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.

Darren Lui with Scoliosis SOS team

On Thursday 7th February 2019, we were privileged to welcome Mr Darren Lui into the Scoliosis SOS Clinic along with Kate Robertson, a physiotherapist who works alongside him in South West London. Mr Lui specialises in orthopaedics and has a particular interest in vertebral body tethering.

Mr Lui gave a very interesting presentation to our ScolioGold therapists and patient care co-ordinators about sagittal balance and the importance of assessing and treating each patient individually based on their presentation. He also discussed the ways in which he feels having an effective pre- and post-surgery physiotherapy structure in place could help to decrease scoliotic patients' pain and improve many patients' quality of life.

As a team, we discussed the significance of having a 'pretty x-ray' showing a straighter spine, and how this is often the sole goal of young girls undergoing spinal fusion surgery. Although this is the outcome for some patients, in a lot of cases this is far from a realistic outcome for the patient and the more important outcomes should be measured against patient flexibility, quality of life and pain reduction.

Mr Lui explained that if he is able to stabilise a curvature and prevent further progression, the procedure is still classed as a success. This initially shocked our team of ScolioGold therapists who had been so used to hearing about the significance of Cobb angle reduction within the orthopaedic world. In fact, many of our patients contact the clinic specifically to find out by how much they can expect to reduce their Cobb angle.

Here at Scoliosis SOS, we have seen patients reduce their Cobb angle by up to 20 degrees through exercise. However, this is never something we guarantee, and patients are specifically advised that the aim of our treatment is to prevent further progression and improve quality of life.

Up until very recently, most orthopaedic surgeons have failed to acknowledge that scoliosis can cause a patient a significant amount of pain. However, times are now changing, and more orthopaedic consultants are identifying that imbalances around the spine due to scoliosis can cause pain in patients. It has also been recognised that surgery would not necessarily be able to decrease pain levels in a patient with scoliosis.

Mr Lui was very keen to see the work our ScolioGold therapists do with our patients during a 4-week treatment course. The aim of ScolioGold treatment is to rebalance the muscles surrounding the spine, allowing patients to stand in a symmetrical upright position, improving their cosmetic appearance, reducing pain, and preventing further progression.

Patients on the NHS are currently offered very little opportunity to learn specific scoliosis exercises. These exercises are proven to be successful, and not only in preventing progression - they have also been shown to improve a patient's quality of life significantly.

Pre- and post-surgery physiotherapy is almost non-existent on the NHS, but allowing patients to take part in such activity could both prevent the need for surgery and improve the outcome for patients undergoing spinal fusion surgery.

We hope to work closely with Mr Lui over the next few months to make the dream of being able to offer ScolioGold treatment to more patients throughout the UK a reality.

For more information on the treatment we offer, please contact us online or call the Scoliosis SOS Clinic on 0207 488 4428.

We got some great news over the weekend: the Scoliosis SOS Clinic's YouTube channel now has more than 500 subscribers. That's enough to fill a jumbo jet!

This is a great milestone, and now of course we're looking forward to hitting the 1,000-subscriber mark. If you'd like to be a part of our audience, click the link below and hit the 'SUBSCRIBE' button on our channel's homepage!

Subscribe to Our YouTube Channel >

To celebrate this achievement, here's a quick look back at some of our most popular YouTube videos to date...

 

Axel's Journey from Sweden for Scheuermann's Treatment

Axel, a software developer from Gothenburg, came to the Scoliosis SOS Clinic in 2016. Axel has Scheuermann's kyphosis, and his desk-based job was making this condition worse - watch this case study video to find out how we helped him!

 

6 Stretches to Try at Home

In this video, our ScolioGold therapists demonstrate a variety of beneficial scoliosis exercises that are simple enough to be performed in the comfort of your own home. (Please note that the information in this video should not be treated as medical advice, and these stretches may not be suitable/beneficial for everyone.)

 

Treating Veronica's 55-Degree Scoliosis

Veronica was 15 years old when she came to us for scoliosis treatment. Our ScolioGold treatment programme helped her to avoid undergoing spinal fusion surgery.

Be sure to visit our Patient Stories page for lots more videos from the Scoliosis SOS Clinic!

The Queen's Award for Enterprise - International Trade 2018

Before we dive headlong into 2019, we'd like to take a moment to look back at one of our highlights of the year we've just left behind. Back in the first half of 2018, we learned that the Scoliosis SOS Clinic had won the Queen's Award for Enterprise: International Trade - this honour was a terrific testament to the passion and commitment that our staff demonstrate every single day.

 

About the Awards

The Queen's Awards for Enterprise were founded in 1966 and have since developed into their current format, which is made up of four award categories. Her Majesty the Queen chooses the winners of the awards on the advice of the Prime Minister, who is assisted by a committee made up of government figures, union representatives, and other people from a variety of industries and trades. Winners are announced annually on 21 April (the Queen's birthday).

The awards are given to businesses for outstanding achievement in International Trade, Sustainable Development, Innovation, and Promoting Opportunity, to recognise organisations that promote social mobility. Previous winners include Dyson, Oxford Instruments and JCB.

 

Thank You!

Winning this award would not have been possible without all of our patients from all over the world. In 2018 alone, patients travelled from 72 different countries to receive treatment for their spines at our clinic. We'd like to thank every single one of you for your trust and enthusiasm - this award is for you.

We will strive to continue providing the best support and assistance possible to all of our patients in the New Year. Click the link below to view the full list of 2018 Queen's Award winners.

View 2018 Winners >   About Scoliosis SOS >

Scoliosis SOS Team

Doesn't time fly? It feels like only a few months have passed since we celebrated the Scoliosis SOS Clinic's 10-year anniversary, when in reality it's nearly two years later and our TWELFTH anniversary is almost upon us!

Erika Maude founded Scoliosis SOS in her hometown of Martlesham, Suffolk back in 2006. Erika, herself a scoliosis sufferer, had recently chosen to seek treatment abroad instead of undergoing spinal fusion surgery; she was treated using the Schroth method, and the results were very positive indeed. Upon returning to England, she decided to set up a Schroth clinic that would give UK-based scoliosis patients a real alternative to surgery.

And so Scoliosis SOS was born. Nearly 12 years later, we are one of the world's leading providers of non-surgical scoliosis treatment - we have treated patients from virtually every corner of the globe, helping them to overcome the symptoms of scoliosis and lead higher-quality lives without surgical intervention.

What have we achieved in the last 12 years?

Since the Scoliosis SOS Clinic first opened its doors, we have:

Most importantly of all, we have helped countless scoliosis sufferers to live the lives they wish to live - whether that's meant dancing, participating in sports, or simply reducing the pain that often comes from a curved spine.

We'd like to say a huge 'thank you' to all the people who have been a part of the Scoliosis SOS Clinic's outstanding success over the last 12 years - here's to many more!

Find out more about Scoliosis SOS