Scoliosis – What it Is and How it is Treated

Whilst you may have heard the word scoliosis before, you may not be aware of what it is. Scoliosis is a musculoskeletal condition, put simply it refers to the abnormal curvature of the spine. Typical symptoms of scoliosis include one sided back pain, finding it difficult to bend over and persistent pain during standing or sitting. People of all ages and stages are at risk of experiencing scoliosis, though it is most common in those over the age of 65.

Physiotherapists have a wealth of experience in dealing with scoliosis, and here at Therapy Services Physio we are well placed to provide a thorough diagnosis and treatment plan. In this blog post, we will be providing an overview of scoliosis, how it is diagnosed and the various treatment options available.

What is Scoliosis?

As mentioned above, scoliosis is the abnormal curvature of the spine. We all know that good posture means standing up tall and straight, and looking at the outline of a healthy spine you will observe that it sits in a straight line. Those who suffer from scoliosis however may have a spine which takes on a crooked appearance, sometimes in the shape of an S or C.

Scoliosis can occur during the formative years prior to puberty, and this may be due to birth defects, neurological abnormalities or genetics. However, mild scoliosis is common in adults and it is also possible to develop the condition later in life. Many people live with scoliosis without ever having a formal diagnosis, however this can lead to further pain and limit your opportunities in life.

It is best to visit a physiotherapist for a formal diagnosis, as they will be best placed to deliver an appropriate treatment plan that will aid in reducing pain and increasing your mobility. Surgery is usually only necessary in advanced stages, with physio treatment being an effective and straightforward treatment option for most individuals.

 

4 Common Types of Scoliosis

There are four types of scoliosis, and they are classified based on age.

  • Infant – individuals 0-3 years of age
  • Juvenile – individuals 4-10 years of age
  • Adolescent – individuals 11-18 years of age
  • Adult – individuals 18+ years of age

It is possible that infant scoliosis may correct itself over time, however no matter the age of diagnosis it is important that you attend regular check-ups and ensure your condition is managed by qualified professionals.

Signs and Symptoms of Scoliosis

Scoliosis can vary in severity, however the following common symptoms may be indicators for the condition. If you experience any of the below, you should schedule an appointment with Therapy Services Physio as soon as possible.

  • Persistent back pain
  • Clearly visible curvature of the spine
  • A shoulder blade which sits higher than the other
  • Sore hips
  • A tight feeling across the spine

Your physiotherapist and/or GP will use X-rays and visual examination to deliver a diagnosis. The earlier the condition is detected, the better the treatment outcomes – so please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment.

How Physiotherapists Treat Scoliosis

Most treatment plans involve a combination of muscle strengthening exercises as well as joint mobilisation, bracing, exercise, and movement re-education. In severe cases surgery may be necessary, but this is only as a last resort.

Schedule an Appointment at Therapy Services Physio Darlinghurst Today

Living with scoliosis can be difficult, but in most cases individuals respond favourably to physio treatment and can resume their usual activities with confidence. The team at Therapy Services Physio have extensive knowledge in the diagnosis and treatment of scoliosis, and we invite you to schedule an appointment at our Darlinghurst physio today by calling (02) 8382 6935 or booking via our website.