Physical Therapy for Scoliosis at Body Back-Up
We are a leading osteopathic clinic in West London and Maidenhead. We are scoliosis specialists and offer physical therapy to aid with the management of scoliosis, reduction of pain and increased mobility.
Body Back-Up was founded by Robin Lansman, a past president of the Institute of Osteopathy and musculoskeletal expert who often gives advice on BBC TV and radio. We also operate a back pain clinic, and also offer treatment that can help with other spinal issues such as sciatica, kyphosis and lordosis.
As well as offering expert physical therapy, we can also help you on professional advice on living with your condition – for example the best mattress and chairs to help your scoliosis – and self-treatment such as bespoke exercises and stretches to help relieve your pain, and to reverse or slow down the progression of your scoliosis where possible to do so.
We regularly attend Continuing Professional Development and ensure that the whole team is up-to-date with the latest developments and treatments for spinal conditions. At our London clinic we work closely with the medical staff at Doctor Today, allowing us preferential access to services such as blood tests and x-rays where necessary.
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis means a curvature of the spine to one side. Medically the curve must be 10 degrees or greater to be diagnosed as scoliosis. Scoliosis may cause a noticeable curvature of the spine, or an unevenness of the shoulders or hips, or it may be imperceptible.
There are typically considered to be two types of scoliosis, idiopathic and degenerative. Idiopathic scoliosis generally occurs in adolescents and has no particular cause. Treatment for idiopathic scoliosis focuses on trying to ensure the condition does not progress further into adult life.
The other type of scoliosis is degenerative scoliosis. With age, it is natural for degeneration to occur in the disks and vertebrae in the spine. Where this degeneration occurs more on one side of the spine than the other it can cause the spine to curve to one side, causing a scoliosis. This may lead to other problems such as generalised back pain, or sciatica.
There is also a third type of scoliosis, functional scoliosis. This occurs when the underlying problem is not in the spine itself but elsewhere in the body, causing an imbalance on one side. For example, a problem in the hip, or knee such as sciatica might cause a patient to lean to one side. The spine twists the other way to compensate, over time causing a scoliosis. Functional scolioses are the ones most typically treated by osteopaths, who are experts at identifying and diagnosing underlying musculoskeletal issues.
How is Scoliosis Treated?
Appropriate treatment for scoliosis depends on the type and severity of the problem.
In idiopathic scoliosis in teens, the focus is on trying to ensure the condition does not worsen as the patient develops into adulthood. In more serious cases a doctor will prescribe a scoliosis brace, to be worn either at night or all the time, or in more extreme cases surgery might be required. Whilst not treating the condition directly, physical therapy may help in the management of idiopathic scoliosis, reducing pain and the progression of the scoliosis.
In degenerative scoliosis the scoliosis is unlikely to worsen of its own accord as it is with idiopathic scoliosis, and is unlikely to develop into such an acute curvature. The focus of treatment is to relieve any pain caused by the condition and to restore strength and flexibility which may have been lost. Osteopathy can help in realigning the spine, and other parts of the musculoskeletal system which may have begun compensating for the scoliosis by working abnormally, and help with building strength and flexibility in both the spine and other affected areas. Exercise is also popular to increase mobility and function, as is aquatherapy.
Since functional scoliosis is caused by an underlying musculoskeletal issue, physical therapy is a natural choice for its treatment. Many people will seek out an osteopath, chiropractor, massage therapist or other specialist to treat their condition. Osteopaths can identify, diagnose and treat the underlying problem which has caused the scoliosis to develop. This can help to bring the spine back into alignment, reducing the scoliosis and promoting normal function, in turn relieving pain and allowing the development of greater strength and flexibility.
Our Approach to Scoliosis Treatment
We offer an individualised physical therapy approach to managing your scoliosis. Our osteopaths are experts in working with spinal conditions, and in improving the alignment of the pelvis and spine. We are scoliosis specialists who work with both adolescents, as part of their scoliosis management programme, and adults who are suffering from a functional scoliosis or want to prevent a degenerative scoliosis from being a source of pain or loss of flexibility. You can learn more about Body Back-Up on our about us page.
Osteopathy is a hands-on therapy that works by manipulating the muscles and joints in the body to both prevent and treat problems. Osteopathy is also a holistic treatment, which looks at the correct and healthy function of your body as a whole, and can identify underlying causes and aggravating factors for your scoliosis where appropriate. Osteopaths are Allied Health Professionals who also work in musculoskeletal departments of the NHS, and are registered with the General Osteopathic Council and Institute of Osteopathy.
Every case is different and we will discuss the best course of treatment for you at your first appointment at Body Back-Up. This will typically include osteopathy, and strength and conditioning exercises where appropriate. We will monitor changes as we treat the spine and muscles over time. Depending on the nature and type of your scoliosis, you may simply require several treatment sessions to help ease the pain from an uneven spine, or you may require longer-term management.
We pride ourselves on our 6-step treatment programme and in ensuring you are involved and listened-to at every stage of your treatment. We will also offer expert advice on living with your condition, including practicalities such as the best mattress or chair to use to avoid pain or worsening your condition. Our West Hampstead and Maidenhead clinics are easily accessible and you can make appointments quickly and easily online, or start with an online video assessment.
Scoliosis Associations and Resources
You may find these other resources useful for further reading and scoliosis support:
The Scoliosis Association UK provides vital support and information to people with scoliosis.
The Scoliosis Research Society also provide advice to scoliosis sufferers
Information on scoliosis from Spine Health
Teens Health information on scoliosis in children
OrthInfo information on scoliosis in children and adolescents
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