National Gardening Week has been taking place in the UK this week (29 April - 5 May 2019). The theme for 2019 is Edible Britain, and so gardeners all over the country have been sharing their love of home-grown produce on social media over the last few days.
Find out more on the RHS website >
Gardening with scoliosis
Gardening can be quite a physically demanding activity, and over the years, we at Scoliosis SOS have treated a number of keen gardeners who were having difficulties due to their scoliosis. Back pain and reduced flexibility are no help whatsoever when you're digging, planting, pruning and weeding!
Here are just some of the gardening enthusiasts our ScolioGold treatment programme has helped (click the links to view news articles in full):
How do we treat scoliosis? Book an initial consultation
The final 2 days of the 2019 SOSORT (Society On Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment) meeting in San Francisco proved to be just as productive and educational as the start of the conference.
Friday 26 April
Friday began with a variety of scientific paper award sessions, including those on the 'Impact of Sports Activities on Adolescent Scoliosis Patients' (from a team at the Italian Scientific Institute) and the 'Effects of Inspiratory Muscle Training on Respiratory Muscle Strength' (from a research group at Bezmiâlem University in Istanbul, Turkey). This was followed by a moving presentation from Dr. Scott Haldeman on the work of World Spine Care, a global charity on a mission to improve lives in under-served communities by aiming to create a world in which everyone has access to the highest possible quality of spine care.
Clinic Principal Erika Maude (pictured above) then presented the Scoliosis SOS Clinic's work: 'Exploring the Cost Effectiveness of an Intensive Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis Specific Exercise (PSSE) Programme in a UK Adult Population'. Many of our patients will recall being asked to complete quality of life questionnaires at various points during their treatment programmes, and we are very grateful to everyone who has helped to contribute to this ground-breaking piece of research and prove that our ScolioGold therapy is a cost-effective alternative to the existing treatments of bracing and surgery that are currently offered by the UK's National Health Service. We will be uploading the full video recording of Erika 's presentation at the San Francisco conference later next week.
The day concluded with a talk from orthopaedic specialist Mr Peter Newton, current president of the SRS (Scoliosis Research Society), on the organisation's work as a networking hub for spinal specialists from all over the world.
Saturday 27 April
Saturday saw Rachel Mulvaney, Vice President of Curvy Girls, speak on the 'Power of Peer Support' and showcase the amazing work this society does to help girls with scoliosis across the globe.
Our Clinical Manager Georgie Frere (pictured above) also gave an excellent insight into the importance of 'Strategies to Improve Home Exercise Compliance in Patients with Scoliosis', something that we are very passionate about supporting our patients with when they return home after completing a treatment course at our clinic. Every patient receives a personalised exercise schedule, and we have also been trialling the use of paper exercise diaries for some of our patients to see if this improves their motivation at home. Georgie's presentation has also been recorded and will be uploaded to our YouTube channel shortly.
Looking ahead to SOSORT 2020
Next year's SOSORT conference will be held in Melbourne, Australia, and the Scoliosis SOS team are already hard at work finalising their scientific abstracts for submission before the deadline in October 2019. The 2020 conference looks set to be bigger than ever, and will be teaming up with SpineWeek to offer a scientific collaboration bringing together clinicians and scientists from around the world and from very different scientific societies.
Learn More About Scoliosis SOS > Upcoming Treatment Course Dates >
Scoliosis can affect the body in a number of different ways and with varying severity.
For example, significant spinal curvature and rotation can sometimes affect lung function, leaving the patient short of breath.
How does spinal rotation affect lung function?
According to the Thoracic Institute at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children's Hospital, "spine rotation causes a windswept thorax, with both restriction of the volume of the convex hemithorax and restriction of the motion of the involved ribs".
In other words, scoliosis and other curvatures of the spine can limit your movement and inhibit the inflation of your lungs.
As a general rule, the more severe the angle of trunk rotation (ATR), the more severely your respiratory system may be affected. This can be particularly noticeable during periods of activity and exercise, which may leave you feeling short of breath.
Can lung function be improved?
Despite this correlation between spinal rotation and lung function, there may be light at the end of the tunnel. Our ScolioGold treatment programme can provide relief for people with scoliosis, even when it is so severe as to affect the patient's lungs.
The Scoliosis SOS Clinic's own research has shown that treatment via the ScolioGold programme can improve a patient’s forced vital capacity (i.e. the amount of air that can be forcibly exhaled from the lungs after taking the deepest breath possible).
However, due to the retrospective nature of the study along with other contributing outside factors, the improvements cannot be fully attributed to decreasing ATR. Nevertheless, it’s an encouraging statistic and shows how ScolioGold can be beneficial for scoliosis patients seeking non-surgical help.
What is ScolioGold?
ScolioGold therapy is a treatment programme that combines the Schroth method with myriad other tried and tested therapeutic techniques from across the globe.
Continuously monitored, modified and developed, the ScolioGold programme is constantly evolving to include the latest advancements in non-surgical treatment.
Learn More About ScolioGold Book a Consultation
SOSORT (Society On Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment) is a non-profit organisation that aims to encourage the development of conservative - i.e. non-surgical - treatment methods for scoliosis and other spinal conditions. The cornerstone of SOSORT's work is their Annual Meeting, which takes place in a different location each year and comprises a variety of scientific and educational events.
The Scoliosis SOS Clinic have had a consistent presence at these Annual Meetings for a number of years now. Clinic Principal Erika Maude, Clinic Manager Georgie Frere and ScolioGold Therapist Kara Cattell are currently in San Francisco, California for SOSORT's 14th International Conference on Scoliosis Management. This year, more than 300 participants from across 6 different continents have gathered together to discuss the latest developments, research and techniques for non-surgical scoliosis patient care.
On Thursday, attendees listened to lectures from keynote speakers Dr Manuel Rigo - who was Erika's doctor when she herself underwent treatment in Spain back in 2002 - and Dr Stuart Weinstein, an orthopaedic surgeon and US healthcare policy advisor.
Dr Rigo gave a brilliant insight into the history of exercise-based therapy for scoliosis (dating back to the 18th century, when wall bars were first invented by a Swedish physician) and finished with an overview of modern-day physiotherapy methods from around the world.
Dr Weinstein's talk focused on health economics and how, with scoliosis surgery being one of the biggest health costs for teenage populations in many countries, healthcare providers are going to be under increasing pressure in the near future to find more cost-effective ways to treat this patient group - namely with less invasive, more conservative methods. This is a particularly popular topic at the moment, and Erika hopes that her upcoming scientific presentation on the health economics of patient quality of life will greatly add to the evidence supporting the wider use of exercise therapy to treat scoliosis patients.
Be sure to check the Scoliosis SOS blog next week for more information on Erika's presentation, as well as Georgie's presentation on patient compliance.
Our Scoliosis Research > Our Treatment Method >
It's important to eat healthy whether or not you have scoliosis, but it might be especially important if you do.
Below are some quick tips that are worth bearing in mind if you have a curved spine. For more general information about a balanced, nutritious diet, visit the NHS Eat Well website.
Dietary tips for people with scoliosis:
- Avoid foods that contain lots of chemicals and additives - these can cause excessive inflammation
- Avoid overly salty foods - eating too much salt can cause you to lose calcium through your urine
- Avoid sugary drinks and soda - they inhibit the body's ability to absorb calcium
- Don't drink excessive amounts of alcohol - drinking too much alcohol can lead to reduced bone mass
- Don't drink too much caffeine - excessive caffeine can cause your bones to lose calcium
Here are a few specific items that should ideally be enjoyed in moderation only:
- Soy products
- White flour
- Fast food
- Processed meats
- Caffeinated tea and coffee
Don't worry, though - there are plenty of delicious foods that can be very beneficial for people with scoliosis, including:
- Healthy fats like avocados, coconuts, egg yolk, and lots of nuts!
- High-quality protein from grass-fed animals.
- Herbal teas and fresh vegetable juices.
If you or your child are suffering from scoliosis, please don't hesitate to contact the Scoliosis SOS Clinic. We specialise in exercise-based treatment for scoliosis and other spinal conditions - get in touch now to arrange a consultation.
Contact the Scoliosis SOS Clinic Today >