Scoliosis causes the spine to curve sideways, causing pain, weakness, and changes in the way a person walks. Exercise and stretching are vital components of treatment.
In mild cases, people can treat scoliosis with specific exercises and stretches alone, eliminating the need for surgery.
While some medical conditions can cause scoliosis, the most typical form of scoliosis is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. This form of scoliosis develops while a person is still growing and affects 2–3%of the population.
While research has found evidence supporting specific exercises for scoliosis, it is a good idea for a person with scoliosis to speak to a doctor or physical therapist about the best stretches and exercises for them.
For teens with scoliosis, a new study shows specialized physical therapy exercises can improve the curve of the spine, muscle endurance and quality of life, as researchers advocate for conservative management to be added to the standard of care for patients in Canada.
“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.”