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Scoliosis is a three-dimensional irregularity in the curve of the spine. Although curves in the spine are common, these types of curves generally develop at a very young age and are not caused by other back problems. If not addressed, these curves can progress throughout life and lead to other complications and limitations.
Here at Physiotherapy and Beyond, we use a unique conservative perspective to manage scoliosis. A physiotherapy assessment is completed to determine the type of curve you have and how to best manage it. Once the curve is identified, a plan that utilizes principles of the Schroth method and best practice scoliosis care from Dr. Hans-Rudolf Weiss. This includes manual treatment and specific exercises that are established for each patient. It is a progressive program that can be very successful, especially if the curve is caught at a younger age.
Our goals for the program are to aim to halt the spinal curve progression, provide pain relief, improve spinal stability and teach everyone how to manage their own curve.
When the program is completed, each patient should be comfortable managing their own program, which independently empowers them to progress on their own outside of physiotherapy.
Age is an important factor when assessing the curve of an individual. In younger children, the greatest impact on any spinal curve can be made before puberty. While the capacity for change is smaller for older patients, that does not mean they shouldn't seek treatment. There have been many people with varying ages into later adulthood who have had some success with this program, so it is a good idea to discuss potential treatments with the physiotherapist looking after your case.
When you arrive for your first appointment, you will be assessed by a physiotherapist who will determine the type and significance of your spinal curve if you have one. At this point, your physiotherapist will identify the appropriate manual therapy and exercises as a part of your plan of care. It is very important to maintain your exercises outside of your time in physiotherapy to maximize your chances of success. The exercises will progress when it is appropriate and we will follow up with you periodically to see how you are doing. As you progress, you will need to be in physiotherapy less frequently and eventually, our goal is that you are able to continue independently.
No, this is a conservative program designed for cases that do not require surgery. If surgery is required, some physiotherapy may be useful afterwards. At that time, an assessment can be completed to determine an appropriate plan moving forward. While we have had cases where individuals do use braces because of their curve, we do not provide them. It is up to your physician (usually a specialist) to determine if your curve requires one.