by Meghan O. Haus, DPT, January 23, 2017
Scoliosis is a condition that affects that shape of an individual's spine. It is characterized by bending and rotation of the spine and medical imaging may appear to have an "S" or a "C" shape. Affecting 2-3% of the population it is usually detected in adolescence and is more common in women.
Scoliosis is usually detected by school or pediatrician screenings and will be confirmed with an x-ray. The severity of a curve is defined by the "Cobb angle". There are 4 types of scoliosis: adolescent idiopathic, Congenital, Neuromuscular and Early Onset. With the exceptions of congenital and neuromuscular (in which scoliosis is a side effect of a condition) there is no known cause of scoliosis.
Scoliosis does not always cause pain, however, as the shape of the spine changes the joints and muscles surrounding may be impacted. A person may display uneven shoulder and hip height, an uneven waistline, a feeling of postural imbalance and pain. An adult or child may have difficulty participating in sports and routine daily activities.
The goal of physical therapy for scoliosis is to restore mobility and allow a person to perform activities as they desire with less pain. While physical therapy cannot reverse the curvature of the spine it can address muscle imbalances through stretching and strengthening activities. A physical therapist may also include core strengthening activities to help alleviate stress on the spine, improve posture and allow for better activity participation.
If you or your child has been diagnosed with scoliosis we can help! Please call one of our offices today to schedule an appointment or free consultation!