Scoliosis is a condition where the spine curves sideways. Everyone's spine is at least a little curved – nobody has a perfectly straight backbone – but if the angle of the curve measures 10 degrees or more, the patient is said to have scoliosis.
Scoliosis affects roughly 3% of the population, and it can contribute to a number of health issues, including:
- Back pain
- Muscle imbalance
- Visible prominences
- Compromised breathing
The condition usually develops during adolescence, and the majority of scoliosis sufferers are female. However, scoliosis can occur at any time of life for a wide variety of different reasons.
To learn more about scoliosis, watch our video:
Causes of Scoliosis
In approximately 80% of cases, scoliosis is idiopathic, meaning that it has no known cause. Idiopathic scoliosis usually develops when the patient is between 10 and 15 years old, roughly coinciding with the onset of puberty. It is thought that this form of scoliosis occurs due to genetic factors, although research into the exact cause of idiopathic scoliosis is still ongoing.
Scoliosis can also arise as a result of underlying medical conditions such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and Marfan syndrome. Sometimes, a baby will be born with scoliosis because of the way their spine developed in the womb; conversely, some types of scoliosis don't develop until old age.
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Symptoms of Scoliosis
When diagnosing a patient with suspected scoliosis, a medical professional will usually look for the following symptoms:
- Leaning to one side
- Shoulders not the same height
- One shoulder blade more prominent than the other
- Uneven hips, waist, legs and/or rib cage
While curvature of the spine often results in back pain, it is important to remember that back pain alone is not necessarily an indicator of spinal curvature – there are all sorts of things besides scoliosis that might be making your back hurt!
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How is Scoliosis Treated?
The recommended treatment for scoliosis varies depending on a number of different factors, including:
- The patient's age
- The severity of their spinal curve
- The location of the curve
- How quickly the curve is progressing (getting worse)
- Whether or not the patient is still growing
Common scoliosis treatment methods include bracing, where the patient wears a rigid plastic shell to prevent the curve progressing further, and spinal fusion, a surgical procedure that uses metal rods to fix the spine in place. Surgery is usually only recommended if the patient's curve has progressed to an angle of 40 degrees or more.
There is another option, however. Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we provide non-surgical treatment courses for scoliosis sufferers, using specialised physiotherapy techniques to combat the effects of this condition. The Schroth method, which forms the basis of our treatment programme, has proven effective in reducing the angle of spinal curves, but this is just one of the techniques that we use to achieve the best possible results for our patients.
Download PDF: An Introduction to Scoliosis
The ScolioGold Method
We at Scoliosis SOS are proud of our unsurpassed track record of consistently excellent results with no side effects or invasive, risky procedures. Our ScolioGold method comprises a variety of non-surgical spinal treatments from around the world. Using these methods, our therapists are able to help scoliosis patients to overcome their symptoms without the need for surgery.
Our scoliosis treatment programmes are tailored to the unique needs of the patient. The ScolioGold method is designed to help the patient adopt a more central, balanced posture while also reducing pain/stiffness and reversing the curve's progression. This treatment regime also enables patients to learn a specific, individualised exercise programme which can be performed on a daily basis at home to maintain and further their spinal correction.
Upcoming ScolioGold Course Dates
All of our patients, regardless of their age or type of spinal deformity, have noticed a dramatic improvement in their overall fitness, wellbeing and appearance. Patients and their families often start to notice the physical and emotional improvement only a few days into the course.
If you suffer from scoliosis (or another curvature of the spine, such as hyperkyphosis), please get in touch to learn more about Scoliosis SOS and what we can do to help you.
Other Conditions We Treat:
- Hyperkyphosis (an excessive outward curvature in the upper spine)
- Hyperlordosis (an excessive inward curvature in the lower spine)