Patient Care Coordinator Kylie Hobson

I have worked for Scoliosis SOS for 10 years this month, and over those 10 years I have watched and played a part in the huge growth of the clinic. We can now say that we have treated patients from all over the world, and helped thousands of people to avoid spinal fusion surgery.

Throughout that time, I have also spent time travelling to different scoliosis conferences throughout the world. I met my wonderful husband - who was in fact a ScolioGold therapist! I underwent 3 rounds of unsuccessful IVF treatment, had my amazing little girl (who were told by a consultant we would never conceive naturally!) and I am now 20 weeks pregnant with our 2nd natural miracle! The support of Scoliosis SOS as an employer and a clinic as a whole has been incredible, and words simply cannot describe how amazing I think the ScolioGold method is.

Kylie with the Scoliosis SOS team

Being rushed through an appointment with an orthopaedic consultant, our patients are often left bewildered in a world of unanswered questions. Patients usually turn to the Internet for guidance and advice.

However, from my personal experience, Google is often the last place patients find that reassurance, and are often left even more worried and concerned about what the future may hold.

So many of the patients and parents I talk to are so confused about their (or their child's) diagnosis and treatment options. Often, they have not even heard about scoliosis and had no idea how quickly it can develop, especially in adolescents. They are often scared, even terrified by what they have been told and have no idea what direction to turn. Most parents or newly-diagnosed scoliosis patients just want someone to listen to them. They want to be given information and facts that are specifically related to their scoliosis, and they also want to hear that there is a very successful, realistic alternative to spinal fusion surgery.

The NHS currently has a very strict protocol for newly-diagnosed scoliosis patients. If a patient’s Cobb angle is less than 40 degrees, they use the relatively non-proactive 'watch and wait' approach. This usually involves a check-up appointment once every 6 months. Rarely is any treatment offered, although occasionally patients are fitted with a hard corset-style brace to try and prevent progression.

What patients are not told is that if they just wear the brace and do no other exercise, the muscles that currently support the spine in their scoliotic posture will probably waste completely, and when they come out of the brace, progression is likely to occur again.

Conversely, research has found that wearing a brace alongside doing specific exercises for scoliosis CAN prevent progression, and patients are often able to hold a non-scoliotic posture when they are not wearing the brace.

Our treatment is designed to strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine, bringing the patient into a more central upright position. The exercises have been proven to reduce the pain caused by muscle imbalance, improve cosmetic appearance by decreasing rotation, and ultimately prevent the patient's Cobb angle from getting any worse. Patients have also been able to reduce the size of their Cobb angle by up to 20 degrees.

Unfortunately, some (not all) orthopaedic consultants are very closed-minded when it comes to exercise therapy. They believe that surgery is the only option once a patient’s Cobb angle exceeds 40 degrees; however, we know this is not the case, and we have helped so many patients to regain control of their lives and manage their condition through exercise rather than by going under the knife.

So, if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with scoliosis, please call Scoliosis SOS and speak to one of our patient care co-ordinators. They will be more than happy to spend time answering all of your unanswered questions, and will be able to offer you advice that relates specifically to your particular condition.

Spinal fusion surgery can come with huge risks for some patients, and being given information on the different options available may just mean you make the decision that is right for you and that you won’t live to regret in 20 years’ time.

From my own personal experience, consultants are not always right and there are always alternatives to what you are told in that 30-minute appointment.

For more information, call Scoliosis SOS on 0207 488 4428 or have a look at our website.

Scoliosis and Weightlifting

Weightlifting has the potential to be quite a damaging pastime for people with scoliosis, but it can also be beneficial in the correct circumstances. If approached carefully, weight-based exercise may help to improve muscle balance and reduce the visibility of one's spinal curvature.

In this blog post, we'll discuss a few things to bear in mind if you have scoliosis and you plan to start lifting weights.

Weightlifting might be painful - don't push yourself too hard!

Would-be weightlifters with scoliosis need to be mindful of their condition at all times. Start with small weights and simple exercises to gauge what's comfortable and what isn't. Work with a comfortable weight for the first few weeks, and then step up your weight a little bit and see how you feel.

Don't do anything that causes you pain - you should avoid certain back-focused exercises like deadlifts, squats or lunges unless you are certain you can handle them. Bending and straightening your back while carrying weight is likely to cause injury. Speak to your GP to discuss what weightlifting exercises are appropriate for your condition; you could also enlist the help of a personal trainer to guide you while you're lifting.

Focus on exercises that stretch your back muscles instead of compressing them.

Here are some weightlifting exercises you may wish to try if you have scoliosis:

  • Pull-down cable exercises
  • Rowing
  • Seated exercises

Stretching and strengthening the muscles on the concave side of your spinal curve can gradually help to improve mobility and reduce pain. That's because the muscles on the convex side usually do most of the work for you back - these are muscles that have been trying to keep your back upright since you developed scoliosis.

Convex and Concave Sides

The concave muscles, however, are often shorter and atrophied (weaker), so working on these muscles can help to correct your scoliosis curve.

How can Scoliosis SOS help?

If you have scoliosis and you're interested in pursuing weightlifting or another physically-demanding leisure activity, we recommend coming to our clinic for a consultation to establish how severe your condition is. Our consultants will be able to offer advice about the best types of exercise for you and what you can work towards in the future.

Our 4-week ScolioGold treatment courses are ideal if you want to work towards being able to lift weights (or to carry on weightlifting, if this was a hobby you enjoyed before you were diagnosed). Click the button below to get in touch and book your initial consultation.

Contact Scoliosis SOS >

Teenager Scoliosis X-Ray

For many teenagers with scoliosis, treatment options are limited and uniformly unappealing. Bracing, for instance, may help to control the condition, but scoliosis braces can be uncomfortable and they don't actually reverse the spine's curvature (they're designed to prevent it from getting worse).

And then there's spinal fusion surgery, which tends to be the recommended treatment for severe cases of scoliosis. Surgery can be an incredibly daunting prospect, especially for a teenager, so it's no wonder so many young scoliosis patients come to the Scoliosis SOS Clinic in search of an alternative treatment option.

Case Study: Molly, 16 Years Old

Molly came to our clinic because, like a lot of teenagers with scoliosis, she wanted to avoid having to undergo surgery except as a last resort. Molly was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was 15 years old, and she came across Scoliosis SOS while looking online for alternative treatment methods (since her curved spine was causing her pain and she didn't like the way it made her look).

Our ScolioGold treatment programme proved to be the ideal solution for Molly because it gave her the tools to improve her own condition through a set of carefully-chosen corrective exercises. The ScolioGold method combines a variety of non-invasive techniques that gradually restore the back's muscle balance and reverse the curvature of the spine. Learning and practising these exercises in a controlled environment with our expert physiotherapists gives teenage patients the knowledge and skills they need to continue improving their condition long after they have left our clinic.

If you want to hear more about Molly's scoliosis experience, you can watch our interview with her here:

Would you like to find out more about our scoliosis treatment courses? Get in touch with Scoliosis SOS today to arrange an initial consultation.

Yasamin came to London from Iran to receive non-surgical treatment for her scoliosis. Read on to find out about her Scoliosis SOS experience so far!

Scoliosis Patient from Iran

About a year and a half ago, Yasamin's gym trainer raised concerns that there might be something wrong with Yasamin's back. When Yasamin visited her doctor, her X-rays confirmed that she had a 60-degree scoliosis curve that would need to be operated on.

Yasamin was very upset about this, but she wasn't given any other option at the time. In the end, Yasamin decided that she would come to the UK to try the treatment offered by the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, and she was very excited to see London again after visiting as a young child some years prior.

Scoliosis treatment goals

Yasamin's treatment goals include:

  • Avoiding scoliosis surgery
  • Being able to walk better
  • Stopping people from looking at her in a funny way

So far, her ScolioGold treatment has corrected her shoulder tilt, which is already making her feel much better about herself. Overall, she has been enjoying the course and getting on well with our physiotherapists, and she feels that she knows a lot more about her condition now than she did before. Yasamin will take home with her a much broader knowledge of how the stretches and exercises she's doing are helping to correct her scoliosis.

Watch our interview with Yasamin:

If you have any questions about the Scoliosis SOS Clinic and our treatment courses, please get in touch today!

Contact Scoliosis SOS >

Katharina Schroth Treatment

Though our ScolioGold programme is made up of many different scoliosis treatment techniques from around the world, the Schroth method is still at the core of the therapy we provide here at Scoliosis SOS.

The Schroth method was developed in the early 20th century by Katharina Schroth, and today - 22 February 2019 - would have been her 125th birthday! To mark the occasion, we'd like to tell you a little bit more about Katharina Schroth and the treatment method to which she gave her name.

Who was Katharina Schroth?

Katharina Schroth was born on 22 February 1894 in Dresden, Germany. Though she initially worked as a teacher in a business school, she made the jump to physiotherapy when she decided to try and treat her own scoliosis.

She developed the Schroth method over the years that followed, and she eventually opened a clinic so that other people with scoliosis could benefit from her exercise-based treatment regimen.

In 1969, Schroth was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit for her work. In the 1970s, she handed the clinic over to her daughter, Christa Lehnert-Schroth, who continued to develop the Schroth method after her mother had retired from treatment.

How does the Schroth method work?

The Schroth method uses a variety of exercises and stretches to work the muscles around the rib cage and in the upper trunk to help correct the spinal abnormalities caused by scoliosis.

  • Using exercises, it restores muscular symmetry where there is a muscular imbalance around the scoliosis curve.
  • It also teaches rotational angular breathing techniques, which contribute to the reshaping of the ribcage and surrounding soft tissue.
  • Finally, it encourages patients to be aware of their posture as they go about their everyday lives, preventing them from sitting or standing in a way that will cause their scoliosis to become worse.

Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we combine the Schroth method with a range of other non-invasive, exercise-based treatments to deliver outstanding results for people with scoliosis and other spinal conditions. See our results here.

Thanks in part to Katharina Schroth's life's work, we are able to offer scoliosis patients a real alternative to surgery and help them to dramatically improve their quality of life. So happy birthday, Katharina!

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