Tag: scoliosis

How to care for your Scoliosis Brace

Modern Scoliosis braces are designed to be durable and to last for a long time – indeed, if you’re an adult being fitted for a brace, we’d like to think it should last you a lifetime. However, caring for your brace is important, and poor brace care is one of the reasons that they sometimes need to be replaced.

It goes without saying that braces made for children & adolescents do tend to take more wear and tear and often this is OK since most children will go through several braces during treatment – however, wherever possible it’s best to prolong the life of a brace as much as possible, not least to avoid the cost of replacing a brace which was otherwise effective! Here are some tips for good brace care.


Keep the Brace Clean

The first and most important step in caring for a scoliosis brace is to keep it clean. You should clean the brace at least once a week, but more often if it gets sweaty or dirty. Use a mild soap and warm water to clean the brace, making sure to rinse it thoroughly to remove any soap residue. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the brace. Once you’ve cleaned the brace, let it air dry completely before wearing it again.


Store the Brace Properly

When you’re not wearing your scoliosis brace, it’s important to store it properly to prevent damage. Keep the brace in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources as much as possible. Avoid storing the brace in a damp or humid area, as this can cause it to mould or mildew. You may also want to consider using a brace hanger or stand to keep it upright and prevent it from becoming misshapen.


Avoid Extremes Of Temperature

Modern day plastic braces are designed to be light, stiff, not retain heat and be strong. This in turn imposes a challenge in plastic construction, in that the brace may not like being subjected to sudden changes in temperature in going from hot to cold, where the pastic may be weakened. So it would be wise to avoid sitting directly in front of a hot fire and then going out and rolling around in the snow.


Wear the brace correctly

When putting your brace on, make sure you adjust any straps or fittings as directed by your specialist – braces are designed to work properly when set up correctly and are strongest when worn properly. Improperly wearing a brace especially when it is too loose, can reduce its effectiveness and possibly lead to additional wear and tear over time.


Avoid Overexertion

While a scoliosis brace can help support your spine and patients are encouraged to do as many activities as they can whilst wearing it, it’s important to avoid overexertion when wearing it. Activities that involve bending, twisting, or lifting heavy objects can put extra strain on the brace and cause it to wear out faster. If you’re unsure about whether a certain activity is safe to do while wearing your brace, ask your specialist.


Check for Wear and Tear

Regularly inspect your scoliosis brace for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, tears, or fraying. If you notice any damage, stop wearing the brace immediately and consult your specialist. Wearing a damaged brace can be dangerous and may not provide the support your spine needs. Most damage to braces is easy enough to repair – but if left unattended the brace may need to be replaced.


Wear a Bodysock Or Vest Underneath the Brace

Wearing a bodysock, seamless vest or shirt under your brace can help prevent skin irritation, but it also helps to stop your brace from getting sweaty. The garment should be seamless, made from a soft, breathable material, such as cotton or bamboo, and should fit snugly but not be too tight. Avoid wearing synthetic fabrics or clothing with rough seams, as these can rub against the skin and cause irritation.


Have any problems fixed

If any part of your brace is uncomfortable or doesn’t seem to be sitting quite right, get in touch and have it checked out right away. This is especially true if your brace has just been adjusted – even a small nagging issue will make you hesitant to wear the brace and might end up reducing your wear time and treatment effectiveness.


The advantages of Scoliosis Bracing

Scoliosis is a condition characterised by an abnormal curvature of the spine, which can cause pain, discomfort, and even breathing difficulties. Scoliosis bracing is a non-surgical treatment option that involves wearing a brace to stabilise and/or correct the curvature of the spine. While bracing may not be a cure for scoliosis, it has many advantages that make it an effective treatment option. Research shows that the use of modern, custom designed Scoliosis braces can prevent the need for surgery in most cases[1].

While Scoliosis bracing is a fantastic approach to treatment, it does come with some downsides – bracing takes time and commitment, and can be an adjustment especially for a young person. Similarly, while bracing is a cost-effective treatment over a period of time, Scoliosis braces can be expensive and represent a significant up-front cost for some families. The disadvantages however usually outweighed by the benefits!


Bracing Slows the Progression of Scoliosis

The primary advantage of scoliosis bracing is that it can slow down the progression of scoliosis in most instances.[2] When used correctly (and when a modern brace is used) it’s often possible to not only stop the progress of Scoliosis but also to reverse the condition – often by a considerable amount.[3]

Bracing is also more effective than alternative non-surgical approaches, such as exercise based therapy.[4] In children and adolescents with moderate to severe curves, bracing can reduce the likelihood of the curve getting worse and the need for surgery. The brace helps to apply pressure on the spine, which helps to straighten the curvature and prevent it from progressing further.


Bracing is a Non-Invasive Treatment

Another advantage of scoliosis bracing is that it is a non-invasive treatment option. Unlike surgery, which involves cutting into the body and a long recovery time, bracing involves wearing a brace for a set period. The brace is designed to be worn under clothing and is not visible, so it does not need to impact daily life to a considerable extent. This makes bracing an excellent option for those who want to avoid surgery or cannot undergo surgery due to medical reasons.


Bracing Helps Improve Body Image

Scoliosis can cause a visible deformity in the spine, which can impact self-esteem and body image. Bracing can help improve body image by correcting the curvature of the spine, which can make the deformity less noticeable. For children and adolescents who may be self-conscious about their appearance, bracing can help boost confidence and self-esteem in the long term. Similarly, bracing in Adults who suffer pain or postural issues due to Scoliosis can improve movement and therefore independence and confidence.


It Provides Pain Relief

Scoliosis can cause back pain and discomfort, which can impact daily activities. Bracing can help to relieve pain and discomfort by applying pressure on the spine, which can reduce the strain on the back muscles. Bracing is often best combined with a Scoliosis specific exercise plan for this purpose – in combination, the two can lead to improved mobility and a better quality of life.


It’s a Customisable Treatment

Each scoliosis case is unique, and as such, each brace must be tailored to the individual. Early braces lacked the ability to be highly customised, but thanks to modern CAD/CAM techniques, current braces like Scolibrace can be fully customised to fit the unique curvature of the spine, ensuring that the brace is effective in treating scoliosis. This customisable treatment approach means that bracing can be an effective treatment option for a wide range of scoliosis cases.


Is Scoliosis bracing right for me?

Scoliosis bracing is a flexible and dynamic approach to treating scoliosis which is appropriate in many cases – both older and younger people can and do utilise Scoliosis braces to treat Scoliosis and its effects. Similarly, a range of Scoliosis types can be supported with modern braces making it an excellent option for a huge variety of people.

If you would like to learn more about Scoliosis and Scoliosis bracing, why not sign up for our free information series here.




[1]Effects of Bracing in Adolescents with Idiopathic Scoliosis’   [Results of the BrAIST Clinical Trial]
Stuart L. Weinstein, Lori A. Dolan, James G. Wright, and Matthew B. Dobbs, N Engl J Med 2013; 369:1512-1521 October 17, 2013DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1307337


[2]Effects of Bracing in Adolescents with Idiopathic Scoliosis’   [Results of the BrAIST Clinical Trial]
Stuart L. Weinstein, Lori A. Dolan, James G. Wright, and Matthew B. Dobbs, N Engl J Med 2013; 369:1512-1521 October 17, 2013DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1307337


[3] Brace treatment in juvenile idiopathic scoliosis: a prospective study in accordance with the SRS criteria for bracing studies – SOSORT award 2013 winner
Angelo G Aulisa, Vincenzo Guzzanti, Emanuele Marzetti,Marco Giordano, Francesco Falciglia and Lorenzo Aulisa, Scoliosis 2014 9:3 DOI: 10.1186/1748-7161-9-3

[4] Yu Zheng, MD PhD et al. Whether orthotic management and exercise are equally effective to the patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis in Mainland China? – A randomized controlled trial study SPINE: An International Journal for the study of the spine [Publish Ahead of Print]


Disadvantages of Scoliosis-Specific Exercise

While there are several non-surgical treatment options available for scoliosis, scoliosis-specific exercise is a popular method that, like bracing, is gaining popularity. However, like any treatment approach scoliosis specific exercise also has its disadvantages that need to be considered.


Scoliosis Specific Exercise

Scoliosis-specific exercise is a highly specialised area of physiotherapy-based approaches to treating musculoskeletal conditions – unlike normal forms of physiotherapy, it does not focus on symmetrical, therapeutic movements, but rather attempts to use a person’s own body and strength to oppose a Scoliotic curve. Scoliosis-specific exercise – specifically the Schroth method, is the oldest approach to scoliosis treatment and has now been practised for over a hundred years. There’s no question that exercise-based approaches can indeed stop the development of Scoliosis and reduce it in some cases[1] – so it’s well worth considering. However, there are some disadvantages:


Limited impact on larger curves

One of the biggest disadvantages of scoliosis-specific exercise is the lack of scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness in larger curves. Most studies conclude that bracing is a better approach for larger curves and is a faster way to correct scoliosis overall. Some studies do show that exercise approaches may be effective in slowing the growth of a curve[2], but what’s needed (especially in a more significant case) is correction – not just slowing.  That being said, it does seem that combining an exercise-based approach with bracing is more effective than bracing alone.[3]


Requires commitment and consistency

Like any exercise program, Scoliosis specific exercise requires commitment and consistency. The exercises must be performed regularly to see any benefits, and this can be challenging for some patients – especially young children. Some patients may find it difficult to maintain the same level of motivation over a prolonged period. This can be especially challenging for people who are already struggling with chronic pain, making it harder for them to keep up with the exercises. Sadly without consistency, exercise-based approaches will not work.


Requires supervision

Scoliosis-specific exercise programs require supervision to be truly effective – like bracing, a treatment plan needs constant monitoring and adjustment to have the best possible impact. This can be a disadvantage for people who live in remote areas or do not have easy access to a scoliosis specialist. Patients who attempt to perform exercises without proper guidance may inadvertently worsen their condition. This is why it is crucial to seek professional advice and maintain it while using exercise-based approaches to treatment.


Can lead to muscle imbalances

Scoliosis-specific exercise focuses on strengthening specific muscles to correct the curvature of the spine. However, this can lead to muscle imbalances, where some muscles become overdeveloped while others remain underdeveloped. Muscle imbalances can cause pain and discomfort, and in severe cases, can lead to other medical conditions such as joint problems. When a program is properly monitored by a professional this shouldn’t be a problem – but it’s a risk for anyone who does not have the proper guidance.


Does not address underlying issues

While exercise-based approaches may be effective in reducing the curvature of the spine and alleviating pain in some cases, it does not address the underlying issues that led to scoliosis. In some cases, scoliosis may be caused by underlying medical conditions such as neuromuscular disorders or genetic factors, but the typical idiopathic scoliosis seen in teenagers and young people cannot be “cured” with exercise. To be fair, it cannot be “cured” with bracing either – the only way to truly manage the condition is to maintain the spine in as straight an alignment as possible until skeletal maturity is reached. Many professionals view that this is easier to do with bracing than exercise, because of the cost and effort involved in 10-15 years of exercise monitoring.


Is Scoliosis specific exercise right for me?

Scoliosis-specific exercise can be a valuable part of an overall treatment plan and may be the right option for some smaller curves, or stable curves in adults. This being said, it has its disadvantages, and patients should carefully consider these before deciding on this treatment option alone.



[1]SEAS (Scientific Exercises Approach to Scoliosis): a modern and effective evidence based approach to physiotherapic specific scoliosis exercises
Romano M, Negrini Am Parzini S, Tavernaro M, Zaina F, Donzelli S and Negrini S 2015, Scoliosis 2015 10:3, DOI: 10.1186/s13013-014-0027-2


[2] ‘Scoliosis-Specific exercises can reduce the progression of severe curves in adult idiopathic scoliosis: a long-term cohort study’
Negrini A, Donzelli S, Negrini M, Negrini S, Romano M, and Zaina F 2015,, Scoliosis Jul 11 10:20


[3]The effectiveness of combined bracing and exercise in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis based on SRS and SOSORT criteira: a prospective study
Negrini S, Donzelli S, Lusini M, Minnella S and Zaina F 2014, BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2014; 15: 263, Published online 2014 Aug 6. doi:  10.1186/1471-2474-15-263


Scoliosis: Should I seek treatment abroad in the UK?

When it comes to Scoliosis treatment, the simple fact is where you live has a big impact on the kind of treatment available to you and how you can best access it. The best place to seek treatment also depends on the kind of treatment you’re looking for, of course. Sometimes this might mean travelling abroad to a clinic is the best option for you. The option to see a specialist who has experience working with a specific co-existing condition might also be a factor to consider, even where others are available closer to home.

At the UK Scoliosis Clinic were thrilled to welcome patients from all around the world who are seeking non-surgical treatment approaches based around bracing. While many of our Clients are UK based, we can and do see many people from all around the world each year – of course, since the COVID 19 pandemic many people have been asking whether it’s a good idea to seek treatment with us in the UK, so this week we look at the pros and cons of travelling to the UK Scoliosis Clinic.



Firstly, let’s address the elephant in the room – COVID-19 – while largely under control in the UK, the disease is still prevalent – does this mean you shouldn’t travel? Of course, this is a decision for each of us to make individually, however, at this point in time, the vast majority of covid restrictions in the UK have been rescinded with items such as mask-wearing now optional based on your personal preferences. Covid levels in the UK remain broadly similar to most developed countries. At the UK Scoliosis Clinic, we’ve kept up with common sense measures such as enhanced cleaning and improved ventilation to help keep the spread of covid to a minimum.


The Economy and Pricing

In case you’re not a follower of global finance (we can forgive you for that) we’ll let you know that the UK Economy isn’t exactly doing fantastically at the moment… while this isn’t great for those of us living here it can be a significant advantage for those looking to travel for treatment. The weakness of the UK Pound means that our services, including consultations and braces, are now more affordable than ever before once you take the exchange rate into account.

We’re easy to get to

While travelling internationally often seems like a daunting prospect, the UK Scoliosis Clinic is very easy to get to – and much less complicated than many clinics based in London. Our Chelmsford Clinic is positioned close to both London Stansted (STN) and London Southend (SND) airports the trip from the airport is an easy one. Getting from the airport to the clinic is straightforward, and we have Bus, Cab or Train stops literally within 10 minutes’ walk of our door.

If you’re coming to the UK on a long-haul flight, you may want to stay in Chelmsford overnight, but many of our European-based patients can and do fly in, attend the clinic and return home at the end of the day. Direct flights to both airports are available from most major European destinations, from a wide variety of budget and national carriers – Flights at less busy times can be very inexpensive indeed.

If you’re travelling from Europe It’s also easy to reach our clinic via the Eurostar train service. The Eurostar will set you down at Kings Cross St. Pancras international station in London, from where you can easily connect to Chelmsford station, which is just a few minute’s walk from the clinic

We understand that international patients can often be subject to delays in arriving at the clinic due to situations beyond their control, thus we make all possible efforts to accommodate this – however if you are intending to conduct part of your journey by public transport, please leave at least an extra hour in your planning in case of delays – UK Public transport rarely runs on time!


It’s easy to enter the UK

Although it’s true that European citizens do now face slightly more paperwork when travelling to the UK than before Brexit, the process of acquiring the relevant visa for travel (a tourist visa is perfectly acceptable for visiting the UK Scoliosis Clinic) is straightforward for citizens of the vast majority of countries.


We’re Flexible!

As a Clinic, we want to provide fantastic treatment options to everyone, regardless of where they happen to live. We take a flexible approach to provide options for those who need to travel further to the clinic and we’ll go out of our way to make arrangements that work for you whenever possible. This starts right from the consultation stage with our new web-based consultation option – which is ideal for those living abroad.


Scoliosis Treatment in the UK

If you’re thinking about Scoliosis treatment in the UK, a web-based consultation is an excellent way to start – this will give us an opportunity to speak to you about what we might be able to offer in your specific case, as well as what the cost of treatment would be, before you leave your own home. Follow up and review appointments may also be able to be conducted online when required and we can work with your local x-ray imaging facility if necessary. In fact, if you have been thinking about treatment in the UK, there may never have been a better time!


Need to know more about Scoliosis? Sign up for our free information series!

At the UK Scoliosis clinic, one of our primary goals is to help educate people about Scoliosis, the symptoms it causes, how to spot its signs and most importantly, how we can treat it. With this in mind we’re always looking for effective ways to bring usable and easy-to-access information about scoliosis together for those who need it. This week, we’re pleased to launch our new information series, which you can now receive for free, via email.


Get the facts, for free!

Our new Scoliosis information series is aimed at those just learning about Scoliosis – whether you’re a parent who has just learned your child has Scoliosis, a young adult who has just been diagnosed, or an older individual experiencing the effects of degenerative or de-novo Scoliosis, the aim of this series is to help you learn the essential facts about the condition and what you can do about it.


What is Scoliosis anyway?

Scoliosis is a condition of the spine which, left untreated, can be a life-limiting condition which will often worsen and may require major spinal surgery. Thankfully, today there are a number of effective non-surgical options for treating scoliosis.

Like many conditions, scoliosis is much easier to treat when it is spotted early [i] and the best way to spot it early is to help people understand what to look for. It’s for this reason that scoliosis screening is considered a beneficial stage of treatment amongst the Orthopaedic community, as reported in the Consensus Paper which has been published by the Society on Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment (SOSORT)[ii].  Indeed, numerous studies have suggested that school screening can reduce the number of cases which eventually require treatment – despite this, school screening has still not been implemented in UK schools, although in some countries screening is now widespread. Similarly, most people in the UK have never even heard of Scoliosis, much less the more modern approaches to treating it which exist today.


What you’ll learn

Over the course of this easy-to-access series you’ll learn:

  • What Scoliosis is, and what causes it
  • The types of Scoliosis, and who they affect
  • How you can screen for the signs of scoliosis, at home, in less than 5 minutes
  • How we can treat Scoliosis, and how treatment has improved over time
  • What the best treatment for Scoliosis is
  • The answers to the most frequently asked questions we hear about Scoliosis

Finally, we’ll let you know how to get in touch with us if you’re concerned about Scoliosis, or just need more information.


How to sign up

You can access this totally free series by signing up here

Please feel free to share this page with any friends or family – the more awareness we raise about Scoliosis, the more people we can help!

5 Tips to Help Reduce Scoliosis Pain

For most of the history of Scoliosis treatment, the widely held view has been that Scoliosis does not cause pain. It’s certainly true that many Scoliosis patients present at our clinic with no pain nor discomfort – but recent research, as well as our experience, has shown that in many cases Scoliosis can be painful.

At least one research study suggests evidence of a possible 35-42% prevalence of lower back pain in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis[1] (AIS), in another study of 2400 patients with AIS, 23% reported back pain at their initial contact[2]. Chronic non-specific back pain (CNSBP) also seems to be frequently associated with AIS, with a greater reported prevalence (59%) than seen in adolescents without scoliosis (33%)[3]  – in addition, patients diagnosed with AIS at age 15 are 42% more likely to report back pain at age 18.[4]

In patients under 21 treated for back pain, scoliosis was the most common underlying condition (1439/1953 patients)[5] and Scoliosis patients have between a 3 and 5-fold increased risk of back pain in the upper and middle right part of the back[6].

While this does not mean that everyone with Scoliosis will experience pain – in fact the numbers roughly support about a 50/50 chance – there are still a significant number of individuals for whom the management of Scoliosis & pain is a factor. At the UK Scoliosis Clinic, we utilise a number of approaches to help manage the pain associated with scoliosis – but there are also some steps you can take yourself.


1 – Keep active, Keep fit

Being physically active and reducing the amount of time spent in sedentary positions is very important, not only for pain management but for your overall health and well-being. While it’s true that Scoliosis can make some activities more difficult, and there are some exercises (especially “one-sided” activities, like racket sports) which we might advise against – there’s no reason why Scoliosis should stop you from being as active as possible. If pain is already a significant issue, low-impact activities such as Yoga or Pilates  can be an excellent way to keep moving, and may even provide some additional pain relief. Swimming, once thought to treat Scoliosis (sadly, based on current research, does not[7]) is nonetheless an excellent way to stay fit with almost no risk or injury.


2 – Improve your posture.

While it’s not true that poor posture causes Scoliosis – poor posture can cause pain, both for Scoliosis sufferers and those without Scoliosis.

A huge part of Physiotherapy based approaches to Scoliosis is increasing awareness of posture – when sitting and standing and to take note of the position of your spine. Are you collapsed to one side or slouching? Try to straighten & lengthen your spine and keep balanced, avoid leaning to one side as this can aggravate pain – instead, try to remain in a neutral or corrected position. Many people with Scoliosis pain find that regular movement helps to reduce pain too.


3 – Avoid extended sitting/extended standing

Where possible, avoid extended sitting when working, studying or at school. Regular postural changes/breaks (every 20-30 minutes) are very important and can be as simple as standing up, walking to the other side of the room, or stretching, before sitting back down.

This is, like most of these tips, a good idea to do regardless of your Scoliosis status as long periods of sitting encourage imbalances in muscles and ligaments – in fact, it’s the cause of a huge percentage of back pain cases treated by Chiropractors every year.


4 – Light Stretching or Massage

Stretching or Massage, either as a targeted activity or part of something like Yoga can be highly beneficial for Scoliosis suffers –focussing on elongation and decompression of the spine is likely to help relieve pain for many, and can often be performed at home using a tennis ball, foam roller or massager. That being said it’s best to consult with a Scoliosis expert when it comes to stretching or flexibility routines, for example many people with AIS will have reduced spinal curves or flat backs, so it is important that significant hyper-extension/arching backwards is not performed as it may increase the flattening of the back which may in turn progress the scoliosis.

Repetitive one-sided movements, or exercises & stretches leading to excessive spinal rotation may actually worsen pain – due to the 3D nature of scoliosis. Repetitive twisting or one-sided movements can potentially put your spine into an unfavourable position or even counteract an ongoing treatment program, so use with care.


5 – The Best Option, Scoliosis Specific Exercise

The best option to address Scoliosis pain is, of course a professional plan. A Scoliosis professional can design a series of Scoliosis Specific exercises, that will help improve posture, manage pain and slow the progression of your condition. These scoliosis-specific exercises, once mastered, can be incorporated into your day-to-day life or form part of an active treatment program.

In some cases, the part-time use of a Scoliosis brace could also be considered – for example, while bracing in adults is not likely to reduce the Scoliotic curve itself, research does indicate that bracing can be effective in reducing chronic pain.[8]





[1] Théroux, J., et al.Prevalence of low back pain in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis: a systematic review. Chiropractic & manual therapies, 25(1), 1-6.

[2] Ramirez N, Johnston CE, Browne RH. The prevalence of back pain in children who have idiopathic scoliosis. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1997;79:364–8

[3] Jean Theroux et al. Back Pain Prevalence Is Associated With Curve-type and Severity in Adolescents With Idiopathic Scoliosis Spine: August 1, 2017 – Volume 42 – Issue 15

[4] Clark EM, Tobias JH, Fairbank J. The impact of small spinal curves in adolescents that have not presented to secondary care: a population- based cohort study. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2016; 41:E611–7.

[5] Dimar 2nd JR, Glassman SD, Carreon LY. Juvenile degenerative disc disease: a report of 76 cases identified by magnetic resonance imaging. Spine J. 2007;7:332–7.

[6] Sato T, Hirano T, Ito T, Morita O, Kikuchi R, Endo N, et al. Back pain in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis: epidemiological study for 43,630 pupils in Niigata City. Japan Eur Spine J. 2011;20:274–9

[7] Berdishevsky H, Lebel VA, Bettany-Saltikov J, et al.: Physiotherapy scoliosis-specific exercises—a comprehensive review of seven major schools. Scoliosis Spinal Disord, 2016, 4: 1.

Zaina, F., Donzelli, S., Lusini, M., Minnella, S., and Negrini, S. (2015). Swimming and spinal deformities: A cross-sectional study. The Journal of Pediatrics, 166(1): 163-167.

Gonen Aydin C, Oner A, Hekim HH, Arslan AS, Oztas D, Akman YE. (2020) The prevalence of scoliosis in adolescent swimmers and the effect of swimming on adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Turk J Sports Med.;55(3):200-6.

[8] Scoliosis bracing and exercise for pain management in adults—a case report Weiss et al, J Phys Ther Sci. 2016 Aug; 28(8): 2404–2407.

Online Booking available now – which consultation is right for you?

As part of ongoing efforts to make accessing services at the UK Scoliosis Clinic easier than ever, we have now introduced an option to book either an online or in-person consultation right here through our website. With two options to pick from you might be wondering which consultation type is right for you?


Online consultation

An online consultation is an excellent way to speak to a Scoliosis expert from the comfort of your own home and at a lower cost than an in-person consultation at our clinic. Our online option includes the taking of an essential Scoliosis specific medical history, a review of any x-rays which you may have, movement assessment, a visual postural assessment (if desired) and time for Q & A.

An online consultation generally lasts approximately 20-30 Minutes and takes place via our secure online platform, which means your consultation remains totally private.

An online consultation is ideal for someone who wants to speak to an expert, get a second opinion on a diagnosis or treatment recommendation or is simply seeking some advice about the first steps when learning they have Scoliosis. The major drawback of an online consultation is that we cannot take X-rays nor physical measurements of your spine, nor see you in person – this means that in most cases we cannot formally diagnose Scoliosis during an online consultation, although we can usually give our professional opinion. If you already have X-rays, a web consultation can be an excellent option, although it’s important to keep in mind that our diagnosis and advice in this situation relies on the currency of the X-rays you provide.

Since a web consultation is also cheaper, they’re a good choice for people who want to explore scoliosis treatment, without incurring larger costs – for example, an older person considering bracing to help manage Scoliosis related pain.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of the online consultation option is the fact that you can participate from anywhere in the world – allowing you to access world-class Scoliosis advice wherever you happen to be located. Please note, that we currently offer consultations in English only.


In-person consultation

An in-person consultation at our clinic is the most comprehensive option designed to provide not only a formal diagnosis of Scoliosis but also practical advice on treatment steps and the options which would be applicable for you.

Scoliosis consultation at our clinic is the fastest and most efficient way to get answers on Scoliosis. Our consultations can include X-rays (for a additional fee), which are taken here at the clinic enabling you to get a professional diagnosis and a plan to move forward with treatment if appropriate for your case.

Our In-clinic consultation lasts between 1.5 and 2 hours, and includes a detailed, Scoliosis specific medical history, Scoliosis impact assessment, Postural Assessment, Scoliosis measurement and evaluation and a detailed report outlining your case, diagnosis and recommended options for treatment. We can also provide a report to your insurance provider (if required).

Your appointment can include a full set of Diagnostic X-rays utilising our state-of-the-art digital X-ray machine, allowing Scoliosis to be definitely diagnosed and understood. You will also receive a digital copy of your X-rays to take away.

Our in-clinic consultations are most suitable for those who are concerned that they may have scoliosis but do not have X-rays or other documentation to rule the condition in, or out. It’s also ideal for those who know they have Scoliosis and are actively looking to take up non-surgical treatment or are wanting to change treatment, perhaps from another provider.


Next steps

All of our consultations are standalone options – meaning there’s no obligation to take up treatment with us after your consultation. In some cases, it might be determined that Scoliosis isn’t the correct diagnosis, or it may be the case that more appropriate treatment can be obtained through another provider – in this case, we’re often able to recommend suitable practitioners close to you.  Where Scoliosis is determined to be an issue for you, an in-person consultation can lead directly into the formation and beginning of a treatment plan should you want to take action as soon as possible.

For those consulting with us from overseas, we work with a network of other Scoliosis treatment providers across the globe and can often recommend a practitioner in your general area – but should you wish to visit our clinic you’ll still be very welcome!




­­­­Scoliosis – some posture tips

Contrary to popular belief, poor posture cannot give you Scoliosis – the known causes of Scoliosis include degenerative changes in the spine (associated with ageing), neurological conditions and some genetic conditions. It’s also possible to end up with Scoliosis as the result of an accident or injury, or perhaps due to complications during surgery for another issue. All other scoliosis cases are considered idiopathic, meaning the exact cause is unknown – however, there is no evidence to suggest that bad posture causes Scoliosis.


Nonetheless, posture is an important thing for Scoliosis sufferers to keep in mind – now that it is more widely recognised that scoliosis can cause pain and discomfort, many people naturally wonder if there are ways we can reduce discomfort and support treatment during scoliosis correction. While everyday postural changes designed to correct scoliosis are a critical part of approaches such as Schroth therapy, there are also some small changes which one can make in order to potentially improve their overall quality of life.


Sitting and standing

When standing or sitting; good posture uses less energy than poor posture – this is true whether you have scoliosis or not! Some people with scoliosis might find sitting or standing with good posture difficult, either because of the spinal deformity or because of tiredness associated with scoliosis exercise treatment (this is normal!).  Because of this, it’s not uncommon for scoliosis patients to sit or stand with weight shifted more to one side than the other – either trying to overcompensate, or simply leaning on the strong side due to tiredness.

The ideal posture when standing is to have weight evenly spread – the neck should be straight with no tilt, the hips level, and the pelvis neutral (this means not tilting forward or backwards). The knees should be straight or alternatively, one knee straight, the other slightly bent. It can help to check your posture regularly in the mirror or get others to check it for you. Imagine yourself as a puppet with a string attached to the top of your head pulling you straight. The important thing to remember is not to overcompensate – if you lean slightly to one side, try to aim for this neutral posture – but don’t go further the other way!

When sitting, it’s easier to centre yourself correctly – the key is to allow the chair to take your weight evenly, which a normal char will. Try to sit back in a chair with your weight on your buttocks and thighs and your back straight. Try not to sit forward on the edge of your seat and keep the pelvis neutral (not tilting forward or backwards). Try to select a chair that allows your knees to be bent at roughly a 90 – 75 degree angle when sitting so that your knees are level with, or slightly lower than your hips. Keep feet flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart. Try not to sit for too long at any one time. It is best to move every 30 minutes to avoid getting stiff, whether you have Scoliosis or not!  Low soft sofas, chairs without arms, chairs that are too low or too high, bucket chairs and deep chairs can all be especially uncomfortable for those with Scoliosis.

Some patients find that lumbar (lower back) supports, cushions or memory foam can assist with any pain when sitting – for the most part these are safe to use, but t’s worth checking with your scoliosis practitioner if possible.



Exercise is an essential part of everyday health and may well also form part of your Scoliosis treatment – if you are using an exercise-based approach to Scoliosis you will be well aware of the importance of maintaining a balanced and symmetrical spine unless you are specifically performing a corrective exercise.

It’s easy for people with scoliosis to get sore, stiff or tired when using the gym or exercising due to the additional strain which the spine is already under. Similarly, it’s not always a good idea to perform stressful exercises after a scoliosis specific exercise session, as parts of your back will feel tired.

If you do want to perform any kind of weight-bearing exercise, be sure to discuss the best way to do this with your scoliosis practitioner – and always work within your limits, especially during treatment. Very often, low impact and symmetrical exercises, such as swimming are an excellent way to augment scoliosis treatment while keeping fit and with a very low risk of injury or strain.


Beds and sleeping

Choosing the right bed is very important as you spend around 8 hours of the day in it. If you are comfortable you are more likely to sleep well. Getting enough is critical for mental as well as physical health.

As with a chair, it’s recommended to have a bed that allows you to sit on it with your knees at or just below 90 degrees – this should make it easier to lie down and get up.

The mattress should not be too hard or too soft. It needs to support your weight without sagging or giving way at the hips and shoulders – many Scoliosis patients find that a memory foam mattress is more supportive for them – don’t forget that these can be bought separately and added to your bed!

Some patients, especially those with Lumbar curves can experience discomfort when sleeping and laying in bed – this is, in fact, the case for many people, scoliosis sufferer or otherwise, since sleeping flat on your back with your legs straight can put a strain on the lumbar spine. Sleeping on your back, with your knees bent, on your side with your leg bent forward or on your side with a pillow between your legs or under your knees for better support can all help to relieve this discomfort. While not a universal rule, we also find that most scoliosis patients find sleeping on their front somewhat uncomfortable – so you may want to avoid this!


Paul at SCOSYM, 2022

One of the most enjoyable aspects of working in a field which is growing and innovating as fast as the Scoliosis treatment space is getting to interact with, and learn from, a huge variety of specialists from different backgrounds, all working towards the common goal of developing the most effective Scoliosis treatment approaches possible. With this in mind, our founder, Paul Irvine will be in Greece next week to attend the 3rd SCOSYM Symposium.

Just one of many such events which are fast becoming critical landmarks for Scoliosis professionals everywhere, this meeting represents the 3rd SCOSYM Symposium in a series of successful meetings.

SCOSYM, like several non-surgically oriented events, recognises the tremendous contribution the traditional medical disciplines have made to scoliosis treatment, but also notes that the medical societies that specialize in this ailment have, to quote the organisers “tended to focus their efforts on the study of the epidemiology, aetiology, pathobiomechanic and laboratory, clinical and imaging documentation and treatment, either non-operative or operative.”  Critically for those attending SCOSYM then, it’s vital to recognise that the advent of new technologies is key to the study and advancement of our insight into these diseases, with a goal to improve the quality of life of this group of people.

This year, the conference is focused on these emerging technologies and the opportunities they bring, with a special view to recognising the impressive developments in the implementation of scoliosis school screening programs, physiotherapeutic-specific scoliosis exercises and new surgical approaches for growth modulation for the surgical treatment of early onset scoliosis (read more about all of these on our blog!)

Another key focus, and one which we’re pleased to see being recognised as an essential aspect of treatment for scoliosis, is quality of life – according to the organisers “These developments have led to better patient quality of life compared to what was experienced in the past. However, this topic is still under development and new instrumentation systems are being introduced.

When proper management is not implemented, spinal disorders may lead to significant social problems and to enormous economic losses. Therefore, treatment decisions based on the recent evidence-based literature will result in the optimum outcome. Proper management, including prevention and non-operative or operative treatment, must be tailored and implemented.”

Raising awareness is a core aspect of what we do at the UK Scoliosis clinic and SCOSYM is yet another fantastic event helping to do this, the conference notes that “It is, therefore, very important to increase awareness and advocacy for a social mission regarding the early detection of scoliosis and prevention of progressive spinal deformity. It is imperative to raise awareness about scoliosis and to inform the public, healthcare and policymaking communities about the individual, familial and societal burdens of spinal deformity, as well as the benefits of proper detection, diagnosis and optimal care for all patients.” – we couldn’t agree more!

Paul will be spending his time learning about the best and most promising new research to integrate into our own processes in the clinic, and perhaps enjoying a spot of good weather too!



Does bracing reduce quality of life?

While modern Scoliosis bracing represents a huge leap forward in the non-surgical treatment of Scoliosis it’s no secret that wearing a brace can be taxing, especially for young people. Modern braces like ScoliBrace have the additional benefit of being low profile, easy to move in and almost invisible under clothing, but no doubt wearing a brace is an additional stressor for a young person to cope with.


The Psychology of bracing

Although clinical evidence regarding bracing effectiveness continues to strengthen, there is still uncertainty regarding the impact of brace wear on psychosocial well-being, as well as the impact of psychological well-being on brace wear adherence. We’ve reported on numerous studies which have argued the case both ways on this issue – overall, it’s fair to say that the majority of research suggests that bracing can be a stain for patients, but that interventions designed to support them during the process are also effective in reducing any possible harm.

Some research has found that full-time brace wear can indeed negatively impact a patient’s, emotional, and social well-being, including a significant worsening of body image.[1] In addition, research has found that the adverse effects on a patient’s psychosocial well-being induced by brace treatment can then result in poor brace wear adherence[2]  – on the flip side, some studies have confirmed that interventions aimed at improving poor psychological outcomes can improve brace adherence.[3]

While we might naturally expect these results, other research has found no negative impact on psychological well-being induced by brace treatment[4].


Recent study

A recent study has now added to the debate, by going beyond just the obvious question of wheather bracing has negative psychological impacts or not. Rather, the authors noted that some of the discrepancies in the brace wear adherence research could well be due to the type of brace wear data used to assess adherence. It’s an (unfortunate) fact that the majority of research on brace wear adherence is based on subjective reports, such as self-reports through brace wear diaries and logs – even at our clinic, were mostly reliant on patients accurately self-reporting their brace wear (or their parents doing so) in order to continue to tailor and tweak treatment as bracing progresses.

The new paper[5] points out that in many studies bracing adherence rates have ranged from 41% of wearing hours/prescribed to as high 100% of wearing hours prescribed – making it very difficult to make an accurate assessment of the linkage between actual brace wear and any potential negative effects. This study, therefore, addressed this limitation, by using body heat monitor data from the landmark BrAIST study, rather than self-reports to assess relationships between body image, quality of life (QOL), and brace wear adherence. The use of temperature monitors during the BrAIST study was one of the factors which made the research so impactful and the data is considered reliable.

Using this data, the study analyzed relationships among brace wear adherence, body image, and quality of life. Thanks to the BrAIST data, it was possible to compare those patients who wore their brace most consistently, for the longest time – and those who only wore it periodically. If the groups who were more adherent to the brace-wearing time experience more psychological issues than those who wore the brace very little, it would seem reasonable to suggest the two are correlated. When looking at differences between the least-adherent and the most-adherent brace wear groups, however, the findings from the study actually supply no evidence that the amount of brace wear negatively impacts body image or QOL, or that poor body image and poor QOL negatively impact brace wear adherence.


Important takeaway

This is perhaps not the result that many parents, in particular, would expect to see – nonetheless, the outcome of the study was to say that those patients who did not wear their braces as prescribed were no better off Psychologically for doing so – they did, however, most likely have a lower curve correction than otherwise would have been the case. Conversely, those who wore their braces as instructed and received the best curve correction possible faced no additional stress or strain for doing so – they simply gave themselves the best chance at an excellent result.

As a Scoliosis clinic, it’s easy for us to repeat the message on the importance of sticking to brace wear time – we’ve pointed out in many articles that doing so directly correlates with better outcomes – as a parent, of course, it’s harder to coerce a child into wearing their brace if you’re also concerned about the stress it might be causing them. This article isn’t to say that bracing isn’t hard (although we try to make it as easy and fun as possible!) but do keep these results in mind!



[1] Pham VM, Houlliez A, Caprentier A, et al. Determination of the influence of the Cheneau brace on quality-of-life for adolescent with idiopathic scoliosis. Ann Readapt Med Phys. 2007;51:3–8.

[2] Rivett L, Rothberg A, Stewart A, et al. The relationship between quality of life and compliance to a brace protocol in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis: a comparative study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2009;10:5.

Chan SL, Cheung KM, Luk KD, et al. A correlation study between in-brace correction, compliance to spinal orthosis and health-related quality of life of patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliosis. 2014;9:1.

Donnelly MJ, Dolan LA, Grande L, et al. Patient and parent perspectives on treatment for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The Iowa Orthopaedic Journal. 2004;24:76–83.

[3] Donnelly MJ, Dolan LA, Grande L, et al. Patient and parent perspectives on treatment for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The Iowa Orthopaedic Journal. 2004;24:76–83.

Matsunaga S, Hayashi K, Naruo T, et al. Psychologic management of brace therapy for patients with idiopathic scoliosis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2005;30:547–550.

[4] Hasler CC, Wietlisbach S, Buchler P. Objective compliance of adolescent girls with idiopathic scoliosis in a dynamic SpineCor brace. J of Children’s Orthop. 2010;4:211–218.

Schwieger T, Campo S, Weinstein SL, et al. Body Image and Quality-of-Life in Untreated Versus Brace-Treated Females with Adolscent Idiopathic Scoliosis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2016;41.

Danielsson AJ, Wiklund I, Pehrsson K, et al. Health-related quality of life in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: A matched follow-up at least 20 years after treatment with brace or surgery. Eur Spine J. 2001;10:278–288.

Merenda L, Costello K, Santangelo AM, et al. Perceptions of self-image and physical appearance: Conversations with typically developing youth and youth with idiopathic scoliosis. Orthop Nurs. 2011;30:383–390.

Olafsson Y, Saraste H, Ahlgren R. Does bracing affect self-image? A prospective study on 54 patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Eur Spine J. 1999;8:401–405.

[5] Traci Schwieger, PhD,corresponding author* Shelly Campo, PhD,* Stuart L. Weinstein, MD,* Lori A. Dolan, PhD,* Sato Ashida, PhD,* and Keli R. Steuber, PhD Body Image and Quality of Life and Brace Wear Adherence in Females With Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis J Pediatr Orthop. 2017 Dec; 37(8): e519–e523.