Specialized physical therapy helps teens with scoliosis get ahead of the curve

ScienceDaily | 1/25/2017 | Staff
TaylorShaye (Posted by) Level 3
"Currently patients diagnosed with scoliosis are either monitored for progression, treated with a brace, or, in severe cases, offered surgery," explained Sanja Schreiber from the University of Alberta's Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. "Our study showed that 88 per cent of patients who did the Schroth physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercises showed improvements or prevented progression in their scoliosis curves over six months compared to 60 per cent in the group receiving only standard of care."

For 14-year-old Ava who had to wear a brace for her scoliosis since she was 11, the scoliosis-specific exercises, Schroth, have meant less pain, more confidence and more control over her own body. "I don't have to look like I'm crooked for the rest of my life. I now have control over my own body," she said. "While my brace is very important, the exercises have helped me change my outlook on my condition."

Control - Trial - PLOS - ONE - Adolescents

The randomized control trial, recently published in PLOS ONE, studied 50 adolescents with scoliosis aged 10 to 18 years with curves of 10 to 45 degrees (Cobb Angle). After six months of Schroth physiotherapy, (30-45 minute daily home program and weekly supervised sessions), 88 per cent of patients either had improving curves beyond or remaining within 5 degrees of their baseline curve magnitude. The average curve in the control group deteriorated by 2.3 degrees. Overall, the difference between the Schroth and the control group was 3.5 degrees.

"These short term results are clinically significant and show that Schroth physiotherapy exercises could help many patients with scoliosis if this type of conservative management is added to the standard of care," said Eric Parent, associate professor of physical therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. The results have justified further research, with the establishment of the Multicenter Schroth Exercise Trial.

People - Scoliosis - Curvature - Spine

People with scoliosis, abnormal lateral curvature of the spine, are mainly...
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