or legs that are longer on one side
  • Difficulty walking normally
  • Back pain
  • Stiffness
  • Fatigue
In severe cases, kyphoscoliosis patients can also experience difficulty breathing/eating, heart issues or even neurological problems.

Causes of kyphoscoliosis

Kyphoscoliosis can develop at any age and may be caused by a variety of different issues. Many cases of kyphoscoliosis are found to be idiopathic, meaning the exact cause of the condition is unknown. 
 
In some cases, prolonged bad posture can lead to postural kyphoscoliosis. This can usually be eased with physical therapy, depending on the degree of the curvature.
 
Infections such as tuberculosis and osteochondrodysplasia can also be a cause of kyphoscoliosis as they weaken the spine. In patients aged 50+, kyphoscoliosis can develop when degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis or osteoarthritis are already present.

Kyphoscoliosis treatments

Physical therapy

Physiotherapy can help with mild to moderate cases of kyphoscoliosis. The main aim of physical therapy is to make the spinal tissues stronger in order to help correct the curvature as much as possible.
 
The Scoliosis SOS Clinic is dedicated to helping those suffering from spinal issues such as kyphoscoliosis, hyperkyphosis and scoliosis with physical therapy. Our ScolioGold courses work towards improving the posture and symptoms of those suffering from kyphoscoliosis.

Bracing

In many mild to moderate cases of scoliosis, hyperkyphosis, and kyphoscoliosis, a back brace is used to stunt the progression of the spinal curvature. The brace supports the muscles and bones and encourages the straightening of the spine.
 
The back braces needed for kyphoscoliosis are still in development as they need to stunt the curvature in both the coronal and sagittal plane.

Surgery 

Surgery becomes an option once kyphoscoliosis becomes severe and threatens to impact the patient's breathing. When considering surgery for kyphoscoliosis, all factors need to be taken into account, such as age, the cause of the condition, risks and recovery time. 
 
If you feel you may benefit from the treatment available from Scoliosis SOS, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us today.

World-class acrobat, Lauren Hill, has been somersaulting her way around the globe at competitions since the tender age of 7 and has had the privilege of being part of Team GB at 3 Championships where she has won gold at European and World level. At 16 years old, she found her life in “sudden turmoil” after a shock diagnosis of Scoliosis and the threat of a high-risk operation to surgically immobilise and straighten her spine, which would have put an end to her acrobatics for good. Now thanks to a unique exercise programme she can look forward to pursuing the competitive and future performance career she always dreamed of.


When Lauren’s coach noticed her hips and shoulders looked uneven and one shoulder blade protruded he advised Lauren’s mother Alison to see her GP immediately. Lauren was initially diagnosed with a leg length discrepancy.  Yet, in just a short period of time Lauren was in terrible pain and had started to lose her flexibility. Lauren’s mother was desperate to help Lauren find some treatment that would mean she could continue with her dreams of being a professional acrobat.

Lauren enrolled on a four-week course of ScolioGold therapy and has achieved amazing results. Lauren is no longer at risk of surgery and has never been so excited about the future. 

For more on Lauren’s story please see the video below: -


Read more information about our treatment courses or Contact Us to discuss how ScolioGold therapy could help your spinal condition.
When it comes to understanding their diagnosis, one of the biggest difficulties facing scoliosis sufferers is the large amount of complex terminology used to describe the condition. From individual characteristics and variations to the many development patterns which exist, the sheer volume of information and unfamiliar medical jargon can sometimes prove to be overwhelming and confusing, adding unnecessary stress to an already very stressful situation.
 
It is for this reason that we seek to explain scoliosis terminology and commonly-asked questions in greater detail so as to provide individuals with clarity and an improved understanding of their condition. Today, we are focusing on the term rotatory scoliosis, which is sometimes used by doctors to describe a specific curvature of the spine.

What is rotatory scoliosis?

Also referred to as rotoscoliosis, this term is used to define particularly severe forms of scoliosis in which the spine not only leans to one side but also curves with a strong degree of rotation.  Scoliosis in general is defined as a sideways-leaning spinal curvature (as opposed to conditions such as hyperkyphosis, a curve in the upper region of the spine that causes the patient to lean forwards). Simple or 'postural' scoliosis may be used to describe a form of sideways curvature without any twisting of the vertebra, while structural or ''rotatory' scoliosis defines a more complex curvature in which the vertebrae twist either into or away from the bend. This rotation of the spine can lead to further skeletal misalignments in areas such as the pelvis, ribs and shoulders. Although the term itself is often used to describe the most severe curves, which have a particularly strong rotational component, there is a degree of rotation in most scoliotic curves, which means that this term is sometimes used to describe scoliosis more generally.

What are the symptoms of rotatory scoliosis?

Scoliosis SuffererScoliosis Patient
 
As mentioned above, rotatory scoliosis causes misalignments throughout the body, which may be manifested in a variety of visual symptoms, including:
  • Unlevel hips (one hip appearing higher than the other or tilted)
  • Uneven shoulders (one shoulder appearing higher than the other)
  • Protruding shoulder blades
  • An uneven waist
  • Rib cage more prominent on one side of the body
  • One leg appearing shorter than the other
These symptoms can differ substantially according to the Cobb angle of the curve, along with its rate of progression, which will also determine the extent of further complications experienced by the patient.

How is rotatory scoliosis treated?

Osteopathy Scoliosis Treatment
 
For progressive cases of scoliosis, many patients are fitted with a back brace, which is designed to prevent the curve from becoming more severe. For those who are deemed to be at risk of further progression, spinal fusion surgery may be recommended in an attempt to permanently correct the curve; however, this is not advised lightly, due to the risks and possible complications involved.
 
There are also a variety of non-surgical treatments available, including physical therapy and stretches that are designed to improve the spinal curvature and relieve the patient's symptoms. Here at Scoliosis SOS, we have developed our own unique ScolioGold treatment programme, which combines a variety of proven non-surgical methods in order to treat the spinal condition of each individual as best as possible. Over the years, we have treated patients with varying degrees of scoliosis and other spinal conditions, providing them with the methods to manage their condition and halt further progression.
 
To find out more about our treatment programme, or to book a consultation, please get in touch.
 
 
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