Scoliosis can impact anyone at any time of life, but the condition can be especially challenging in older patients. This is due in part to the increased chance of additional diseases or disorders - such as osteoporosis - being present.


Scoliosis most commonly affects adolescents (most cases are diagnosed between the ages of 10 and 15), and the cause is not usually known. However, in older patients, scoliosis often materialises due to asymmetric degeneration that wears through the body's facet joints and intervertebral discs. This has a very distinct appearance on X-rays, and the resulting spinal curvature tend to be very steep, with sideways slippage of the bone in the middle (called a lateral listhesis); this is usually caused by the weakening of fibres in the discs. Canal stenosis - the narrowing of holes in spinal nerves - is another common occurrence in degenerative scoliosis, which can often lead to pain that radiates down into the hips and legs.

How can we treat scoliosis in older people? 

Available scoliosis treatment options can become somewhat limited in later life. Back braces tend to be less effective, and it can be difficult for older patients to go through and recover from surgery. It is not guaranteed that surgery will 'fix' the problem for good, and there is a high possibility of the patient experiencing pain and reduced mobility and flexibility post-operation.

Instead, we at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic treat the condition using our own unique combination of exercise-based techniques; we call this the ScolioGold method. By using our own treatment regime, we are able to offer patients an unrivalled level of treatment success; we have an expert team of consultants and physiotherapists on-site, and we are continually monitoring and developing our method in order to ensure that it continues to deliver top results. We have treated many elderly patients, helping them to overcome the effects of scoliosis without the need for a back brace or surgical intervention.

One such patient is 75-year-old Brenda Kenyon from Cheshire, who didn't even know she had scoliosis until 2010. She has now been attending the Scoliosis SOS Clinic for 6 years, and we'll let Brenda tell the rest of the story herself:


To see what we can achieve when treating scoliosis in older people, please click here. If you are interested in attending one of our 4-week treatment courses yourself, please get in touch with us to book your initial consultation.
PNF technique
 
Here at Scoliosis SOS, we have spent many years developing our successful ScolioGold treatment method, which uses a combination of non-surgical spinal techniques including the PNF Technique.
 
Although the Schroth method remains an integral part of our treatment programme, we have also integrated a range of other carefully selected techniques into our regime, ensuring that every aspect of the patient’s condition is fully addressed.
 
The afore mentioned treatment included in our current scoliosis treatment programme is the PNF technique. PNF stands for Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, a technique that was first developed in the USA during the 1940s. The aim of the PNF therapy is to increase the patient’s flexibility and range of motion, and this in turn contributes to improved coordination.

History of the PNF Technique

The PNF technique was pioneered by a neurophysiologist named Herman Kabat, who came to the conclusion that combinations of movement would be far more effective than the existing approach, which consisted of only moving one joint at time. This developed as Kabat began to look for natural patterns of movement for rehabilitating muscles, and this is something we practice at Scoliosis SOS today in its modern form.
 
Part of our reason for including the PNF technique in our treatment programme is the fact that many of our patients struggle with physical limitation, both as a result of scoliosis itself and in relation to spinal fusion surgery. Many of our previous patients expressed that they felt restricted by the impact of scoliosis on their physical ability, and also that they were intimidated at the prospect of undergoing spinal surgery, which would greatly limit their ease of movement.
 
By strengthening the muscles around the spine, the stretching included in the PNF technique is able to relieve the discomfort of scoliosis, while also facilitating a greater range of motion, making it ideal for patients who are particularly active in pastimes such as sport and dance. As with all of the methods included in the ScolioGold programme, it has also been thoroughly researched and scientifically proven, which means that each patient can be sure that they are in safe, sure hands when receiving this treatment.
 
If you would like to find out more about the PNF technique or the variety of methods used in our ScolioGold treatment, please click here. To book a consultation, or if you have any questions about our non-surgical treatments, please get in touch today.
Kinesio Taping
 
Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we treat scoliosis using something called the ScolioGold method. This is our own unique approach to scoliosis therapy, and it combines a number of different techniques from all over the world to get the best possible results for scoliosis sufferers.
 
One of the many therapeutic techniques we utilise is called Kinesio Taping. Developed in Japan in the 1970s, Kinesio Taping promotes healthy muscle movement patterns and helps to relieve pain and inflammation in those who suffer from musculoskeletal disorders. Read on to find out more about this technique, or click here to get in touch with the Scoliosis SOS Clinic and find out how we may able to help you.

About Kinesio Taping

The Kinesio Taping (KT) method is the brainchild of Dr Kenzo Kase, a Japanese chiropractor who developed KT as a means of relieving pain without surgery or drugs. Kinesio Taping has existed as a practice since the 1970s, but it has received greater recognition more recently, with sports stars such as Serena Williams and Gareth Bale wearing it during their matches.
 
In a 2011 interview with the Guardian, Dr Kase offered the following explanation as to how his invention works:
 
"Your pain sensors are located between the epidermis and the dermis, the first and second layers of your skin...I thought that if I applied tape to the pain it would lift the epidermis slightly up and make a space between the two layers. This would in turn allow blood to flow more easily to the injured area."
 

The effectiveness of Kinesio Taping is supported by multiple studies, which have shown that the KT method is good at protecting injured muscles/joints and providing immediate pain relief.

How Do We Use Kinesio Taping to Treat Scoliosis?

As mentioned above, the KT method is one of many techniques that we incorporate into our ScolioGold treatment courses for scoliosis sufferers. We've found that Taping is a great way to help with the pain that many scoliosis sufferers experience. Kinesio Taping's strength lies with supplying immediate, short-term pain relief, but we've learned that it can be combined with other therapeutic methods - such as myofascial release - to give much longer-lasting results.
 
Kinestio Taping is also a good way to cultivate proper muscle movement patterns in scoliosis patterns. This is important because it helps to prevent the spine's curve from progressing yet further. While the KT method itself is not capable of correcting a scoliotic curve, it is useful for managing pain/discomfort and promoting healthy movement and posture in conjunction with the other methods listed here.
 
If you suffer from scoliosis and you're looking for an effective non-surgical treatment method, please get in touch with the Scoliosis SOS Clinic today to arrange an initial consultation. If you would rather speak to us on the phone, you can reach us on 0207 488 4428.
Spinal Fusion Recovery
 

Scoliosis can be an incredibly debilitating condition, and many scoliosis sufferers choose to undergo surgery to correct their spinal curves. Spinal fusion surgery is the process of attaching rods, hooks, wires or screws to the curved portion of the patient's backbone in order to straighten out the curve over time. Small pieces of bone are then placed over the spine; these will eventually grow together with the spinal bone, 'fusing' it into the correct position.

 
The spinal fusion procedure is a major surgical operation that usually takes several hours to complete. The success of the operation depends on many factors, including the flexibility of the curve and the surgical techniques used. The goal of the surgery is not a perfectly straight spine, but a balanced spine in which fusion prevents the curve from getting worse. 
 
However, as with most surgical procedures, a spinal fusion usually carries with it a long recovery period. Some pain/discomfort is to be expected, and reduced mobility and flexibility are common too. After surgery, the symptoms of scoliosis (e.g. back pain) may get better over time, although it is not uncommon to for patients to still experience pain even after they have fully recovered due to the fact that their muscle imbalance has not been addressed.

So how can Scoliosis SOS help with spinal fusion recovery?

If you have had spinal fusion surgery already and you're looking for something to speed up the recovery process or reduce any back pain you are still experiencing, then our ScolioGold method could be the solution you're looking for. You may have heard of the Schroth method, and this forms a large part of our methodology, but where some clinics solely utilise Schroth exercises we compliment them with a range of other non-surgical spinal treatment techniques, resulting in a far more well-rounded treatment regime that our patients find exceptionally effective.
 
Here's how our treatment courses can help with spinal fusion recovery:
  • Reduce back pain
  • Improve mobility 
  • Speed up correction of spinal curve
  • Correct any secondary curvatures that may have progressed or developed above/below the fusion
The video below features one of our patients from the Faroe Islands. She had spinal fusion surgery on her back when she was much younger, but visited the Scoliosis SOS Clinic earlier this year to address the chronic pain that she was still experiencing.
 
 
If you would like to find out more about our treatment courses, please contact Scoliosis SOS and book an initial consultation with one of our scoliosis consultants, who will more than happy to recommend the best course of action for you.
Clinic Manager Jason, who has been studying Polish in his spare time, has recently returned from the final of three week-long courses to learn the FITS (Functional Individual Treatment for Scoliosis) method in Wrocław, western Poland. He has been hard at work integrating it into our ScolioGold method and sharing his experience with the rest of team. Therapists Chrissy and Michael really enjoyed their first in-service training session about this Polish scoliosis therapy and have already started using some techniques with their check-up patients.

FITS method

Learn more about the FITS method and the rest of the ScolioGold techniques here.