Concerned about Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a condition of the spine which causes it to form an “S” or “C” shape when viewed behind. Many people have mild Scoliosis (less than 20 degrees) and experience no issues as a result. As Scoliotic curves get bigger, however, there can be negative impacts to health. In younger people and many seniors, Scoliosis tends to progress over time – becoming worse if not treated.
Untreated, Scoliosis can lead to physical deformity, pain, difficulty with exercising and mobility and in severe cases can impact the functioning of the vital organs.
About 2 – 3% of all adolescents will develop Scoliosis (that’s approximately one in each class at school), with the majority of cases developing in those between 11 and 14 years of age. Research indicates that seven out of ten children with this condition will worsen and require active treatment – this is especially the case for those who develop Scoliosis as a Juvenile, in which case curves almost never resolve without treatment.
Scoliosis also commonly impacts older individuals – the prevalence of scoliosis increases with age, so that roughly 30% of the population over 60 have an adult scoliosis
While the young and the old are the main groups who seek Scoliosis treatment, it’s also true that larger curves (approximately 30 degrees or more) which are carried into adulthood tend to progress throughout life – about 1 degree per year is a commonly cited figure.
Can Scoliosis be treated?
In the UK, there is no national Screening programme for Scoliosis – For decades, it’s been thought that surgery was the only effective treatment for Scoliosis, hence screening to detect the condition early seemed to have little value.
Until recently, this has been a reasonable argument – but recent research and developments in the field mean that today there are far more options for scoliosis sufferers. With modern technology, we’re now able to help many patients overcome scoliosis without ever thinking about surgery.
While many older studies, dating back as far as the 1940’s hold that non-surgical treatment is not possible, modern, large-scale studies show otherwise. The landmark BRAiST study in 2013 showed that 58% of untreated scoliosis patients had curves greater than 50° at skeletal maturity, while only 25% of patients treated with a modern scoliosis brace reached curves over 50°.
In older adults, it’s usually not possible to reduce Scoliosis, however, research shows that even part-time bracing in adults significantly reduces the progression of Scoliotic curvatures and improves the quality of life as well as reducing chronic pain from Scoliosis.
At the UK Scoliosis Clinic, we’re pioneering non-surgical treatment for Scoliosis in partnership with ScoliCare, the organisation behind ScoliBrace – quite possibly the best non-surgical treatment for Scoliosis Currently available.