No two cases of scoliosis
are exactly alike - symptoms and their severity vary hugely from patient to patient and depend on a great number of contributing factors. Due to the numerous variations in how scoliosis occurs and progresses, no one treatment is universally effective; certain treatment routes may be effective for some patients but fail to provide the desired results for others.
Another issue that often arises when it comes to treating scoliosis concerns the patient's personal circumstances and physical abilities. The typically-recommended treatment for progressive curves in young people is a back brace
, which is fitted to the patient's exact measurements and worn for extended periods of time in an effort to limit curve progression. For patients whose curves are progressing at a particularly rapid rate (to a degree that has the potential to limit their mobility, breathing capacity and overall health), spinal fusion surgery
is often recommended in order to permanently halt the curvature's progression. While these options may provide encouraging results for some, others may find them ineffective or limiting, and this prompts many scoliosis sufferers to seek out alternative treatments.
One approach that is often discussed as an alternative to surgery and bracing is physical therapy - that is, the non-invasive treatment of spinal curvature via a series of exercises and manipulations. While this type of therapy can be an effective form of treatment for scoliosis when performed correctly, the term 'physical therapy' is very broad, and individuals are often left confused as to what this treatment actually involves.
Below is an explanation of how and why physical therapy is used to treat scoliosis, along with a closer look at the forms of physical therapy that we use here at our clinic:
Why is Physical Therapy Used to Treat Scoliosis?
Scoliosis patients may seek treatment via physical therapy for a number of reasons, including:
- Avoiding the complications and physical limitations associated with surgery.
- Improving body image by reducing the visibility of the curve and avoiding surgery scars.
- Improving flexibility and mobility by strengthening the muscles surrounding the spine.
- Relieving the pain caused by scoliosis (often experienced by scoliosis suffers who have undergone surgery).
- Preventing curve progression using corrective techniques in a way that allows continued maintenance and improvement.
How Does Physical Therapy Work?
Physical therapy for scoliosis works by repeating a series of corrective movements and techniques, which are intended to limit restrictions, improve posture, strengthen the back muscles, and increase the patient's range of motion. All of this contributes towards reducing the level of pain experienced by the patient, along with improving their physical ability and correcting the visual symptoms of the condition.
Here at Scoliosis SOS, we achieve optimal results for each patient by assessing and treating their condition on an individual basis and by providing a range of targeted physical therapies that treat the various aspects of the condition. While the Schroth method
forms the foundations of our treatment approach, this is complemented and supported by a range of other proven techniques, which work in unison to form our ScolioGold
To find out more about how physical therapy can be used to treat scoliosis, or to discuss the unique requirements of your condition, simply get in touch with the Scoliosis SOS team today.