Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine, where the spine goes sideways instead of being in correct alignment. It is most often diagnosed in otherwise healthy adolescents just before puberty as well as in those with other health conditions, such as cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis. For severe cases of scoliosis, wearing a brace or undergoing corrective surgery may be required. In addition to, or instead of, these measures, physical therapy can be beneficial even for mild cases of scoliosis. Here are some of the ways that physical therapy can help with scoliosis.
Learning Anti-Scoliosis Postures
Your physical therapist will teach you anti-scoliosis postures that you can use to help you reduce the pain associated with scoliosis. These are postures that you can practice in your everyday life as you go through your day. While these won’t straighten the spine, they can improve your overall posture and help you feel better.
Retraining the Brain and Muscles
Your physical therapist will help you through specific exercises to help retrain your brain and muscles to adapt to the curvature in your back. The exercises work to improve the communication between your brain and back muscles. This does not make the spine straighter, but it adapts the body to the curvature to reduce the impact and any pain.
Performing Mirror Image Exercises
Mirror image exercises can help to improve alignment and symmetry in your body. These exercises can be performed anywhere. Typically it takes at least several months to see results from mirror image exercises, but these activities can help to strengthen and straighten your back.
Doing Involuntary Exercise with Specialized Equipment
Involuntary exercises could help to stop the progression of scoliosis. Involuntary exercises use your body’s automatic reactions to stimulus, such as the brain’s reaction to gravity. This process uses repetition and weight bearing activities to change how you balance on your own feet.
Using the Schroth Method
The Schroth Method has become a popular physical therapy method for treating scoliosis. It includes an individualized exercise program that gradually brings the spine from a curved to a natural position. The exercises de-rotate, stabilize, and elongate the spine to achieve real results.
For mild to moderate cases of scoliosis, physical therapy might be the best route of treatment. If surgery is needed, physical therapy can be an essential part of recovery. It is important to understand what treatment options are available if you’ve been diagnosed with scoliosis. Your physician may recommend physical therapy during your diagnosis. If not, be sure to ask if physical therapy could help.
Founded by physical therapy innovator Dr. Joseph Simon, the Manhattan Physical Therapy and Pain Center is a leader in pain relief and injury recovery conveniently located in Midtown New York City. We offer several dedicated programs for different conditions, along with the latest innovations in physical therapy for all. If you are ready for the latest treatments for your pain or injury, we invite you to call us today at (212) 213-3480 to learn how we can help.