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Scoliosis and Conservative Physical Therapy | Image Courtesy of Emilio Vittoriosi via Unsplash
Scoliosis and Conservative Physical Therapy | Image Courtesy of Emilio Vittoriosi via Unsplash

June is Scoliosis Awareness Month! 

Scoliosis is a 3D curvature of the spine.  According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 2-3% of the US population currently have some form of scoliosis. 

Types of Scoliosis

There are many different types.  There is juvenile scoliosis starting at a young age, or adult-onset scoliosis.  It can be categorized as congenital, neuromuscular, or most common form idiopathic scoliosis. 

  • Congenital scoliosis - some type of deformity causing irregular alignment 
  • Neuromuscular scoliosis - neurological disease leading to asymmetries 
  • idiopathic scoliosis - (unknown origin)

It can also be broken down into functional scoliosis or structural scoliosis. Structural scoliosis may be from some other spinal deformities, such as an extra rib, causing an uneven growth of the spine. Functional scoliosis may be from an external cause such as a pelvic mal-alignment issue causing a shortened leg, or imbalances in the spinal muscles causing tightness on one side. 

If left untreated, progressive scoliosis can lead to pain, breathing difficulties (decreased lung capacity), and can cause some type of limitation at work, home or fitness exercise. 

Can Conservative Physical Therapy help? 

Can conservative physical therapy help? YES. One randomized controlled trial found that physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercises improved the angle of deformity with those with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Furthermore, SOSORT* 2016 Guidelines concluded that,

current evidence suggests that conservative treatment for scoliosis is effective at stopping curve from progression, as well as improving the curves at skeletal maturity."

The biggest priority is preventing or minimizing further progression of the curve. There are standing and sitting posture assessments, ergonomic assessment, manual therapy to address the soft tissue that may be implicated,and pain-management techniques we can apply and/or educate on. 

There are other types of treatment, such as bracing and surgical treatment (fusion) that can help with more advanced scoliosis. 

Be on the lookout for Part 2 of Scoliosis Awareness: Scoliosis and the Pelvic Floor! 

*SOSORT - (International Scientific Society on Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment)

 

What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by S.B.

As someone who suffered the debilitating physical and emotional effects of vaginismus (as well as a complicated history of back injuries) for more than 15 years, I thought a "normal" life was just a fantasy. Then I found Heather.

Read more: Testimonial by S.B.

Testimonial by R.H.

No one could tell me why I was having pain during sex--sharp pain, not just uncomfortable, pain. I was referred to Heather Jeffcoat after researching several different options. I had seen a specialist who told me physical therapy would not help and my only option was surgery. I really didn't want to go that route, so when we got a referral, I decided to try it--it can't hurt, I thought. I am so glad I did. She diagnosed the problem right away, which was a relief in itself.

To know why I was having pain eased my mind immensely. And to hear that she could fix it without surgery was another relief. She said she could fix the problem in 6 weeks. I think it was actually 4 for me. She was very methodical, and treated me as an intelligent human being capable of participating in my own recovery. I would absolutely recommend her to anyone. She did not try to prolong my session numbers, she worked hard to accommodate my schedule (and the fact that I had to bring a baby to sessions), and she was completely honest the entire time. It is so hard to find someone with these characteristics, much less a professional who is so good at what she does. She has my highest respect.

-- R.H.

Testimonial by M.M.

My husband and I were married for 5 years and unable to have intercourse, but I never knew why. After numerous awful experiences at doctor’s offices (where many doctors told me I “just needed to relax”), a surgery that didn’t fix the problem, and a year of owning dilators that didn’t get me anywhere, someone finally referred me to Heather for Physical Therapy. I finally had answers and information from someone who knew exactly what I was dealing with!

Read more: Testimonial by M.M.

Testimonial by R.H.

No one could tell me why I was having pain during sex--sharp pain, not just uncomfortable, pain. I was referred to Heather Jeffcoat after researching several different options. I had seen a specialist who told me physical therapy would not help and my only option was surgery. I really didn't want to go that route, so when we got a referral, I decided to try it--it can't hurt, I thought. I am so glad I did. She diagnosed the problem right away, which was a relief in itself.

To know why I was having pain eased my mind immensely. And to hear that she could fix it without surgery was another relief. She said she could fix the problem in 6 weeks. I think it was actually 4 for me. She was very methodical, and treated me as an intelligent human being capable of participating in my own recovery. I would absolutely recommend her to anyone. She did not try to prolong my session numbers, she worked hard to accommodate my schedule (and the fact that I had to bring a baby to sessions), and she was completely honest the entire time. It is so hard to find someone with these characteristics, much less a professional who is so good at what she does. She has my highest respect.

-- R.H.

Testimonial by M.M.

My husband and I were married for 5 years and unable to have intercourse, but I never knew why. After numerous awful experiences at doctor’s offices (where many doctors told me I “just needed to relax”), a surgery that didn’t fix the problem, and a year of owning dilators that didn’t get me anywhere, someone finally referred me to Heather for Physical Therapy. I finally had answers and information from someone who knew exactly what I was dealing with!

Read more: Testimonial by M.M.

Testimonial by S.H., age 24

I just wanted to thank you for everything you've done for me for the past 19 months. I literally could not have reached my goals without you and your practice. You gave me the courage to keep moving forth with my treatment no matter how afraid and anxious I was. You were always there to answer questions and made this whole process so much easier than I expected it to be.

It's because of you that my marriage is on the right track, that I can get pregnant and that this part of my life is finally over. I really feel that Fusion Wellness is a team of people you can call family and are there to root for you and cheer you on until you reach your goals. There is nothing better than knowing I accomplished this with you guys by my side and as calmly and patiently as I needed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for always being there and helping me reach my goals.

S.H., age 24

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