Earlier this year, we treated 17-year-old Francisco, who had been diagnosed with scoliosis and whose spine was displaying a 30-degree curve.
Francisco's scoliosis was first spotted by a physiotherapist he had been seeing after picking up a shoulder injury while playing tennis; he was sent to the hospital for an X-ray, and a week later, Francisco was diagnosed with a spinal curve of 23 degrees. He was fitted with a back brace in the hope that this would arrest the development of his scoliosis, but six months on, Francisco returned for a check-up and was informed that his spinal curve had progressed to 30 degrees.
Because Francisco's spinal curve was causing him pain and restricting him from taking part in his hobbies - such as tennis and ice hockey - he decided to get in touch with the Scoliosis SOS Clinic to enquire about our non-surgical treatment courses. A friend of his had already received treatment here a couple of years prior to his own diagnosis, and that friend strongly recommended the Clinic based on her own good experience with us.
Francisco completed a 4-week ScolioGold
treatment course, and this reduced his curve down to 18 degrees
. 18 months after starting his course, Francisco's back pain has gotten a lot better, and his posture has improved significantly. Best of all, after taking a forced break from tennis and ice hockey while wearing the back brace, he is now able to enjoy the sports he loves once again.
You can see Francisco's full account of his 30 degree scoliosis treatment in the video below.
If you work in an office or frequently spend long periods of time driving, it's likely that you may well have poor posture. Bad posture occurs when your spine is held in unnatural positions, putting stress on your joints, muscles and vertebrae. Slouching in your chair, hunching over your keyboard, or looking down at your mobile phone for extended periods can cause a build-up of pressure on these tissues.
Lower back, neck, shoulder, and even arm pain can be linked to bad posture, and it can lead to even more severe, painful and visible symptoms such as hyperkyphosis
- a condition where the thoracic spine (upper back) develops a forward-curved posture.
This condition is most commonly associated with people over 40, and it can continue to worsen with age. That said, hyperkyphosis can affect anyone at any time of life, and it is believed that 20-40% of adults will develop this condition at some point.
Hyperkyphosis sufferers may not recognise a change in back posture at first because the curvature is often quite gradual, but if left untreated, you may find that you are having difficulty performing normal tasks and keeping your balance. Some people will also experience upper back pain and spinal fractures as the condition advances.
Hyperkyphosis can be treated by undergoing surgery, but like most surgical procedures, there are a number of risks. If you're put off by the prospect of having surgery to treat your condition, you'll be glad to know that we at Scoliosis SOS
treat spinal conditions (including hyperkyphosis) using our non-surgical treatment method called ScolioGold
ScolioGold is a mixture of exercise-based techniques that are continuously monitored and developed to ensure that all aspects of the patient's condition are fully treated. For more information on our ScolioGold treatment method, click here
. If you have any questions or you wish to book a consultation, please contact our clinic
- a sideways curvature of the spine - has been observed in human beings since the days of Ancient Greece (and probably much earlier). It has affected many notable people, and much has been written about it, although many aspects of the condition remain mysterious even today.
If you've been diagnosed with scoliosis and you're eager to learn more about the condition, here are 10 interesting facts for you to memorise and share with friends and family:
- The word 'scoliosis' is derived from the Ancient Greek word σκολίωσις (skoliosis), which literally meant 'a bend' or 'a twisting'.
- The first notable person to treat and write about scoliosis was Hippocrates, the Greek physician who is often referred to as 'the father of modern medicine'. He coined the name 'scoliosis', and he treated curved spines with extensions and stretches, performed using devices like the Hippocratic board, the Hippocratic ladder, and the Hippocratic bench.
- Many depictions of Alexander the Great show him looking up at an angle, as if he had a twisted spine. This has led some to theorise that Alexander - one of history's most prolific conquerors - may have suffered from scoliosis or a similar spinal curvature.
- Richard III, who was King of England from 1483 to 1485, famously had scoliosis, although modern imaging techniques suggest that Richard's condition was mild enough to be disguised with the right clothing.
- Scoliosis is significantly more common in females than in males. Adolescent females may be up to 10 times more likely to develop idiopathic scoliosis than their male peers.
- Usain Bolt has scoliosis - the Olympic gold medallist has said that the condition hampered his early career, but it obviously hasn't stopped him from succeeding more recently! Click here for more famous scoliosis sufferers.
- It's estimated that scoliosis affects roughly 3% of the population - that's well over 200 million people worldwide.
- Animals can suffer from scoliosis. The condition has been found to exist in dogs, cats, horses, fish, and a number of other creatures; interestingly, though, it has not been observed in chimpanzees or gorillas, in spite of the fact that both are members of the same taxonomic family as humans (Hominidae).
- Severe scoliosis may be treated using a surgical technique known as spinal fusion. This operation dates back to the 1900s, and notable people who have undergone spinal fusion surgery include Princess Eugenie, actress Elizabeth Taylor, Chinese-American cellist Yo Yo Ma, and actress/singer Vanessa Williams.
- A lot of exciting scoliosis research is currently being carried out using zebrafish as test subjects. In 2016 alone, zebrafish experiments linked the development of idiopathic scoliosis both to a specific gene and to the flow of fluid in the spinal column - both of these findings could have huge implications for scoliosis treatment in the future.
The Scoliosis SOS Clinic is located in London, England, and is an internationally-renowned provider of non-surgical treatment for scoliosis and other spinal conditions. Click here for more information, or contact Scoliosis SOS to arrange a consultation today.
Lumbar scoliosis refers to the sideways curving of the lower back, known as the lumbar area of the spine. While this form of curvature can be linked with congenital scoliosis at birth, and may also occur as a result of a neuromuscular condition in adulthood, it is most commonly identified in patients with idiopathic scoliosis.
Lumbar scoliosis can be visually identified using an X-ray or Adam's forward-bend test, and is characterised by the distinctive 'C' shaped curve in the lower section of the spine and the apex of the curve has to be one of the lumbar vertebra. It differs from thoracolumbar scoliosis, which is when a single curve spans between the bottom few vertebrae of the thoracic spine and the top few vertebrae of the lumbar spine and the apex of a thoracolumbar curve has to be at either T12 (twelfth thoracic vertebra) or L1 (first lumbar vertebra). A lumbar scoliosis can occur in combination with a thoracic scoliosis to form an 'S' shaped curve, with the thoracic curve going in one direction (left or right) and the lumbar curve going in the other (right or left).
In most cases, symptoms of lumbar scoliosis will be distinguished during early to mid childhood, although in cases of adult degenerative scoliosis, it can also be linked with a number of corresponding conditions, including lumbar spinal stenosis and osteoporosis.
Some visual symptoms of lumbar scoliosis include:
- Uneven shoulders
- Unusually raised hips
- Uneven rib cage alignment
- Uneven waist
- Body leaning to one side
How is Lumbar Scoliosis Treated?
The recommended treatment for lumbar scoliosis may vary depending on a variety of factors, from the age and health of the patient, to the severity of the spinal curve, and its long-term implications. For those who experience pain and inflammation as a result of lumbar scoliosis, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen may be prescribed, in an attempt to reduce discomfort for the patient. In other cases, doctors may recommend a course of corticosteroid injections into the spine, which are performed under X-ray, and can be received no more than four times in a 6-12 month period.
In the most severe cases, where the curvature is seen as being likely to progress, and may impact the patient's overall health and wellbeing, a doctor will often recommend that the patient undergoes a corrective surgical procedure. This is known as spinal fusion surgery, and involves the insertion of rods and screws into the backbones, which prevents the spine from curving.
Are There Viable Alternatives to Drugs and Surgery for Lumbar Scoliosis?
An increasingly popular method for treating scoliosis, is the use of physical therapy and exercises, which is the treatment approach that we employ here at Scoliosis SOS
. Performing a variety of movements, a physical therapist will work to correct the existing spinal curve and strengthen the patient's back muscles, for continued maintenance and progress. Those who enrol on our ScolioGold programme
, will receive a treatment plan that is tailored specifically to their condition, with an at-home exercise routine to complete once they have concluded their treatment.
For more information about how we can treat patients with lumbar scoliosis, please feel free to get in touch today! You can contact the Scoliosis SOS team by calling 0207 488 4428, or by filling in our contact form.
Scoliosis (and its symptoms, such as chronic pain and reduced mobility) can have a huge impact on the lives of those affected by it. However, as many scoliosis sufferers will no doubt agree, it can make a huge difference simply to speak to other people who are suffering from the same condition.
With that in mind, here is a list of scoliosis support groups
(both online and offline) around the world. We will be updating this list periodically, so if you run or know of a scoliosis support group in your territory, please let us know via Twitter (@ScoliosisSOS
) and we will consider expanding our list accordingly.
Scoliosis Association (UK)
SAUK is a nationwide support organisation for scoliosis sufferers in the United Kingdom (and their families). They provide advice and information on the condition, and aim to raise awareness both within the healthcare industry and amongst the general public. Their helpline (see number above) is manned from 9am to 5.30pm every weekday, and it allows people to phone up and receive friendly guidance and support instantly.
National Scoliosis Foundation
Headquarterered in Massachusetts, the NSF is a nonprofit organisation that aims to help "children, parents, adults, and healthcare providers to understand the complexities of spinal deformities such as scoliosis." They offer numerous different types of support, including early screening programmes, advocacy / awareness initiatives, and numerous informative resources for scoliosis sufferers and their loved ones.
- Locations: Australia, Canada, Guyana, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA
- Website: www.curvygirlsscoliosis.com
- Social Media: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram
Curvy Girls was founded in 2006 by a young scoliosis sufferer named Leah. It began as a small support group specifically aimed at children and young people with scoliosis, and it has now grown into an international success, with groups currently meeting in a dozen different countries on six continents across the globe (see list above).
Vereniging van scoliosepatiënten
This Dutch-language website (roughly translated, the name means 'Association of Scoliosis Patients') hosts a wide array of informative resources for scoliosis sufferers, as well as a forum where Dutch-speaking scoliosis patients can interact with and support each other.
Beyond A Curved Spine
Beyond A Curved Spine is a "scoliosis awareness hub" based in Lagos, Nigeria. They aim to raise awareness of the condition while also providing financial and emotional support to scoliosis patients who need it.
SupportGroups.com is a website that houses online support groups (forums) for a wide range of different conditions and life events, from depression and eating disorders to divorce, alcoholism, PTSD and more. Their dedicated scoliosis group is 17,800 members strong at time of writing, and the forum's open style encourages users to share their feelings and offer support and a friendly ear to fellow scoliotics.