Before and After Scoliosis Treatment

Scoliosis is defined as any sideways spinal curvature that measures 10 degrees or more (see Cobb angle). That being said, any curve measuring less than around 25 degrees is considered quite mild and generally less likely to require immediate medical attention. For context, spinal fusion surgery is usually recommended only in cases where the curve measures at least 40-50 degrees.

However, that doesn't necessarily mean that 15 degree scoliosis doesn't need to be treated at all. For one thing, some symptoms of scoliosis can occur no matter how slight your spinal curvature may be. Many people with so-called 'mild' scoliosis still experience:

  • Back pain
  • Stiffness
  • Noticeably reduced mobility/flexibility

If these symptoms persist, it may be necessary to treat them in order to minimise their impact on the patient's day-to-day life. Pain medication can help, and physical therapy can improve flexibility/mobility while also combating the source of any pain or stiffness.

15 degree scoliosis won't necessarily stay that way!

Another thing to consider is that scoliosis often progresses (i.e. gets worse) as time goes by. A 15-degree curve may gradually grow into a 20-degree curve, then 25, and so on until eventually the patient has to go in for surgery.

Scoliosis Intervention Stages

For this reason, preventative treatments are sometimes required in order to stop that progression from happening. Young scoliosis patients often wear a back brace until the body has finished growing to stop the condition progressing. And while surgery is not recommended in milder cases of scoliosis, treatments like our own ScolioGold programme can reduce the Cobb angle, sometimes past the 10-degree threshold to the point where the patient's condition is no longer classified as scoliosis at all. Click here for examples of this.

Would you like to find out more about our non-surgical scoliosis treatment courses? Contact Scoliosis SOS now to arrange an initial consultation.

Mild Scoliosis in Child

If your child has recently been diagnosed with mild scoliosis, you have probably been given two options.

Option 1 is usually observation, which means that your child will attend check-up appointments every 6 months so that the doctor can track the progress of their condition. In other words, do nothing and wait for the size of the curve to increase. Scoliosis does tend to be a progressive condition, and an adolescent with scoliosis will usually get worse very quickly, especially if they still have lots of growing left to do.

So what's option 2? Well, depending on your child's age and the severity of their curve, they may be offered a scoliosis brace. Braces do vary, but they are usually hard, corset-style shells that must be worn for 23 hours a day in order to achieve the maximum benefit.

Wearing a scoliosis brace can be an effective way of preventing the curve's progression, but only if used in combination with exercise. If the patient doesn't exercise, bracing can lead to muscle wastage, and patients often flop back into their scoliotic posture once they're out of the brace because certain muscles weren't being used and are no longer able to support the spine.

ScolioGold: A Third Option

The specific scoliosis exercises taught here at Scoliosis SOS are geared towards strengthening the muscles surrounding the patient's spine. Our ScolioGold exercise programme works extremely well in combination with bracing - not only does it help patients to keep their muscles strong in preparation for coming out of the brace, it also educates them and helps them to understand their condition, enabling them to help themselves going forward.

If your child has recently been diagnosed with scoliosis, please contact us today for advice and information on the treatment we provide.

Doctors and other medical professionals use a lot of long words when describing scoliosis, to the point where some patients find it difficult to know exactly what they're being diagnosed with. You probably know that scoliosis is a sideways spinal curve, but would you understand what the doctor meant if - for example - they told you that you had mild thoracic dextroscoliosis?

To help you better grasp the terminology associated with scoliosis and other curvatures of the spine, we'd like to take a moment to break that mouthful down. If you want to know what 'mild thoracic dextroscoliosis' actually means, read on...

Mild

Let's start with the easy bit. The word 'mild' indicates that, as things stand, your spinal curve is not especially severe - although it may get worse over time. A mild case of scoliosis may not be visible to the casual observer, although other symptoms may still be present.

What counts as a 'mild' spinal curve?

Generally speaking, if your Cobb angle measurement is 20 degrees or less, you can be said to have 'mild' scoliosis (bear in mind that a curve of less than 10 degrees would not be classed as scoliosis at all). Note that the word 'mild' here only refers to the angle of the curve - a person with mild scoliosis may still experience a significant amount of pain, reduced flexibility, etc.

Thoracic

The next word is 'thoracic', which simply means that your spinal curve is located in the upper (thoracic) part of the spine, coloured red in the diagram below.

Thoracic Spine

If your curve is located in the lower part of the spine, you are said to have 'lumbar' scoliosis. When the curve encompasses vertebrae from both the thoracic and lumbar spine, that's called thoracolumbar scoliosis.

Dextroscoliosis

Finally, we come to the longest word of the three: 'dextroscoliosis'. This term is taken from the Latin word dexter, which simply means 'right' (as in the opposite of left); therefore, if you have a case of dextroscoliosis, you have a spine that curves to the right.

Dextroscoliosis vs. Levoscoliosis

As the image above shows, scoliosis that curves towards the left side of the body is known as levoscoliosis. If you're ever struggling to remember which is which, just remember that 'levoscoliosis' and 'left' both begin with the letter L.

Now, let's put it all together...

What does 'mild thoracic dextroscoliosis' mean?

If you have mild thoracic dextroscoliosis, you have:

  • A spinal curve measuring 10-20 degrees...
  • ...in the upper (thoracic) part of your spine...
  • ...that curves towards the right side of your body.

Do I Need Treatment for Mild Scoliosis?   Book a Consultation >

If you have been diagnosed with mild thoracic dextroscoliosis and require treatment, simply click above to book your consultation. For further information on dextroscoliosis or if you have questions regarding our treatments, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

Case Study: Anna, aged 36

Anna has a mild case of scoliosis, but that doesn't stop her feeling self-conscious about her condition. At the time when she came to us for treatment, she was about to get married. Despite only having a mild case of scoliosis, that might not have even been detectable to others, Anna knew that her scoliosis curvature would be playing on her mind throughout her big day. Our treatments helped her feel confident enough to wear her backless wedding dress! 

Watch our full interview with Anna here:

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Mild Scoliosis
 
While we're proud to have treated many cases of severe scoliosis here at our clinic, we're often asked about the need to address mild scoliosis, and whether or not those with less pronounced curves should even seek treatment at all.
 
Generally, scoliosis sufferers with a Cobb angle of 20° or less are categorised as having 'mild' scoliosis, and are often told to simply monitor their condition as opposed to seeking treatment immediately. This is often due to the assumption that the condition is not considered to be particularly problematic or inhibitive at this level, although there is evidence to challenge that assumption - many people with mild scoliosis still suffer from pain, postural problems, and difficulties with certain physical activities, among other issues.
 
The biggest risk associated with milder cases of scoliosis is that of gradual wear and tear on the body's soft tissues, vertebrae and disks, along with the possibility that the condition could eventually progress into a more severe curvature. There are several factors which increase the possibility of the condition progressing, including the growth of sufferers who are diagnosed at a young age. Simply being female, in fact, can also mean that a patient has a greater chance of their curve progressing, which is why it is important to consider preventative measures in order to halt further damage. 
 
Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we believe in providing a treatment plan which not only reduces the Cobb angle but also provides a means of continued improvement and relief from the negative side effects of scoliosis. This makes it ideal for patients with mild scoliosis, as it not only facilitates a further reduction of the existing spinal curve, but also helps to prevent a progression of the condition over time. It is also ideal for children who show symptoms of developing scoliosis at an early age, allowing them to avoid further complications and restrictions later in life.
 
Nine-year-old Sara is one such patient. She was diagnosed with scoliosis after her brother required spinal surgery for his own severe curvature. Desperate to prevent her condition from progressing to the same stage as her sibling's, Sara's family sought early-stage treatment at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, with amazing results:
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with mild scoliosis, or suspect that you or a loved one is at risk of developing the condition, please get in touch with Scoliosis SOS today to find out how our treatment programmes could help.