In my last blog, I explained the different types of scoliosis, how we screen for them and how we could see them presenting in ourselves, our friends and family. It is again, really important to note, that scoliosis is in most cases, not a life-threatening disease and we do not have to live in fear or live in lack due to it.
How do we treat scoliosis?
First of all, it is important to understand that scoliosis is not something you can remove or simply do a course of treatments and cure. Scoliosis is usually genetic and the goal in clinic is to maintain the curve, prevent progression and if by chance, create a regression in the curvature.
Depending on the severity of the curve, most patients have less than Cobb’s angle 40 degrees curvature. If you have less than 15 degrees, it is not considered a scoliosis. Only a deviation. In which case, it is suggested that you should do some physical therapy. This could be in the form of physiotherapy, chiropractic treatments and exercises. With most cases, a combination of treatments according to the patient’s needs is the best formula for success. Most clients we see do a combination of chiropractic adjustments: to maintain spinal mobility, health and posture, to realign the spine and relieve muscles and pinched nerves (if any), physiotherapy: to help with building non-compensating movement patterns, releasing hypertonic muscles and re-engaging deep muscles, personal training: to build muscle strength, regain confidence and learn to rebalance their movement overall.
If a client comes in with 20-40 degrees, regular x-rays (once to twice a year) are warranted and we continue with similar treatment. Some may opt for bracing but most clients for aesthetic purposes prefer exercising to maintain the muscle strength. If a client has 40 degrees or more, most orthopaedic surgeons and spinal surgeons would recommend surgery as the best course of treatment. There are however cases where patients choose to not on-go surgery but this would be with the advice of their doctors.
When should I start treatment?
With scoliosis, it develops as you go through puberty, so the best age to start is as soon as scoliosis is seen in the spine. We recommend patients with concerns of scoliosis to go for x-rays, with the x-rays, the Cobb Angle can be noted and referred to as a baseline. As soon as a deviation is noted, depending on the age and cause of scoliosis, treatment plans may vary as it is important to tailor is to the patient’s condition, needs and goals.
Who can help me with my scoliosis?
At Healthworks, we have a team of chiropractors, physiotherapists and physical trainers who are experienced and have helped many scoliosis patients and cases live a healthy, balanced and regular life with scoliosis. Scoliosis is NOT a disease that has to cause you pain and discomfort! As we say at Healthworks, if you have scoliosis, your spine is simply bent not broken! Come see us and let us help you today.