Scoliosis is a condition of the spine that most often presents in young girls during growth spurts, but can present in boys and older patients too.
Scoliosis is defined as a sideways curve in the spine over 10 degrees, with a rotation of the spine too. It’s a 3D deformity of posture, and it doesn’t correct without treatment, it actually worsens.
With Scoliosis, the spine stiffens and becomes a rigid curve. The role of Physiotherapy is first to detect the curve, then provide treatment to stabilise the spine, reduce progression of the curve, reduce pain and increase postural awareness to optimise the way patients look, and reduce the pain they will sustain in the future from degeneration in the spine.
The cause of Adolescent idiopathic Scoliosis (the type that shows in teenagers) is still unknown, although it is thought there is a genetic trigger that distorts the growth of discs and vertebrae in the spine, which initiates a curve in the spine. Other triggers that initiate the development of Scoliosis are thought to be biomechanic, hormonal or neurological events.
Once a curve develops, compensation in the spine occurs to ensure the patient remains upright, therefore other curves and rotations occur, worsening the position of the spine. The muscular function of the body changes, as does the length and strength of different sides of the body.
What will the Physio do for patients with Scoliosis?
Our Physiotherapists have specialised tests to determine if you have Scoliosis. If Scoliosis is detected, our Physiotherapists will send you for an xray to confirm the angle, and refer you to a specialist if needed.
From there, you will be given Scoliosis specific strengthening and stretching exercises for a home based program, manual therapy for pain relief and optimising spinal mobility, sent for a Scoliosis brace (if appropriate), and regularly monitored.
It is essential that we prevent worsening of the spine, and do everything we can to correct it while you/ your child is young and flexible enough.
If you/ your child needs to have corrective surgery for Scoliosis, we can offer pre-hab and rehabilitation programs to optimise the outcomes of the surgery and stabilise the spine.
If you have any more questions about Scoliosis and our role as Physiotherapists, please don’t hesitate to call us at Aushealth on 9905 0048 and speak to one of our qualified Physiotherapists.