Scoliosis can be caused by a variety of different factors, but the condition's most common form is idiopathic scoliosis. Idiopathic scoliosis has no known cause, but it usually develops during adolescence and - interestingly - it is far more common in girls than in boys. Furthermore, there is some evidence to suggest that scoliosis tends to be more progressive in female patients than in their male counterparts.
 
So why should idiopathic scoliosis affect women more often (and more severely) than it affects men? As with the question of what causes scoliosis in the first place, science has yet to discover a solid answer to this mystery. However, we have seen a number of theories proposed - here's one of the more plausible suggestions:

It may be linked to patients' leptin levels

Leptin is a hormone that performs many different tasks in the human body. One of its best-known functions is appetite suppression; a hormone called ghrelin tells you when you need to eat, and leptin tells you when it's time to stop.
 
However, leptin seems to have many other effects beyond simply making you feel full. The hormone has been shown to affect bone growth in mice via the SNS (Sympathetic Nervous System), and it has been suggested that idiopathic scoliosis in females may occur as a result of "increased SNS activity" that also affects the patient's weight (girls with scoliosis tend to have a fairly low BMI).
 
However, it is important to note that this is merely a hypothesis; as stated above, there is no concrete, scientifically proven explanation for the high incidence of scoliosis in females compared to males. It's equally important to bear in mind that we treat a diverse cross-section of patients here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, and while the majority of our patients are female, we can help men to overcome the effects of scoliosis as well. Kurt, a 29-year-old man who travelled to our clinic from California last year, is a prime example:

 

 
Click here for more video testimonials from our previous patients, or contact us now if you'd like to arrange a consultation at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic.
The treatment courses we offer here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic have a very high success rate. This is largely thanks to the fact that we are able to offer our own unique method of therapy, developed specifically by ourselves to provide patients with full treatment for all aspects of their condition. While we previously relied upon the Schroth method alone to treat our patients, we soon realised that, in order to offer a more complete treatment plan, we needed to combine the Schroth method with other proven approaches.

Osteopathy

Osteopathy is one of the many techniques that we incorporate into our successful ScolioGold method, placing an emphasis on the role of the musculoskeletal system in developing a patient's health. First practiced by Andrew Taylor Still, osteopathy uses a range of manual interventions to treat and prevent disease, particularly targeting back and neck pain. According to the principals of the treatment, the attention paid to the musculoskeletal system is able to facilitate the recuperative powers of the body, thereby enabling patients to recover from the damage and pain inflicted by scoliosis and similar conditions.

The main purpose of incorporating osteopathy into our treatment is to help keep the facet joints mobile and, in turn, to provide relief from the pain experienced by scoliosis sufferers. This is achieved by applying the holistic approach used in osteopathic therapies, which aims to release restrictions in the spine and surrounding tissues while improving the patient’s posture and proprioception.

As our dramatic results demonstrate, the use of osteopathy (in combination with other proven treatment techniques) has allowed us to deliver significant, lasting improvements for our patients. Not only does this technique result in improved posture and reduced symptoms, it also successfully delivers an enhanced ease of movement and relief from discomfort.

If you are interested in how our combined treatment approach could help with your own scoliosis symptoms, please click here to find out more about our courses or get in touch with us today.

While scoliosis is a condition that usually arises during adolescence, we know from our years of experience and the research we have conducted that scoliosis often causes a great deal of discomfort and pain in adults as well as in younger patients. As the condition is most discussed in terms of adolescent patients, we wanted to discuss how scoliosis in adults is treated. 

 
Scoliosis in adults
 
Older individuals are most commonly affected by two specific types of scoliosis: idiopathic scoliosis and adult degenerative scoliosis. Here’s a little more information on both scoliosis conditions that effect adults:

Idiopathic Scoliosis

This form of scoliosis is a continuation of the condition in its adolescent form, which may have progressed due to it being left untreated previously. The extent of the spinal curve may have increased over time, particularly for those with a curve of 40° or more. For this reason, it is highly important for individuals with this form of scoliosis to monitor the extent of their curve, as it often leads to further damage and discomfort over time.

Adult Degenerative Scoliosis

Unlike adolescent scoliosis, this form of the condition arises in adulthood due to a degeneration of the discs, as well as arthritis of the facet joints and a collapse of the disc spaces. It is normally most apparent in the lower spine, and can therefore cause pain and numbness not only in the back itself, but also in the legs. 

How Can We Help?

Although these forms of scoliosis may differ slightly from their adolescent counterparts, the non-invasive treatment programmes offered by Scoliosis SOS are still able to provide relief from the pain and aesthetic distortions suffered by adult patients, even in more severe cases.
 
See how we helped Eileen, a 58-year-old patient who needed help with her scoliosis in adulthood: 
 
We are proud to say that our patients, regardless of their age and the extent of their deformity, consistently report substantial improvements in their wellbeing and appearance after receiving our treatments. Patients also continue to see positive progress after completing their course by performing our tailored exercise programmes at home. Scoliosis in adults can be treated without surgery, and we are more than happy to discuss your options with you. 
 
If you suspect that you may be suffering with scoliosis, please feel free to get in touch with Scoliosis SOS to learn more about our treatment approach and to find out how we can help you.

Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger point therapy is an increasingly popular means of treating musculoskeletal pain. If you suffer from pain as a result of scoliosis, hyperkyphosis, or a similar spinal condition, then trigger point therapy may be able to help alleviate some of your symptoms – here's a little more information about this method:

What is trigger point therapy?

Trigger point therapy was devised in the USA in the early 1940s. The technique, which was greatly influenced by the findings of physician and medical researcher Janet Travell, is based on the idea that most musculoskeletal pain can be traced to a specific source or 'trigger point'.

When administering trigger point therapy, a physiotherapist will aim to locate their patient's trigger point(s) and use targeted massage techniques to relieve that patient's pain.

Is trigger point therapy effective?

While trigger points as a concept are still somewhat controversial, studies (reported in Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual by David G. Simons, Janet G. Travell and Lois S. Simons) have shown that roughly three-quarters of pain clinic patients "have a trigger point as the sole source of their pain".

While we do not believe that trigger point therapy alone is an effective treatment for scoliosis and similar musculoskeletal conditions, we have found that the technique often helps to relieve the pain endured by those who suffer from such conditions.

Does the Scoliosis SOS Clinic use trigger point therapy?

Yes – trigger point therapy is one of the many therapeutic approaches that we incorporate into our ScolioGold treatment courses. Our physiotherapists use this method (along with other techniques like taping and osteopathy) to reduce pain, while techniques such as the Schroth method are utilised to correct the patient's posture and improve their mobility.

Please click here to learn more about our scoliosis treatment courses, or contact Scoliosis SOS today to book an initial consultation with our scoliosis specialists.

Analysing what causes scoliosis

While scoliosis most commonly develops during adolescence, this debilitating condition can affect anyone at any time of life. Some people aren’t affected by scoliosis until they reach old age; others notice the symptoms far earlier. In some cases, the condition is actually present from birth (although this is quite rare).

The causes of scoliosis

In around 80% of cases, the exact cause of scoliosis is unclear. This is known as idiopathic scoliosis, which is by far the most common form of the condition. Idiopathic scoliosis is thought to occur due to genetic factors, but nobody knows for sure.

When scoliosis is not idiopathic, the cause may be one of the following:
  • Muscular dystrophy (also known as MD). This is a genetic condition that weakens the muscles over time. This gradual weakening can lead to – among other things – curvature of the spine. Learn more >

  • Cerebral palsy. This condition affects the patient’s movement and coordination, and can also cause irregular posture. Learn more >

  • Birth defects. As mentioned above, some people are born with scoliosis because their spines developed improperly in the womb. This is known as congenital scoliosis. Learn more >

  • Marfan syndrome. This is a hereditary disorder that affects the body’s connective tissues, which in turn can have an effect on the patient’s spine. Learn more >

  • Ageing. Getting older will naturally have an adverse effect on one’s body, and some previously healthy people are affected by scoliosis in their later years due to changes in the discs and joints that make up the spine. Learn more >
In the future, we may understand more about scoliosis (particularly idiopathic scoliosis), and this will hopefully help doctors to prevent some cases of scoliosis before they emerge. In the meantime, all we can do is treat the symptoms of scoliosis, such as postural deformities, decreased mobility, and chronic pain.

Surgical correction is the most common method for treating scoliosis, but many scoliotics find that they are able to overcome the symptoms of their condition through non-surgical, exercise-based physical therapy.

Click here to learn about non-invasive alternatives to scoliosis surgery; alternatively, please contact Scoliosis SOS if you wish to book an initial consultation with one of our scoliosis consultants.