By Adrienne Parry, PT
Scoliosis is a disorder of the spine that involves lateral curvatures as well as rotational changes of the vertebral bodies. This structural deviation from normal spinal alignment can lead to problems with pain, exercise tolerance and lung insufficiency.
Physical Therapists are experts in movement disorders, as well as posture and exercise. A person with scoliosis is best treated as an individual, as all scoliosis curvatures are different. Physical Therapists perform individualized evaluation of the extent of the scoliosis, the impact on the person’s lifestyle and comfort level, and then design a specialized exercise program based on those findings.
Hands-on treatment in the form of what is called “manual therapy” is also an essential part of scoliosis treatment. Physical Therapists are uniquely qualified and trained to perform stretches, spinal and ribcage mobilizations and training in breathing with these hands-on techniques. Often a family member may be involved in continuation of some of these helpful techniques for follow-through at home.
Adolescents as well as adults with scoliosis respond very well to physical therapy intervention. When scoliosis impacts a person’s lifestyle with pain or with problems in exercise tolerance, it is a good idea to seek the advice and assistance of a trained and licensed medical professional, such as a Physical Therapist.