The curvature of our spine and scoliosis treatment is essential to keep us in balance, carry weights on our backs, walk correctly and perform movements. However, there are some people who suffer from a deviation in this curvature, causing pain and discomfort when carrying out activities. Therefore, it is vital to know what scoliosis consists of.
Would you like to discover what the symptoms, causes and treatment of scoliosis are? Stay to read this post, we show you everything you need to know below.
- 1 What is scoliosis?
- 2 Types of Scoliosis
- 3 What are the causes of this pathology?
- 4 What is the treatment of scoliosis?
- 5 When can we say that the solution is surgery?
- 6 Watch video for scoliosis treatment with surgery
- 7 Grade 1 Scoliosis Treatment
- 8 Grade 2 Scoliosis Treatment
- 9 Grade 3 Scoliosis Treatment
- 10 Grade 4 Scoliosis Treatment
- 11 Routines before scoliosis treatment exercises:
- 12 Large checklist of exercises for scoliosis treatment
- 13 Scoliosis Treatment FAQs
- 14 References
What is scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a problem that involves the lateral deviation of the spine, with an alteration in the alignment of the vertebrae of the spine.
In this way, individuals suffering from scoliosis, instead of having the natural curvatures of the spine, have large deviations in the form of an “S” or a “C”.
Furthermore, based on where the deviation occurs, we can distinguish between lumbar scoliosis (when it is observed in the lower part of the back), dorsal scoliosis (if it occurs in the upper region of the spine) or dorsolumbar scoliosis (when between the middle and lower back).
Types of Scoliosis
Depending on the etiology or origin, we can distinguish the following types of scoliosis:
- Congenital scoliosis: caused by spinal malformations from birth.
- Neuromuscular scoliosis: due to primary neurological or muscular disorders, which cause loss of control of the trunk due to weakness or paralysis.
- Syndromic scoliosis: Appearance in certain diseases.
- Scoliosis due to other causes: such as the appearance of the deformity with tumors or infection.
- Idiopathic scoliosis: The term “idiopathic” means that the cause of this disorder is unknown (in the vast majority of cases).
In turn, idiopathic scoliosis can be classified according to the age at which it manifests:
- Infantile idiopathic scoliosis: Before 3 years. Many resolve spontaneously. With relative frequency thoracic curves to the left.
- Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis: Between 3 and 10 years. Most are thoracic curves to the right.
- Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: It is the most common type. It occurs between 10 years and skeletal maturity and in most cases in women. Greater progression the lower the age.
- Scoliosis in adults: or degenerative
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The symptoms that can warn us of the presence of scoliosis are, mainly, perceptible to the eye. Thus, when we look from behind at a person with this pathology, we do not visualize a straight back, but rather we notice displaced of their spine.
Similarly, among its symptoms we find uneven shoulders, a misaligned hip, one leg shorter than the other or a greater pronunciation of one of the shoulder blades.
There are also other indications such as spinal pain, fatigue and the feeling of having a weight on the back.
What are the causes of this pathology?
To date, the causes of the most frequent type of scoliosis among the population are not known. What has been determined is that the hereditary component has a notable influence, with a greater probability of suffering from this disease if someone in our family environment has suffered from it.
On the other hand, some types of scoliosis have occurred due to birth defects, spinal injuries or infections, and neuromuscular conditions. It’s worth noting that there are several risk factors for the development of this disease.
Here we find age, since during puberty there are more cases of scoliosis and sex, as women are much more prone to its condition.
What is the treatment of scoliosis?
The treatment of scoliosis will depend on the degree and age of the patient. If the scoliosis is in the initial phase and the deviation is slight, the treatment of the scoliosis consists of physiotherapy exercises to strengthen the muscles and correct the posture of the body and the spine.
If the curvature is between 20 and 40 degrees, treatment will consist of wearing a back brace and physical therapy. In the case of scoliosis in children, it may be advisable to use a Kallabis Headgear such as the Orliman Headgear. The purpose of the Kallabis Headgear is to maintain the curvature so that it does not get worse as you grow. The advantages offered by this harness are that it is made of soft and easily adaptable material and allows walking and standing. So the child does not notice the discomfort of wearing a corset. It is especially recommended for infant scoliosis.
In this case, to correct the wrong attitude with the child, the physiotherapist must start performing physiotherapy exercises for scoliosis treatment in children, if it appears at a very early age, can worsen the prognosis, because growth tends to increase the inclination of the spine. That is why it is important to start treatment for scoliosis as soon as possible.
When can we say that the solution is surgery?
In the case of a very marked deviation, the solution is surgery. This corrects the deviation and stabilizes the spine in the correct anatomical posture. After surgery, the physiotherapist should begin physical therapy exercises to restore mobility and improve muscle strength.
Correcting the deviation of the spine and trying to prevent it from going further is essential to avoid other physical and psychological problems. Scoliosis can cause pain in other joints such as the hips and legs, as well as decreased lung capacity and chronic fatigue. In addition, the deformity of the back and the appearance of a hump often cause psychological problems in children. Treating it in time is essential to avoid them.
Watch video for scoliosis treatment with surgery
Grade 1 Scoliosis Treatment
Grade 1 scoliosis is visually almost imperceptible, it is characterized by a slight curvature. In a reclining state, the spine is in the correct shape. Symptoms of pathology are considered:
- Fatigue after long walks.
- Asymmetry, for example, the location of the shoulders at different heights.
Such a degree is susceptible to correction. For the treatment of grade 1 thoracic scoliosis, conservative methods are used to strengthen and correct the position of the spine, such as:
- Physical Culture.
The most effective exercises for treating grade 1 scoliosis are performed on a flat surface:
- standing on all fours, bend and arch your back, “cat” and “camel” pose;
- lie on your back, put your feet on the floor, raise and lower your pelvis, shifting your spine vertically;
- in the same position, turn the body and legs in different directions.
Yoga and pilates give good results in solving this problem. Static exercises strengthen exactly the muscles of the body on which a person’s posture depends.
For the treatment of scoliosis, it is important to select asymmetric movements that help move the spine in the right direction and straighten it. Of all the variety of exercises, you need to choose those intended for working with your own weight, without additional loads. The curved spine does not respond well to force loads, to work with dumbbells or bars.
Such methods of treatment of spinal scoliosis of degree 1 have a positive effect on the condition of the spine, with their help, you can correct and improve posture, strengthen the back muscles.
In our clinic in Kiev qualified specialists work. They will help develop an individual set of scoliosis exercises for maximum effect. If the degree of the disease is not critical, then treatment of scoliosis in adults can also be successful at home.
Grade 2 Scoliosis Treatment
At pathology grade 2, the angle of inclination of the spine increases to 25 degrees. Patients develop pain in the back, and the asymmetry of the shoulder blades becomes visible from the outside. If you don’t start treatment for the disease at this stage, it can progress to a more serious stage 3.
Treatment methods for grade 2 scoliosis include:
- respiratory gymnastics;
- physiotherapy treatments;
- SFT, which aims to strengthen the back muscles and correct the position of the spine;
- Wearing a custom brace for scoliosis treatment and posture adjustment;
- Professional massage and manual exposure to eliminate muscle imbalance.
With hard work and regular training for about a year, you can achieve tangible results.
Recommended exercises for the treatment of grade 2 scoliosis:
- Leaning against the wall, give your back the correct position and try to walk smoothly, without changing the angle of inclination;
- Perform squats with your arms extended forward and a flat back;
- Maintain balance by balancing on one leg;
- Perform exercises such as, “scissors”, “cat” and different types of twisting.
It is not necessary to independently develop a set of exercises. It is better to consult a specialist who takes into account all physiological needs.
The sooner treatment for grade 2 spinal scoliosis is started, the better. Sign up for a consultation at our center in Kiev for the treatment of scoliosis.
Grade 3 Scoliosis Treatment
In grade 3 scoliosis, the curvature is noticeable from the side (it can reach 80 degrees) and requires a serious approach to treatment. Such a pathology rarely develops in children, since their spine is flexible enough to take the wrong position. The main task of therapy is to stop the progression of the pathology and correct the position of the spine.
Scoliosis treatment methods include:
- use of flags;
- treatment procedures;
- electrical muscle stimulation;
- surgical treatment of scoliosis;
- Yoga classes.
Treatment of right-sided scoliosis is easier than left-sided. This is because the sclerotic arch does not have as strong an effect on the cardiovascular system. Surgical intervention is indicated in cases where the curvature progresses or is accompanied by pain.
Grade 4 Scoliosis Treatment
When a degree of curvature of 4 is diagnosed, the spine deviates to an angle of more than 80 degrees. This is noticeable not only on radiography, but also with the naked eye. In the absence of treatment for such scoliosis in children, their growth stops.
In both children and adults can occur:
- Hernial formations.
- Joint pain leading to limited mobility.
Spinal scoliosis without treatment significantly affects the quality of life, can cause neurosis and depression.
The goal of treatment for grade 4 scoliosis is to reduce the bending of the spine, strengthen the muscles. The way for scoliosis treatment is through surgery. Auxiliary methods include massage, manual therapy, the use of an individual corset.
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The treatments must have an initial, main and final part, monitoring correct posture and including breathing exercises.
Scoliosis modeling exercises
- Starting position to perform a posture correction (straight trunk position); in prone position, place sandbag in segments rotated ventrally (left side of pelvis, right side of chest, left shoulder)
- Contact breathing on the concavities in the dorsal part of the thorax, combined with massage: Inspire- defeat- exhale- hold the position- keep breathing gently.
- DP in correction position (unrotate the trunk), move the right arm and left leg away from the body – hold, turn the left arm out and lift it, stretch the scapula towards the spine, turn the right leg out and lift it slightly
Strengthening and stretching exercises for scoliosis
- Relaxation of the muscles: the spine in the Mohammedan position with knees at 90°; The technician’s hands are placed parallel to the vertebrae and help the patient to stretch with a gentle push, accentuating the concave side of the arm.
- On your knees, sitting on your heels, body leaning forward, active correction of incorrect posture by concentric work on the convexity and eccentric work on the concavity
- As above, the technician fixes the pelvis, lateral flexion towards the convex side, the position of the arms indifferently.
Suspension exercises for scoliosis
- Hanging from the front of the trellis, with the feet slightly apart on the lower bar, with a symmetrical or asymmetrical grip, a global stretch of the spine is produced
- Same as above, but with an asymmetrical grip, depending on the scoliosis, flexes the hips and knees and separates the legs, brings the convex side closer and accentuates the left side.
- Hanging from the concave side, the right leg moves down and back and the arm up and down in external rotation, forming 2 crossed diagonals
Mobilizing exercises for scoliosis
- Sitting on the floor with legs crossed, next to 2 pikes, the weight of the body is transferred to the concave side, with the help of the pikes, stretching in the cranial direction, producing spinal rotation.
- 4-point position in front of the trellis, the arm of the concave side is stretched in the cranial direction, can support the hand; the leg on the convex side is stretched caudally, the toe can contact the ground.
Rotary breathing exercises
Dosage: Exercises should start with 4-5 repetitions. Gradually increasing repetitions until reaching 15-20, starting a new cycle of 8 repetitions and increasing their complexity.
The patient is trained to perceive the expansion in his concave areas. Once he becomes aware of said expansion, he is instructed to imaginatively break down the expansion movement in the lateral-cranial and dorsal-cranial corrective directions (referring to the sunken areas on the patient’s back).
The corrective expansion of the concave areas and the control of the expansion in the convex ones, due to asymmetrical rib-abdominal muscle tensions, reinforce in the patient the perception of distortion at the spinal level. This correction is facilitated in certain starting positions, such as the supine position, by the action of wedge-shaped corrective bags.
Routines before scoliosis treatment exercises:
If you have the green light and need to start getting your scoliosis pain under control, there are many exercises that are designed to help you achieve that goal:
Leg and Arm Extensions:
Creates strength to your arms and legs. Repeat three sets of 10, three times a week.
This creates strength to your lower and upper back with the help of a stability ball and a balancing act that you hold for a count of five and repeated for a set of 10, three times a week.
Strengthens the triceps with some minor weight lifting and repeated for three sets of 10.
Strengthens abdominals and lower back with the aid of some light hand weights. You should do this exercise at least three times a week.
This exercise for scoliosis is similar to the flexion raise, only this exercise you can do while standing targets and strengthens the arms and shoulders.
This exercise also strengthens the arms and shoulders, and you can also do it while standing and using light hand weights.
This exercise works it all, abdominals, lower and upper back, shoulders and upper arms.
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Large checklist of exercises for scoliosis treatment
Following is a large checklist of exercises for scoliosis treatment, many of which you can do at home. We will explore these exercises in greater deal with future articles, but this will give you a good idea of what you can do to strengthen and stretch your back.
Abdominal Muscle Exercises
Believe it or not, working your abdominal muscles can help you to alleviate back pain. This area is connected to the pelvic and stomach muscles that help support the back:
- Abdominal tightening
- Backwards bend
- Bridge building
- Elbow raise
- Leg extender
- Lower abdominal exercise
- Partial curl-ups
Back Stretching Exercises
There are a variety of exercises you can do to stretch the back. You can do many of these exercises from a lying position, but you should use a floor mat when you are doing floor exercises:
- Back and side stretch
- Knee cross-stretch
- Knee to chest
- Pelvic tilt
- Shoulder, back and hip relaxer
- Triceps, shoulder and waist stretch
- Upper body stretch
Back Strengthening Exercises
Exercises that strengthen the back and the stomach can also diminish the pain from scoliosis. Of course, you do not want to continue any exercises that cause you any discomfort:
- Arm reach
- The cat and the crow
- Cat stretch
- Cow stretch
- The plank
- Pelvic lift
- Wall slide
Upper Back Exercise
Although many people tend to feel pain in the lower back, it is important to work the entire back:
- Arm raise
- Chin drop
- Shoulder blade squeeze
- Upper back and arm stretch
Fitness regimens such as yoga and Pilates may seem to be a trend among new age artsy types, but many of the stretches and exercises can be very beneficial to you if you suffer from scoliosis. Of course, you need to start with the basic exercises.
- Cat stretch
- Cow stretch
- Head to knee stretch
- Leg raise sideways
- Arm circles
- Back warm-up
- Hip roll
- Leg lift
- Shoulder warm-up
Scoliosis Treatment FAQs
Can scoliosis cause me pain?
During childhood, adolescence, and until bone maturity, scoliosis develops painlessly. In adulthood and aging, scoliosis can cause pain and dysfunction.
What is the Cobb angle?
It is a measurement made on a patient’s radiograph to determine the tilt between the upper and lower border vertebrae that defines the curve. The Cobb angle is an angle of vertebral inclination.
What is Risser’s sign?
It is a skeletal maturity measurement in which the stage of ossification of the iliac crest is measured using an X-ray. The values range from 0 when the ossifying nucleus of the iliac crest is not detected, with a greater risk of scoliosis formation and aggravation, to 5 when the iliac crest is completely ossified, with a decreased risk of advancement.
What sports can I do to improve scoliosis?
The treatment of scoliosis is not based on any sports activity, nor does swimming reduce the curve or other sports. It is important for the patient with scoliosis to play sports to improve muscle tone, cardio-respiratory activity and the benefits of any sport.
As noted during this post about the causes, symptoms and treatment of scoliosis, if we think we may be suffering from this disease, we should go to a specialist who will analyze our spinal conditions and determine the best solution for the current scoliosis.
If you would like to go to a consultation with Dr. Kyrillos to be able to explain your symptoms and, thus, be able to receive the most appropriate diagnosis for your spinal problem, do not hesitate to contact us through the Facebook. I do take care of your spine!
- The changing pattern of scoliosis treatment due to effective screening.
- Acute neurological complications in the treatment of scoliosis. A report of the Scoliosis Research Society.
- The treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) according to present evidence. A systematic review.
- Results of operative treatment of idiopathic scoliosis in adults.