Scoliosis is a disorder where the spine curves to the left or right in a “C” or “S” shape. Doctors determine the best course of scoliosis treatment based on the angle of the curve, the location of the curve, and the developmental stage or maturity of the person’s back. Read this brief overview of different scoliosis treatments to understand more.
When physicians first discover scoliosis, they will observe the patient to determine the necessity of intervention. The most common type of scoliosis appears in teens and pre-teens, so doctors observe the changes in the spine as the person matures.
Most scoliosis cases don’t require treatment. Doctors consider the patient’s age and curve size when predicting whether the curve will progressively worsen. If so, they will choose surgical or non-surgical treatment.
Very few scoliosis cases require surgery. When doctors recommend surgery, it’s typically because the curve is more than 40–50 degrees, advancing rapidly, or in a location that requires this intervention. Once a person is fully grown, if the spinal curvature is lower than 40–50 degrees, it typically won’t significantly worsen or negatively impact their quality of life.
Surgeons can perform scoliosis procedures on children, teens, and adults. The standard surgical treatment is spinal fusion. In this treatment, surgeons align the spinal bones before fusing them and preventing further curve advancement.
Custom-made braces for teens and tweens prevent the spine from further twisting and misaligning. The molded brace may not correct the curve, but it may prevent worsening.
The front of the brace extends from below the armpit to the pelvic area. The back of the brace extends from below the shoulder blade. The brace has pads that provide pressure on the curve and relief areas on the opposite side of the pressure pads.
People who wear scoliosis braces can continue to participate in normal physical activities. A person might start by wearing the brace for 23 hours a day, then they’ll wear it less, such as only at night. Doctors recommend wearing the brace for months or years, depending on the individual case.
4. Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis Specific Exercises
Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis Specific Exercises (PSSE), such as Schroth and BSPTS Rigo Concept Methods, are a specialized form of physical therapy specifically for scoliosis. Trained physical therapists instruct their patients on a personalized combination of stretches, strengthening exercises, and breathing exercises that address individual case needs. PSSE aims to improve posture, increase muscle strength, reduce pain, improve breathing, stabilize the curve, and more.
Of the different scoliosis treatments in this brief overview, PSSE is a suitable option for the greatest number of people. Doctors can recommend PSSE for people of all ages, including people who have had scoliosis surgery. Treatment sessions typically last 40 to 45 minutes, and it’s crucial for patients to continue the exercises at home.
Beyond Balance carries scoliosis exercise equipment for physical therapy clinics and private home use. Our selection includes stall bars, extension poles, therapy kneeboards, and other specialized equipment. Shop with us today for high-quality equipment.
Physiotherapeutic Scoliosis Specific Exercises (PSSE) is not general physical therapy and should only be provided by therapists trained in an approved school or method. For more information on evidence-based programs and schools, visit the International Society on Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment (SOSORT) www.sosort.org.