Our spine naturally has curves. Scoliosis is a common, dysfunctional 3-dimensional curvature of the spine. These curves tend to change the most during adolescence, but they can continue to slowly progress throughout the lifespan, resulting in increased spinal curves and symptoms. The primary goal of physical therapy is to aid in slowing spinal curve progression. This is achieved by educating patients on how to modify daily activity to reduce stress on the spine, through manual therapy for improved spinal mobility, and through exercise to maintain corrections.
A very useful approach to scoliosis management is through Schroth exercises that address the patient’s unique curvature in 3 dimensions. Additional types of exercise include dynamic neuromuscular stabilization and strengthening of specific deficits. Although back pain is not typical for juveniles and adolescents, it becomes more prevalent in adulthood. Other common scoliosis-related issues that physical therapy can address include cervicogenic dizziness and headaches, shoulder impingement, back and foot pain.
Management of scoliosis and its associated conditions and symptoms can be a lifelong process. The Schroth approach has proven to be a very useful strategy to control symptoms and slow spinal changes at all ages.
Our very own Jamie Morris is certified in Scoliosis Management and Exercise (ISST) through International Schroth 3D Scoliosis Therapy.