What is Scoliosis?

What is Scoliosis?

Blog by: Pierre Joubert/ Physiotherapist/Physio on Ross                                                                                                                                                   


Scoliosis was originally a Greek word meaning curved or bent. When a scoliosis develops the spine bends sideways and rotates along its vertical axis. These changes have cosmetic and physiological effects with long-term consequences which may result in significant health problems with severe curves.

Most common type of Scoliosis is Idiopathic Scoliosis. Idiopathic means a condition not associated with any other disease or disorder. There are three main types of idiopathic scoliosis which are classified according to the age of onset. Infantile (before the age of two), Juvenile (range from ages two to ten) and Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), which is far more common in girls than boys.  The causes of Idiopathic Scoliosis are still debated, but a family history is a definite risk factor for AIS.

What is non-surgical treatment?

Scoliosis surgery may be the appropriate treatment in some cases where the severity is too great, however successful non-surgical treatment means that patients can live their lives without suffering from the side effects of surgery such as spinal stiffness and scarring, and without the worry of the risks associated with surgery. Most cases may require different approaches. The age of the patient, the size of the curve and the type of scoliosis all mean that what might work for one person will not necessarily work for another. It is never too early to treat scoliosis. If your child has been diagnosed with a scoliosis and no treatment has been recommended, please contact us for a second opinion.

Although it is our goal to successfully treat scoliosis without surgery it is important to note that in some cases, surgery may be the best treatment option and we work with doctors and orthopaedic surgeons to ensure the best results.

Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation programs for Scoliosis:

Specific scoliosis physiotherapy and scoliosis rehabilitation exercise programs can play an important role in scoliosis treatment. Traditionally most surgeons have been of the opinion that conservative methods are not as effective. However the development of scoliosis specific exercise programs offers a new role for rehabilitation approaches in scoliosis treatment. In some cases scoliosis rehabilitation is used in conjunction with brace treatments.

Brace Treatment:

When a scoliosis continues to progress despite rehabilitation or if the curve is already big to start with then bracing is often the best treatment choice. In cases of Juvenile and Adolescent Idiopathic scoliosis, dynamic flexible brace options have been shown to be an effective treatment in many of cases. Research reports that surgery can be avoided in over 75% of cases where the curve is between 20 and 40 degrees and the patient is still relatively young.

If you require specific assessment or treatment for pain related to your scoliosis it would be important to get yourself booked in to see a physiotherapist so that a full assessment can be made and the correct treatment/rehabilitation or appropriate referral can be provided.

Remember we do not require a GP referral so call us today on 4728 2116.