World-class acrobat, Lauren Hill, has been somersaulting her way around the globe at competitions since the tender age of 7 and has had the privilege of being part of Team GB at 3 Championships where she has won gold at European and World level. At 16 years old, she found her life in “sudden turmoil” after a shock diagnosis of Scoliosis and the threat of a high-risk operation to surgically immobilise and straighten her spine, which would have put an end to her acrobatics for good. Now thanks to a unique exercise programme she can look forward to pursuing the competitive and future performance career she always dreamed of.


When Lauren’s coach noticed her hips and shoulders looked uneven and one shoulder blade protruded he advised Lauren’s mother Alison to see her GP immediately. Lauren was initially diagnosed with a leg length discrepancy.  Yet, in just a short period of time Lauren was in terrible pain and had started to lose her flexibility. Lauren’s mother was desperate to help Lauren find some treatment that would mean she could continue with her dreams of being a professional acrobat.

Lauren enrolled on a four-week course of ScolioGold therapy and has achieved amazing results. Lauren is no longer at risk of surgery and has never been so excited about the future. 

For more on Lauren’s story please see the video below: -


Read more information about our treatment courses or Contact Us to discuss how ScolioGold therapy could help your spinal condition.
Dancer with scoliosis

Many of the patients we treat here at Scoliosis SOS are passionate about dancing and terrified at the thought that scoliosis could stop them from achieving their dreams. We have treated patients interested in just about every type of dance you could possibly think of; ballet, jazz, ballroom, tap, hop-hop and street to name but a few.

This is no coincidence as dancers are usually extremely body aware and scoliosis can have devastating implications for dedicated performers. It can cause significant muscular imbalance, together with impaired flexibility and cosmetic asymmetries; symptoms which are particularly highlighted in anyone with the condition who dances.

This lack of ability to perform at a high standard can often result in poor self-esteem, confidence issues and frustration.

Emily's Story

Emily Hollingsworth from Swindon came for treatment with us in desperate hope of resolving her postural asymmetries and lung capacity problems. Emily hoped to find a way of managing her condition and yearned to rebuild the confidence she had lost since her diagnosis. After finding Scoliosis SOS and discovering ScolioGold therapy Emily was thrilled to learn that she would be prescribed exercises to self-manage her symptoms.

Emily booked onto a four-week course of ScolioGold therapy and was able to achieve a 2.5cm increase in height, alongside a reduction in the rotation of her spine. Emily’s confidence has soared following treatment and she now feels confident in her ability to dance at a high standard and has even said she would be happy to wear a bikini again.

Emily chose to do 4 weeks in one block; however it is possible to split the course into 2 blocks of 2 weeks and research suggests there is no difference in results as long as the full course is completed within 6 months.

Often cosmetic appearance can be a huge motivational factor for young girls to find an effective spinal treatment. If this can be achieved through exercise, rather than spinal fusion surgery then this is an added bonus, especially for dancers looking to retain their flexibility.

All Emily’s exercises were specifically tailored to her back and she was given ongoing support to continue her regime at home.

Dramatic results are often achieved within a 4-week course; however, progress can continue to be gained throughout a patient’s life.

Contact Scoliosis SOS today to find out how our non-surgical treatment courses may be able to help you.

Spina Bifida
 

Scoliosis can occur as a result of numerous other conditions, such as neurofibromatosis and Rett syndrome. We've looked at many of these conditions here on the Scoliosis SOS Clinic blog, and today, we're going to talk about another underlying condition that can lead to the development scoliosis: spina bifida.

What is spina bifida?

Spina bifida is a condition that arises when there is an issue with the development of the neural tube, causing a gap in the unborn child's spine. The neural tube starts to grow during the early stages of human development in the womb; it eventually becomes the spine and nervous system. When something goes wrong during this process and the tube develops incorrectly, the consequence of this is called a neural tube defect. Spina bifida is a type of neural tube defect. 
 
Spina bifida is caused when the arches of bone that surround the spinal canal don't fully close. In most cases of spina bifida there will only be a gap in the bone arch, but in some cases the spinal cord itself does not form correctly either, causing severe repercussions. The exact cause of this condition is unknown, but there are a few things - a lack of folic acid, taking certain medication during pregnancy, genetic conditions like Patau and Down's syndrome - that do increase the chances of a child being born with spina bifida.
 
There are three types of spina bifida:
 
Spina Bifida Occulta - This is the most common and least severe type of spina bifida. The opening of the gap in the spinal arches is very small and covered in skin, stopping the spinal cord and membranes from pushing out. Cases of spina bifida occulta usually aren't accompanied by a noticeable bulge in the back.
 
Myelomeningocele - This is the most serious form of spina bifida. Individuals with this type of spina bifida will have a sac in their back; this happens because the spinal cord and the protective membrane surrounding it protrude through the opening in the spinal arches. People that suffer from myelomeningocele spina bifida may be at risk of significant damage to the spinal cord and infections of the nervous system. Although this isn't the most common type of spina bifida, this is very often the form of the condition that people are referring to when they talk about spina bifida.
 
Meningocele - Similar to the above, except only the protective membranes protrude out of the opening in the spine (not the spinal cord itself). The spinal cord and nervous system are left intact, so this type of spina bifida can usually be corrected via surgery, with no further treatment required.
 
Types of Spina Bifida
 
In the majority of cases, surgery can be carried out to close the opening in the spine, but damage to the nervous system may well already have taken place. The damage to the spinal cord can lead to bladder and bowel control problems; leg weakness and paralysis; and scoliosis (a sideways curvature of the spine).

Treating scoliosis in spina bifida patients

If you or a loved one have developed scoliosis as a result of spina bifida, you'll be pleased to know that we can treat it without you being required to wear a brace or undergo spinal fusion surgery. Here at Scoliosis SOS, we treat scoliosis sufferers using a treatment programme called ScolioGold. This is a combination of exercise-based techniques that has proven effective in reducing the patient's Cobb angle, improving mobility, and reducing any pain that the spinal curve may be causing.
 
Click here to find out more about our ScolioGold courses, or get in touch to arrange an initial consultation with our scoliosis specialists.
Yoga for Scoliosis

It seems that yoga classes are popping up everywhere these days, and this ancient Indian practice has also become very popular among online communities. Placing emphasis on psychological and physical balance, yoga is often used to improve an individual's physical ability, as well as their mental well-being. This is achieved via a combination of poses and breathing exercises, which are said to improve strength and flexibility while also combating the negative effects of everyday life (such as stress and bad posture).

While yoga has received a lot of good press in the health and wellness industry, it's important to examine how yoga is being promoted to those with specific medical conditions, including scoliosis. The benefits of yoga have been well documented, but we feel that it is also important to scrutinise the ways in which some people are presenting this approach as a viable, non-surgical treatment for curvature of the spine.

How is yoga used to treat scoliosis?

The form of yoga that is sometimes used to treat scoliosis is called hatha (which, in Sanskrit, simply means 'force'). Hatha yoga focuses on physical postures and exercises, but also emphasises proper breathing, mental exercises, and a controlled diet.

The main aim of yoga-based scoliosis treatment is to create proper alignment within the body while minimising pain and spinal damage. This is achieved by focusing on a number of key areas, including:

  • Strengthening the feet and legs (supposedly relieving some of the burden on your spine)
  • Straightening / lengthening the spine
  • Aligning the lower limbs with the torso for improved function
  • Addressing the rounding of the back
  • Strengthening the core muscles to prevent the back from tightening
  • Incorporation of breathing awareness to improve structural alignment

Should I use yoga to treat my scoliosis?

While yoga can lead to a number of positive benefits for scoliosis sufferers - most notably improved posture and muscle strength, as well as pain relief in some cases - the use of yoga as a scoliosis treatment should be regarded with caution. This is especially true if you are visiting a class or treatment centre that does not cater specifically to the demands of scoliosis sufferers; scoliotic spines don't always behave in the same way as healthy spines, and this can prove problematic when scoliosis patients participate in certain exercises and activities.

In particular, scoliosis sufferers who practice yoga should be careful when performing exercises that involve:

  • Backward / forward bending
  • Torso twists
  • Sideways bends
  • Shoulder stands
  • Bending of the rib cage

The problem is the sheer variety of different deviations that exist in scoliosis patients. Ideally, all treatments (whether yoga-based or not) should be specifically tailored to the patient's unique condition while also assessing potential areas of concern in order to avoid secondary risks.

Is there a safer alternative to yoga for scoliosis sufferers?

For those who wish to treat their scoliosis without surgery, there are other non-surgical treatment methods available - methods that provide the corrective and strengthening benefits of yoga while also doing more to address the individual needs of the patient. Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we use our own ScolioGold treatment method: this is a combined programme of non-surgical techniques that we specifically created to address a combination of issues present in individuals suffering from scoliosis. In order to provide the best results, patient outcomes and treatments are constantly monitored and updated in line with the latest medical research in our field.

Click here to find out more about our ScolioGold treatment programme, or get in touch with Scoliosis SOS today to arrange a consultation.

Phsyiotherapist with patient

When performed correctly, physical therapy is an effective form of treatment for scoliosis, and is often used as an alternative to having to wear a back brace or undergo spinal fusion surgery. However, physiotherapy is a very broad and varied field, and it can be hard to decide which type of physical therapy is best-suited to combating your spinal curve.

The NHS provides physiotherapy treatment for scoliosis sufferers, and many people resort to this to treat their condition. However, here at Scoliosis SOS, we offer a different form of physiotherapy that we call the ScolioGold method, and we feel it's a more effective form of physiotherapy that will provide far better results than those available from the NHS.

In order to demonstrate this, we've compared the two treatment methods and shown you where we differ from NHS physiotherapy below.

Physiotherapists

  • ScolioGold

Our physiotherapists have been specifically trained to treat scoliosis, and have also undergone months of extensive additional training and examinations to ensure they have the skills to treat a whole range of complex spinal conditions (including hyperkyphosis).

  • NHS Physiotherapy

There are no specialist physiotherapists for scoliosis at the NHS, and although they may have physiotherapy degrees, a recent study highlighted physio students’ lack of knowledge when it came to scoliosis and how to treat it. Our medical team are regularly invited to guest lecture on scoliosis at a number of UK universities and hospitals.

Treatment

  • ScolioGold

Our ScolioGold method is a hybrid of several scoliosis-specific treatments, exercises and methods from all around the world. By combining techniques such as FITS, SEAS, and osteopathy, we aim to provide the best non-invasive scoliosis treatment possible. In order to target each patient’s goals and give them the best possible care, we offer a combination of hands-on group therapies and individualised scoliosis-specific exercises. Our treatment method is continually monitored, and it constantly develops to reflect new advances in the non-surgical field, thus ensuring that our therapy continues to deliver gold-standard results. There's no limit on the number of therapy sessions we can provide; you may attend as many as you feel you need.

As well as providing physiotherapy, we also deliver radiation-free spinal and gain scanning, ergonomic assessments, and insole fitting to optimise posture and back health. We also provide patient education and long-term treatment and care plans for this lifelong condition.

  • NHS Physiotherapy

NHS physiotherapy programmes consist of generic stretches and strengthening exercises that are non-specific to your condition. There's minimal hands-on therapy due to time constraints, and in some hospitals, physiotherapists are no longer allowed to even touch their patients, instead directing them to websites for advice and care.

There are an increasingly limited number of physiotherapy sessions available due to NHS budget cuts, and most trusts offer a maximum of 6 x 30 minute appointments. Furthermore, you will often not see the same therapist from one session to the next, which results in a lack of continuity in care. There's also no aftercare, no follow-up appointments, and no ongoing advice or support.

To find out more about ScolioGold therapy, please click here. You can also get in touch with Scoliosis SOS by calling 0207 488 4428 or by filling out our contact form.