The spine of someone with Scoliosis may look more like an ‘S’ shape than the typical straight line. Up to 2% of individuals may have some form of scoliosis but a mere 10% of those are severe. These spinal curves, presenting mostly in adolescence, are usually more prominent where the upper back meets the lower back. Screening the spine for Scoliosis would usually be done between 11 and 14 years of age.
What are the symptoms of Scoliosis?
If any of the following are present in children under the age of 8, parents should be alerted to the possibility of Scoliosis:
What causes Scoliosis?
Although it is not always caused by poor posture, Scoliosis can progress to a more sever curvature through poor posture or weak spinal muscles.
There are three primary types of Scoliosis, which are not necessarily isolated and one can have a combination of all three:
Structural Scoliosis occurs spontaneously mostly in woman and its cause is not always known. There is a false belief that there is nothing a Physiotherapist can do for Structural Scoliosis. The effects of structural scoliosis can largely be treated and in fact, if left untreated the curvature of the spine can regress and develop into an additional Functional Scoliosis.
Functional Scoliosis can develop at any age, as a result of an injury response or excessive activity where an imbalanced motion of the spine occurs as in tennis or golf. Here the curvature is a result of the overuse of muscles on one side of the spine and the underuse of muscles on the other side. This too can be treated by a Physiotherapist and can typically be reversed completely.
Pathology related Scoliosis is usually predisposed by a neurological condition such as Muscular dystrophy, or in response to a severe injury to the spinal cord, like those which result in Quadriplegia. Maintaining optimal function is still of utmost importance to preserve long-term function for individuals suffering from these debilitating conditions but we acknowledge that it will be a long-term management plan rather than a quick resolution.
What is my best course of action?
Contact your Physiotherapist who, in the course of a clinical examination, will access the spine, shoulders, rib cage, pelvis, legs and feet for abnormalities, asymmetry and weakness. X-rays will be recommended if a significant Scoliosis is detected but this usually not needed.
A program of pain relief, strengthening and stretching, restoring full function and preventing a regression of the curvature of the spine will be embarked on. Scoliosis can be managed and often reversed, so book a consultation and let us help you again optimal function and comfort as soon as possible.
Shoulder and Arm
Elbow and Forearm
Wrist and Hand
Upper Back and Chest
Hip and Thigh
Knee and Leg
Ankle and Foot
082 334 9028
Valley Centre Offices
396 Jan Smuts Avenue
(Convenient parking off Marian Road, behind the centre, up the ramp)
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