Learning about scoliosis for the first time can be an uphill struggle, especially if you, or someone you love has just been diagnosed. There are lots of approaches out there – so how do you know which one is best?
At the UK scoliosis clinic, we believe we’re better positioned to help you beat scoliosis than anyone else – and here’s why.
Our fundamental starting belief is that all health professionals should follow well researched, evidence based techniques and approaches when implementing treatment plans with patients. That means our techniques must be based on treatment methodologies which have been proven successful in other patients, that it must be possible for us to monitor and quantify ongoing progress and that our treatments should provide a long term solution – not a quick fix.
Like all professions, the scoliosis treatment field has a guiding body – for us it’s the International Society on Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment, otherwise known as SOSORT. SOSORT is an international organisation that guides health professionals on the most up to date, evidence-based recommendations in relation to the conservative treatment of idiopathic scoliosis. SOSORT’s ongoing mission is to constantly evaluate new treatment methodologies, and to publish guidelines for best practice for patient outcomes.
The latest guidelines were developed in 2011, and are always under revision as new evidence comes to light. At the UK scoliosis clinic we stay up to date with these guidelines to ensure we achieve the best possible patient outcome.
So, what do SOSORT recommend?
Firstly, SOSORT is clear that, each treatment approach should be closely related to the size of a patient’s scoliotic curve and also the maturity of the patient. This means that in order to be effective, a patient’s treatment plan should be individualised down to the fine details, and must be flexible to adapt to changes. At the UK scoliosis clinic, our specialists have a wide variety of treatment methods from which to choose, these range from scoliosis specific exercises to bracing with our scolibrace system or even simple preventative exercise regimes. When you join the UK scoliosis clinic as a client, we take a long term view of your treatment – designing a totally customised treatment plan for now, and the future. What’s more, we constantly monitor your progress (at our clinic, or by skype!) so we can make any changes to your plan as required.
Secondly, SOSORT stress that certain scoliosis treatments have not been endorsed as effective because of the lack of substantial evidence that scoliosis can be cured or improved by these treatments. Examples include foot orthotics (when used in isolation), oral supplements (neurotransmitter, mineral or vitamin), jaw bone positioning treatments and many, many others. These all lack substantial evidence that they can arrest or improve scoliosis. This does not mean to say that these treatments might not provide some assistance, but at the UK scoliosis clinic, we only provide treatments which have been proven to work.
Next, SOSORT recognise that recent research strongly supports bracing for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients with a high risk of progressing to surgery Consequently, SOSORT supports bracing as a recommended intervention in the treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis in many cases. That’s why we are the first clinic in the UK to offer the revolutionary Scolibrace system. Scolibrace is a lightweight, low profile scoliosis brace which, when used as part of a treatment plan can have outstanding outcomes.
Finally, SOSORT recommend that scoliosis specific exercises should also be introduced into a patient’s treatment plan, where they are likely to be beneficial. These are generally prescribed when curves are over the 10 degree mark for adolescents. The exercise approach for treating scoliosis which commonly prescribed by SOSORT is the SEAS method (Scientific Exercise Approach to Scoliosis). This method incorporates the use of corrective movements that are in the opposite to the patient’s scoliosis. In this, the curved spine is essentially ‘untwisted and straightened’ and the action is then incorporated into activities of daily living for maximum long-term benefit. At the UK scoliosis clinic, we provide personalised SEAS guidance and training as recommended by SOSORT.
What makes a good scoliosis clinic?
Once again, let’s take a look at the SOSORT guidelines! According to SOSORT a reputable scoliosis clinic should be able to provide a range of treatment options for scoliosis ranging from scoliosis specific exercise to 3-dimensional bracing techniques supported by other methodologies where appropriate. A good clinician will recommend the most appropriate treatment option(s) for each individual case, and never simply try to fit every patient into the single treatment method they offer.
At the UK Scoliosis Clinic, we begin our relationship with each and every patient with a detailed consultation, we use this information to construct a totally individual treatment plan which we keep under regular review. If scoliosis bracing is recommended, we use the latest 3D scanning technology to create a brace which is perfectly fitted to you and your needs – you can even choose your favourite colour and design!
In addition, we go beyond most clinics in offering a range of complementary treatments, which while they are not intended to prevent, or cure scoliosis can play a bit role in reducing and pain or discomfort you are expecting in the immediate term. We have on site specialists who can provide everything from chiropractic adjustments, to sports massage or postural analysis optimisation.
So how do I choose?
The diagnosis of scoliosis can be a confusing and overwhelming time for the patient and in many cases their parents too. Choosing a Scoliosis Clinic who follows SOSORT guidelines and who can explain the evidence behind all available treatments will help ensure the best chance at good results.
If you’re suffering with scoliosis, or care for someone who is, why not give us a call to arrange your initial consultation today!
The SOSORT recommendations we outlined above are readily available to anyone researching clinics and health professionals. It’s important to also take note of treatments which may be offered by some clinics, but are not supported by substantial evidence or research or supported by the SOSORT guidelines. It’s also important to realise that scoliosis is a highly individualised condition, and for best results needs to be treated on an individual basis.
Information about SOSORT and their guidelines can be found at http://www.sosort.mobi/index.php/en/
Reference –  Effects of Bracing in Adolescents with Idiopathic Scoliosis – The New England Journal of Medicine