When Erika Maude founded Scoliosis SOS back in 2006, she opened a clinic in Martlesham, a village in her home county of Suffolk. Word quickly spread, and patients flocked to the Scoliosis SOS Clinic from miles around, eager to see if the Clinic's exercise-based scoliosis treatments could give them a better quality of life and eliminate the need for invasive surgery.
 
In 2009, Erika and the Scoliosis SOS team decided that, in order to better serve the needs of scoliosis sufferers from further afield, the Clinic should relocate to its present-day home in London. Non-surgical scoliosis treatments are still not widely available in a lot of countries, and many scoliosis sufferers wanted to travel to our clinic from abroad but found it difficult to get to a small village in Suffolk.
 
Left: Our old clinic in Martlesham, Suffolk.
Right: Our current location in the City of London.
 
By contrast, our current location on Mansell Street in London is easily accessible from just about anywhere. London, of course, is served by several international airports, and Mansell Street is within easy walking distance of several railway stations (Fenchurch Street, Liverpool Street) and London Underground stops (Aldgate, Aldgate East, Tower Gateway and others).
 
 
We recently treated 16-year-old Dea from Leytonstone, who was diagnosed with scoliosis back in April and whose spine displayed a 25° curve. After the initial diagnosis, Dea and her sister visited their doctor to find out what could be done, but according to Dea, "the GP wasn't much help at all. He just said, 'you're going to have to live with it, there's not much you can do about it'...my sister got very agitated by that."

It was for this reason that Dea and her sister decided to research treatment options themselves, which is what led them to the Scoliosis SOS Clinic. At her initial consultation, Dea realised that she wouldn't necessarily have to just 'live with' her scoliosis - her pain and her hunched posture could be treated after all.

You can see Dea's full account of treating her 25° curve in the video below:


"It was so enjoyable. I am going to miss this place!" - Dea Dragashi, October 2016

To learn more about our unique ScolioGold treatment method, click here. You can also follow us on Twitter for all the latest news and updates from the Clinic.
A couple of months ago, we shared the news that researchers at Hiroshima University in Japan had identified the gene responsible for causing idiopathic scoliosis to develop in certain people. Their findings were based on experiments conducted on zebrafish (a popular choice for genetic research, since they are genetically similar to humans and mutations can be introduced and observed with ease); now, further zebrafish research has yielded another huge clue as to the origins of idiopathic scoliosis in human beings. 

Zebrafish skeleton with scoliosis
Fish skeleton image from www.princeton.edu

This time around, the findings came not from Japan but from North America. On the 10th of June 2016, Science published a report compiled by researchers from Princeton University (USA) and the University of Toronto (Canda) - here are the two key implications of their findings:
  • Idiopathic scoliosis may be linked to the flow of fluid through the spinal column. The researchers bred zebrafish with a genetic mutation that affected cilia development in the ependymal cells lining their spinal canals. Cilia are tiny bristle-like protuberances that help to move fluid through the spine, but the mutated zebrafish developed damaged cilia, which disrupted the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The fish with damaged cilia eventually developed idiopathic scoliosis, suggesting a strong link between CSF flow and spinal curvature.

  • The progression of scoliosis can be blocked. The researchers found that, by restoring cilia motility in the mutated zebrafish, they were able to prevent scoliosis from progressing. This was even true when the cilia were restored after the onset of scoliosis, suggesting that science may one day be able to provide a non-invasive, non-surgical means of stopping a curved spine from getting any worse.
This is clearly a big breakthrough - countless scoliosis sufferers have undergone surgery to combat their condition, but the results of this zebrafish study imply that there may eventually come a time when this is no longer necessary.

Of course, it may take many years to reach that stage. Genetic treatments take a long time to perfect, and it is currently not even known whether this research is translatable to humans who suffer from scoliosis. Still, if you suffer from scoliosis and you're looking for an alternative to surgery in the here and now, you may wish to investigate the non-surgical treatment methods that we utilise here at Scoliosis SOS.

Based in London, the Scoliosis SOS Clinic specialises in providing effective, exercise-based treatments for scoliosis sufferers who do not wish to undergo surgery. Contact us now to arrange an initial consultation and find out whether our internationally-renowned treatment courses could help you.
We're often asked questions regarding the severity of an individual's spinal curve and whether or not this makes them a suitable candidate for ScolioGold treatment. While there is some debate regarding which treatments are best-suited to different cases, many doctors recommend surgical intervention for those with a Cobb angle of 40-50 degrees or more.

Despite this, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that scoliosis sufferers with a 55 degree curve or more can be successfully treated via non-surgical methods, which help to relieve pain, reduce the visibility of the scoliotic curve, and prevent the condition from progressing further. Here at Scoliosis SOS, we have treated countless patients whose angles exceed the proposed threshold for surgery, with consistently impressive results.

While we have treated curves ranging from 12 to 120 degrees, the majority of our patients fall within the range of 20-65 degrees, with many having explored the possibility of surgery already. One of our previous patients, Veronica Gabinet, had a curve of 55 degrees, and had attempted treatment with a Boston brace to no avail. She came across the Scoliosis SOS Clinic while researching non-surgical treatments online; in the end, she decided against undergoing an operation to treat her spinal curve, and decided to enrol on one of our treatment courses instead.

For Veronica, as for many young people who suffer from scoliosis, the risks associated with surgery were a daunting prospect. Veronica took part in activities such as dance, tennis, and other physically-demanding hobbies, and in cases such as these, a spinal operation can be an extremely restrictive and drastic solution, presenting an entirely new set of problems even as it helps with the scoliosis itself.

In an interview we conducted with Veronica after her treatment with us, she said that she would definitely recommend trying non-surgical therapies before surgery. Despite having a curve of 55 degrees, she was able to see a marked improvement in her symptoms, particularly with regards to her posture. You can hear her full story, and find out more about her experience at Scoliosis SOS here:


If you have a 55 degree curve or higher, and are unsure as to whether our treatment would benefit you, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We can arrange a professional consultation which will help you to select the best course of action for your individual case.
Scoliosis Pain Relief
 
Scoliosis affects people's lives in all kinds of different ways, but for many scoliosis sufferers, the single worst thing about having a curved spine is the pain it causes. Just as back pain doesn't always mean scoliosis, a scoliotic curve isn't always painful, but when pain is present it's often incredibly debilitating. This leads patients to seek out various methods of pain relief for their condition. 
 
Many scoliosis sufferers use painkilling medication to help them cope with the discomfort that accompanies their condition. Some find that over-the-counter remedies like paracetamol are sufficient; others require stronger painkillers to bring their pain down to a manageable level. Some scoliotics even receive local anaesthetic or steroid injections to relieve the pain.

Treating the cause

Of course, painkilling medication is not an effective long-term solution. Paracetamol and ibuprofen have no effect on the source of the pain - that is, the muscle imbalance caused by the patient's curved spine - and so, in order to live a pain-free lifestyle using painkillers alone, a scoliosis sufferer would have to medicate several times a day for the rest of their life.
 
Far better, then, to treat the cause of the pain rather than temporarily getting pain relief via medication. Common treatments for scoliosis include spinal fusion surgery and back bracing, but neither treatment is routinely prescribed to specifically target back pain, and methods have their drawbacks: surgery is risky and comes with a long recovery period, while many people find the brace to be uncomfortable and cumbersome.
 
There is a third option, however. Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we deliver exercise-based treatment courses that are specifically designed to reduce back pain, correct spinal curvature, and improve scoliosis sufferers' overall quality of life. Watch the video below to hear how Anne Sellick, a patient of ours from London, overcame her excruciating back pain by attending one of our ScolioGold courses:
 
 
If you'd like to find out more about our treatment courses and how they can provide long-term pain relief for scoliosis sufferers, please get in touch to arrange an initial consultation with a member of our team.