This article follows on from our previous post where we introduced what scoliosis is and shared briefly how we manage scoliosis here at Spinefit. In this article, we want to share how we use active rehabilitation and physiotherapy to manage scoliosis. This is an alternative for individuals who do not want to undergo invasive surgery and whose scoliotic curve is still within the manageable range. However, there may be instances where spinal bracing may be recommended in addition to an individuals’ overall programme should their scoliotic curve be severe.
At Spinefit we promote FOUR (4) phases of active rehabilitation and physiotherapy to help with the management of an individuals’ scoliosis. These four phases are:
PHASE 1: Injury/Pain Alleviation
Each individual who has scoliosis is unique and their degree of scoliotic curve varies. As such, not everyone with scoliosis will experience pain or discomfort. However, even if an individual does not experience any pain or discomfort, the treatments and programmes we recommend can still be beneficial towards better management of scoliosis.
These treatments may include a combination of chiropractic adjustments, manual therapy to release tight muscles, supportive postural taping, hot/cold pack application, passive stretching and also postural correction exercises. Of course, depending on the severity of the condition, the combination of treatments will vary and this is usually determined after the initial consultation with our team of chiropractic doctors and rehab specialists.
PHASE 2: Recovering/Rectifying Imbalances (Stretching and Strengthening)
When an individuals’ condition stabilises, the team will then begin to focus on regaining the flexibility of the spine. In order to get the spine flexible again, the individual would undergo a series of active rehabilitation exercises to help stretching out and strengthening the weak muscles. Muscle stretching and strengthening is important at this stage as the muscles surrounding the spine are often tight and weak. These muscle imbalances are common in individuals who have scoliosis.
The following diagram below shows the common muscle imbalances in an “S” shaped scoliotic curve. Green signifies weaker muscles whereas Red signifies tight muscles.
PHASE 3: Restoring Full Function
At this stage, we will shift the focus to restoring the individuals’ range of motion in their spine, muscle length, endurance to their fitness and also improve the stability in their core. The active rehabilitation exercises will be tailored accordingly and the rehab specialist will work together with the individual to understand their personal goals from here on. For some, it may be to return back to full-time employment while for some it would be to return to their sporting interests.
The progression to this phase would be taken at the individual’s own pace. We understand that for some, time commitment can be an issue hence for some the recovery process may take longer than expected. Our team is trained to work alongside with you to progress or regress where necessary while still achieving the intended results.
PHASE 4: Performance
For those individuals who want more, our rehab specialists will tailor an active rehabilitation programme that will complement their sporting interests. At this phase, the programme will suit individuals who are already active in sports, regularly attend the gym or who have progressed through the previous three phases. We do have a few existing practice members who have progressed to this phase as part of their active commitment towards managing their scoliosis. It is always such a joy for the team to see the big improvements they have made and also hear of their sporting achievements when they come for their sessions!
Some notable professional athletes who have defied the odds even though they have been diagnosed with scoliosis include multiple Olympic Gold medal winner, Usain Bolt and Australian swimmer, Jessica Ashwood who won a Gold at the recent 2016 Rio Olympics! They are excellent examples of individuals who have not allowed their scoliosis to come between them and their goals (gold!).
If you find that you would like more information on how our active rehab and physiotherapy can help to manage your scoliosis or would like to know what combination of treatments you might need, make an initial consultation with our team of doctors. Our team would be able to assess the severity of your condition and make the necessary recommendations based on the outcome of the initial consultation.
To make your initial consultation, you may contact us during our clinic opening hours on 03-64193918 or drop us an email here. We look forward to meeting you soon and work with you closely in actively managing your scoliosis!