23-year-old Frankie from Florida came all the way to the UK to complete a 4-week treatment course at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic. This is his scoliosis story...
Frankie's father (who actually has scoliosis himself, albeit a far milder case) noticed Frankie's scoliosis when he was 13 years old. Frankie had a slightly unusual gait and asymmetrical shoulders, and he was experiencing some pain in his back. At the age of 16, Frankie went for an X-ray scan which showed that he had quite a significant curvature in his spine - at 40 degrees, the severity of his scoliosis was worse than expected. He wore a back brace for one year, and his curve did actually decrease to 32 degrees.
When Frankie joined the military, he was pleased to find that his scoliosis didn't affect him too much. However, during a particularly rigorous exercise, his back gave out, and so Frankie had to put his career in the military on hold and seek treatment ASAP.
Frankie decided not to undergo treatment in the United States; instead, he researched clinics in Europe as he felt that European practitioners would have more experience with cases like his. A family friend from Greece told Frankie about Scoliosis SOS, and it wasn't long before he enrolled on a 4-week course here.
The results of Frankie's treatment were significant. He gained height, lost weight, and is now experiencing virtually no sciatica pain. Frankie was also able to improve his already exceptional lung capacity. In total, his lumbar rotation was reduced by 20%.
When asked how he found his experience at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, Frankie said it was amazing and that we had made him much more aware of his posture. He especially appreciated the way that Scoliosis SOS patients are educated about their condition and why certain exercises are good for them, not just given a set of instructions to follow. The highlight of Frankie's experience at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic was the feeling of progress being made - he could feel muscles that he'd never used before working, and so he knew that he was achieving positive results.
Frankie advises anyone thinking about coming to the UK to receive scoliosis treatment to ensure they can dedicate themselves to the programme so that they will feel the full benefits. He also advises people to 'prepare for greatness - the only thing that's going to happen here is improvement.'
Following his treatment, Frankie is heading back over to the USA and plans to go straight back to the enlistment office to continue his military career. Watch the video below to see Frankie talking about his experience in person:
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Before we dive headlong into 2019, we'd like to take a moment to look back at one of our highlights of the year we've just left behind. Back in the first half of 2018, we learned that the Scoliosis SOS Clinic had won the Queen's Award for Enterprise: International Trade - this honour was a terrific testament to the passion and commitment that our staff demonstrate every single day.
About the Awards
The Queen's Awards for Enterprise were founded in 1966 and have since developed into their current format, which is made up of four award categories. Her Majesty the Queen chooses the winners of the awards on the advice of the Prime Minister, who is assisted by a committee made up of government figures, union representatives, and other people from a variety of industries and trades. Winners are announced annually on 21 April (the Queen's birthday).
The awards are given to businesses for outstanding achievement in International Trade, Sustainable Development, Innovation, and Promoting Opportunity, to recognise organisations that promote social mobility. Previous winners include Dyson, Oxford Instruments and JCB.
Winning this award would not have been possible without all of our patients from all over the world. In 2018 alone, patients travelled from 72 different countries to receive treatment for their spines at our clinic. We'd like to thank every single one of you for your trust and enthusiasm - this award is for you.
We will strive to continue providing the best support and assistance possible to all of our patients in the New Year. Click the link below to view the full list of 2018 Queen's Award winners.
View 2018 Winners > About Scoliosis SOS >
"Traditionally, scoliosis has been considered to be a disease affecting bone, cartilage, or neuromuscular activities. We were surprised to find an immune response associated with idiopathic scoliosis."
Idiopathic scoliosis is a condition that affects people all over the world, yet the underlying cause is still unknown. Researchers have made great progress in recent years, however - we've explained previously on this blog that zebrafish can be very useful when researching scoliosis and other congenital defects that occur in humans, and scientists at The Hospital for Sick Children have been examining zebrafish to try to identify factors that contribute to the onset of idiopathic scoliosis.
While looking for abnormal genes or genetic pathways that could be responsible for idiopathic scoliosis, the researchers instead noticed that immune cells liked to inflammatory conditions had accumulated around the area where the spinal curvature occurred. Using genetic tools, they found that stimulating pro-inflammatory signals in the spines of zebrafish could induce idiopathic scoliosis.
Interestingly, the team were also able to demonstrate that blocking these signals using NAC (an over-the-counter supplement that has anti-inflammatory properties) reduced the severity of scoliosis in the zebrafish. If these findings can be applied successfully to humans, then these Toronto-based scientists may have discovered a treatment that is less invasive than some of the treatments currently available to people with scoliosis.
Image source: advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/12/eaav1781
The research team are now planning to explore the genetic causes of idiopathic scoliosis in human patients and attempt to determine whether inflammatory signals like those found in the zebrafish can be identified and proven to accelerate the onset or progression of spinal curvature.
Read the Research Article > How We Treat Scoliosis >
In the physiotherapy world, the word mobility refers to the freedom of movement that exists in a muscle or group of muscles. People with scoliosis often experience reduced mobility in their backs (frequently accompanied by pain).
Regularly performing lower back mobilisation exercises can help to:
- Strengthen muscles in the lower back
- Improve posture
- Relieve lower back pain
- Increase mobility
- Reduce the likelihood of injury
There are lots of different mobility exercises that you can try. Here at Scoliosis SOS, we try to tailor all of our corrective exercises to each patient's specific condition - the exercise, how often you should do it, and the other exercises we recommend incorporating into your routine are largely dependant on the severity of your scoliosis, and on your end goal. If you are someone who wants to run a marathon, you may need to perform lower back mobilisation exercises more frequently than someone with no such aspirations.
Watch the video below for a lower back mobilisation exercise that has helped many of our scoliosis patients.
This exercise uses a flat surface (e.g. the wall or the floor) to straighten your spine while you stretch your lower back muscles. Over time, repetition of this exercise will not only improve mobility and posture, it will also help to relieve tension and pain in the lower back.
If you suffer from scoliosis and think you may benefit from one of our exercise-based treatment courses, please get in touch today. We're happy to answer any questions you might have.
Contact Scoliosis SOS > More Scoliosis Exercises >
In January of this year, we treated 13-year-old Isabella from Leeds, a keen runner and rugby player who had been experiencing back pains.
Back in 2016, a friend of Isabella's mum whose own daughter had scoliosis suggested that Isabella might have a curved spine as well. This friend instructed Isabella to bend forward and touch her toes, and she was able to identify the signs of scoliosis (this is called the Adams forward bending test).
Isabella had an X-ray and an MRI scan, which confirmed that she did indeed have idiopathic scoliosis. The scans revealed that Isabella had an 'S'-shaped curve with a Cobb angle of 30° at the top of her spine and 15° at the base of her spine. At this point, Isabella was given two options: wear a brace, or have surgery. She didn’t want to do either of these things, and so she and her family started looking for alternative treatments online. That’s how she came across the Scoliosis SOS Clinic.
Isabella completed a 4-week course with Scoliosis SOS. She initially thought that it would be hard work, but found that the corrective stretches and exercises got easier as she went along. Isabella met lots of people at our clinic who could relate to her condition and helped her learn a lot about her own spine. When we asked Isabella if she was still experiencing pain after playing sports following her Scoliosis SOS treatment, she said that "the pain has gone now" – an amazing result!
You can see an interview with Isabella about her treatment experience here:
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