Scoliosis 101: Physical Therapy Benefits for Scoliosis
We are excited to introduce our newest program for kids and adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) and kyphosis. Meredith Mueller at Axis Sports Medicine in Avon is the only practitioner offering Schroth therapy in our mountain communities. With Schroth therapy, Meredith uses exercise to empower and meet the needs of kids and families managing scoliosis, rather than the typical “wait and see” approach.
What does Schroth therapy treat?
Schroth Physiotherapy Specific Exercise (PSSE) addresses the postural component of a scoliosis. In scoliosis, the bones of the spine have structural asymmetry. The muscles of the body then respond to the asymmetry; some become short and others become long. When the short muscles are taught to lengthen through positioning and breath the structural component of the scoliosis is often positively influenced, and curve progression is slowed and even sometimes improved.
Now let’s learn about Scoliosis
Scoliosis is a condition that affects the spine, causing it to curve to the side. It is estimated that between six and nine million Americans have scoliosis, and many who have this condition don’t even know it.
The spine is intended to be straight, but with scoliosis, it curves to the side. This can happen in any part of the spine, but it often occurs in the upper back. Scoliosis usually develops during childhood or adolescence and is more common in girls than boys.
While there is no cure for scoliosis, physical therapy can help to relieve pain and improve function. Physical therapy can also help to prevent the condition from worsening. The key is understanding how scoliosis affects the body and using that knowledge to develop a treatment plan.
What is Scoliosis?
When the spine develops abnormally, it can cause the spine to curve to the side. This condition is called scoliosis. The spine is intended to be straight, but with scoliosis, it curves to the side. This can happen in any part of the spine, but it often occurs in the upper back.
The cause of scoliosis is unknown in most cases. However, there are some known risk factors that can increase the chances of developing scoliosis. These include:
- Family history: If you have a family member with scoliosis, you are more likely to develop the condition yourself.
- Congenital abnormalities: Scoliosis can be caused by congenital abnormalities, such as a birth defect or genetic disorder.
- Neuromuscular conditions: Scoliosis can be a symptom of neuromuscular conditions, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy.
- Injury: An injury to the spine can cause scoliosis.
Most cases of scoliosis are mild and do not require treatment. However, some cases can become severe and may require treatment to prevent the condition from worsening.
What are the Symptoms of Scoliosis?
Scoliosis symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the condition. mild scoliosis may not cause any symptoms at all. However, as the condition worsens, it can cause a number of problems, including:
- Back pain: Back pain is the most common symptom of scoliosis. The pain is usually worse with activity and improves with rest.
- Muscle fatigue: Muscle fatigue can occur as the muscles work harder to support the extra weight of the spine.
- Uneven shoulders: The shoulders may appear uneven as the spine curves to the side.
- Uneven waist: The waist may appear uneven as the spine curves to the side.
- Headache: Headache is a common symptom of scoliosis. The headache is usually worse with activity and improves with rest.
Scoliosis is usually diagnosed during a physical examination. The doctor will look for signs of the condition, such as uneven shoulders or waist. X-rays may also be taken to confirm the diagnosis.
How Physical Therapy Can Benefit Those With Scoliosis
Physical therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for scoliosis. The goal of physical therapy is to relieve pain and improve function – and for those with scoliosis, this can make a big difference. With the help of physical therapy in Colorado, individuals with scoliosis can improve their quality of life.
There are a number of different ways that physical therapy can benefit those with scoliosis:
1. Improve Spinal Alignment and Curvature
The main goal of physical therapy for scoliosis is to improve the patient’s spinal alignment and curvature. This will help to relieve pain and prevent the condition from progressing.
A physical therapist will develop a customized exercise program based on the patient’s individual needs and goals. The exercises will focus on strengthening the muscles around the spine and improving flexibility.
To improve the alignment, a PT may also use manual therapy techniques, such as spinal manipulation and mobilization. These techniques can help to realign the spine and improve range of motion.
2. Reduce Pain
Another goal of physical therapy is to reduce pain. For those with scoliosis, back pain is a common symptom. Physical therapy can help to relieve this pain by strengthening the muscles around the spine and improving flexibility.
A physical therapist may also use manual therapy techniques to reduce pain, including massage, trigger point release, and myofascial release. These focused techniques can help to release muscle tension and relieve pain.
3. Improve Function
Overall function is critical for those with scoliosis. Physical therapy can help to improve function by improving strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
The improved function will help the patient perform daily activities easily and reduce the risk of further injury. By implementing an individualized physical therapy program, patients with scoliosis can improve their chances of living a full and active life.
4. Prevent the Condition from Progressing
Another goal of physical therapy is to prevent the condition from progressing. This can be done by maintaining good spinal alignment and improving the strength and flexibility of the muscles around the spine.
A physical therapist can also provide education on how to properly care for the spine. This includes proper lifting techniques, posture, and ergonomics.
5. Improve Quality of Life
Most importantly, physical therapy can help to improve the quality of life for those with scoliosis. Physical therapy aims to relieve pain, improve function, and prevent the condition from progressing. This can help patients to enjoy their everyday activities and do the things they love without pain.
Find Hope with Scoliosis with Axis Sports Medicine – Summit County’s Trusted Physical Therapists
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with scoliosis, it’s essential to seek treatment right away. Axis Sports Medicine helps patients in the Summit County, CO, area find hope with scoliosis through our comprehensive physical therapy services.
Our experienced and compassionate physical therapists will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is specifically designed to meet your needs and goals. We offer a wide range of services, including exercise programs, manual therapy, and education on how to properly care for your spine.
We believe that every patient deserves to live a pain-free life. Our therapist-owned practice is dedicated to providing individualized care that gets results. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you find hope with scoliosis!