Scoliosis Physiotherapy is the medical term for the curvature of the spine.
Scoliosis Physiotherapy occurs in approximately 2% of women and less than 1/2% of men. It usually starts in the early teens or pre-teens and may gradually progress as rapid growth occurs. Once rapid growth (puberty) is over then mild curves often do not change while severe curves nearly always progress.
There is a fine line between the term scoliosis and a very mild curve in a normal spine. Curves are measured in degrees. Persons with a curve of ten degrees or less are often thought to have just an asymmetry of the spine – but in children who end up with significant curves we have to consider that they started with a straight spine so even a ten degree curve can progress to a fifty degree curve and a significant deformity, if there is enough growing time remaining. Persons with curves measuring less than thirty degrees entering adulthood are considered having a mild curve while those over 60 degrees are considered severe.
The treatment options depend on the severity and age of the person. We can, of course, make up a long list of scoliosis physiotherapy treatment in India; only a few have actually been shown to affect the outcome of scoliosis.
While exercise is beneficial to maintaining good muscle tone and a healthier heart and lungs, there is no evidence that it affects one way or the other, the curve progression. It may help in reducing discomfort.
Option 1. Do nothing. The decision to do nothing may be a reasonable decision depending on the age of the person and the predicted outcome. If the person is a teen or pre-teen and the prediction is that this curve will worsen then doing nothing may not be appropriate. Increasing curves usually give an increase in the deformity. That is the chest twists throwing the shoulder blade off in back causing a rib hump and the chest in front rotates as well causing unevenness to the breasts. At the same time, the hips at the waist become more uneven. So doing nothing in the teen years may be disastrous.
On the other hand, if the person has reached maturity (physical at least!) then if the curve is mild, below forty degrees, it may not increase any more. So not doing anything may be okay.
Option 2. Wear a brace. Bracing has been shown to be an effective method to prevent curves from getting worse. From a practical aspect though this treatment is reserved for children and adolescents in whom the prediction of a rapid increase in the curve needs to be thwarted. A brace worn 16 or more hours per day has been shown to be effective in preventing 90% or more of the curves from getting worse. Unfortunately, a brace worn 23 hours per day and worn properly does not guarantee that the curve will not continue to increase. Still, in curves that are mild i.e. between 20 and 35 degrees a brace may be quite effective.
In adults, the curve may progress slowly over the years, bracing is not a practical solution to prevent curves from increasing. Mild curves under 30 degrees do not usually progress; severe curves over 60 degrees usually progress and scoliosis physiotherapy treatment between 30 and 60 degrees may or may not progress.
It must be remembered that a brace for a teenager is not an easy treatment. The brace is hot, hard, uncomfortable, and ugly and while it normally can’t be seen under the clothes definitely makes a teenager more self-conscious.