Scoliosis has been known for millennia, but recent advancements in medical knowledge and technology have revolutionized treatment options and outcomes. Learn how scoliosis treatments have evolved over time to understand how medical care and physical therapy have improved.
The first braces were made by tying wooden sticks to patients to straighten the spine. However, the first known scoliosis brace was created in France in 1575, and it was made of metal.
In the past, rigid braces were commonly used. They restricted movement and were uncomfortable to wear. However, modern braces are more flexible and lightweight to provide support while allowing greater mobility.
Custom-made braces tailored to the individual’s spinal curve have become more prevalent. Fabricators use measurements, castings, or a three-dimensional scan of the patient’s body for a precise fit that supports the spine in a more neutral position.
Medical experts typically recommend spinal surgery only for people with a curve exceeding 40 degrees. As in other fields of surgery, spinal surgery techniques have improved, resulting in safer and more effective procedures.
The First Surgeries
In France in 1865, Jules Rene Guerin performed the first recorded surgical procedure for scoliosis. He severed muscles and tendons in the patient’s back and performed similar operations on over 1,300 people.
Guerin’s failed surgeries took place before the invention of X-rays. We now know that scoliosis curves exist in a three-dimensional plane and are more complex than they might appear.
Modern surgical approaches, such as spinal fusion and instrumentation, involve specialized implants and techniques that provide stability and curve correction. Minimally invasive surgery has also gained popularity and is characterized by smaller incisions, reduced postoperative pain, and faster recovery.
Therapists tailor scoliosis-specific physical therapies to their patients’ unique curvatures. Therapeutic exercises and stretches focus on enhancing breathing, flexibility, strength, and mobility.
Schroth exercises elongate and stabilize the spine. Physical therapists develop a treatment plan for improving muscular symmetry and halting or slowing curve progression.
Schroth uses equipment such as stall bars, traction belts, and poles. Patients can do the Schroth exercises in their therapist’s clinic and at home.
Rigo Concept BSPTS
After teaching Schroth certification courses for a decade, Dr. Manuel Rigo founded the Barcelona Scoliosis Therapy School (BSPTS). The program teaches the Rigo Concept, which is based on Schroth principles but includes advanced concepts that Dr. Rigo created based on his research and clinical experience.
SEAS stands for Scientific Exercise Approach to Scoliosis, and it’s a customized exercise program that treats scoliosis. Therapists teach patients with scoliosis techniques so they can self-correct their alignment on their own in daily life.
With SEAS, patients might use equipment in the initial step of learning self-corrective techniques, but the goal is to self-correct without external aid. Therefore, the patient will self-correct without equipment after using the support for learning the posture.
Over time, scoliosis treatments have evolved to be safer and more effective. Whether treatment consists of bracing, surgery, therapy, or a blend of options, patients benefit from the higher quality of care.
Beyond Balance makes durable equipment for scoliosis-specific physiotherapy. Shop our selection of scoliosis exercise equipment to support improved spinal alignment.