Scoliosis is a medical condition that results in an abnormal curvature of the spine. It can affect people of all ages, but it is most commonly diagnosed in children and adolescents. There are different types of scoliosis, including:
What are the early signs of scoliosis?
The signs and symptoms of scoliosis can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some common signs and symptoms of scoliosis include:
It is important to note that scoliosis can develop slowly, and in some cases, children may not experience any noticeable signs or symptoms. If scoliosis is suspected, further evaluation by a healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist is highly recommended.
What does the current research say?
There is ongoing research in the field of paediatric scoliosis management aimed at improving treatment outcomes and reducing the need for surgical intervention. Some common themes throughout the research include early detection and screening and quality of life. Early detection and screening are important for identifying scoliosis in children at an early stage when it is easier to manage. Researchers are exploring new screening methods and techniques that can be used to detect scoliosis earlier, such as 3D imaging and artificial intelligence algorithms.
Non-surgical interventions such as physiotherapy, bracing and low tone compression garments have been used for many years for managing scoliosis in children. Physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercises (PSSE) have been found effective in avoiding bracing and halting the progression of curvature in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).
Postural care has progressed significantly in the last decade. It is a way of preserving and re-establishing body shape for people with movement difficulties. The principles of posture care are about ensuring that everybody with movement difficulties has their body shape protected over a 24-hour period, in all settings including when sleeping, sitting in a chair or standing.
Physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercises (PSSE) and interventions are effective treatment options for children with scoliosis, especially for those with mild to moderate curvature. Physiotherapy aims to improve spinal alignment, mobility, and strength through a range of exercises and techniques.
What type of physio can help children with scoliosis?
Some of the physiotherapy interventions used for children with scoliosis include:
It is important to note that the effectiveness of physiotherapy interventions may vary depending on the severity and type of scoliosis. Therefore, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist, to undergo an extensive assessment and determine the most appropriate treatment plan for each individual case.
Negrini, S., Donzelli, S., Negrini, A., Parzini, S., Romano, M., & Zaina, F. (2019). Specific exercises reduce the need for bracing in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis: A practical clinical trial. Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, 62(2), 69–76. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rehab.2018.07.010
Improving the Health and Wellbeing - Commissioning guide for CCGs. (n.d.). NDTi. https://www.ndti.org.uk/resources/improving-the-health-and-wellbeing