Physical therapy treatments can be used to provide treatment for a wide range of issues and conditions.
Everything from orthopedic issues to sports injuries can be addressed with physical therapy.
But in particular, physical therapy for spinal issues can make a big difference, including for people with scoliosis.
Scoliosis is an abnormal curve of the spine and often appears in children.
Without treatment, it can cause many different challenges for your child as they grow.
But physical therapy is a great treatment option to manage scoliosis symptoms.
Here at Capitol Physical therapy, a physical therapy clinic in Washington DC, we can help.
This week’s blog article will focus on what scoliosis is, and the ways that physical therapy can help.
What Is Scoliosis?
Everybody’s spine is curved, of course, and that’s a good thing.
In a typical spine, it curves gently toward your body at your neck.
This is where your cervical spine is located.
From there, it curves back out, and then back in near the base of your spine, at your lumbar region.
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine.
Instead of curving front to back, scoliosis curves from side to side.
This creates either a C or an S shape.
If you have scoliosis, this curvature of your spine may stable over the course of your lifetime.
However, it may also get worse over time.
Generally mild cases of scoliosis don’t typically cause too many issues, however severe cases may result in impaired breathing and poor mobility.
When scoliosis appears in children, they will often require regular check ups in order to monitor the progression of the disease as they grow.
The amount of pain associated with scoliosis can vary from none at all to debilitating.
What Are The Signs Of Scoliosis?
If you have scoliosis, you may not have any symptoms at all.
In fact, you may not even know you have it.
However, if you do have scoliosis, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Upper back pain
- Lower back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Difficulty breathing due to less ability for the chest to expand
- Spinal rotation
- Uneven hips and waist
- Uneven shoulder blades
- One shoulder blade that sticks out
What Causes Scoliosis?
In up to 80 percent of scoliosis cases, there is no one identifiable cause.
It’s usually diagnosed within the first seven years of life.
When there is an identifiable cause, it’s generally found to be one of the following:
- Cerebral palsy
- Muscular dystrophy
- Spinal infection or injury
- A family history of scoliosis
- Spina bifida
- Neurological abnormalities
In general, girls are more likely to develop scoliosis with severe symptoms than boys, making scoliosis a women’s health physical therapy issue.
How Can Physical Therapy Help With Scoliosis?
Currently, there is no known cure for scoliosis.
However, physical therapy treatments for scoliosis can help reduce its symptoms.
In this section, we’ll take a look at the ways physical therapy can help.
1. Manual Therapy
Recent studies have shown that scoliosis specific exercises helps to reduce uncomfortable symptoms associated with this disorder.
Manual therapy is a hands on form of this where your physical therapist manipulates the way your body moves in order to help retrain movement patterns.
Your physical therapist will use techniques which address tissue and joint dysfunctions to improve mobility and reduce pain.
2. Strength Training
Strength training is beneficial for everyone at any time of the year, but especially if you have scoliosis.
Strength training can be used to help regain core strength as well as the muscles of areas such as the shoulders, head and feet.
Core strength is particularly important, because these muscles support the spinal column.
Some good exercises to consider are squats with no extra weight, upright rows with dumbbells or a barbell, and the “superman” in which one lies on their stomach, extends their arms in front of them and lifts their feet and arms.
3. Range Of Motion Exercises
Because scoliosis can result in limited range of motion, exercises to help individuals regain their mobility are an important part of therapy.
Yoga can be a very helpful practice that will also improve your range of motion and mobility.
Some examples of excellent yoga poses for scoliosis include upward and downward dog.
You can also practice step-down and reach, and split stance with arm reach.
Another great practice to consider is pilates.
At Capitol Physical Therapy, we can help you to create a customized range of motion program that will help you to feel better with consistent practise.
Remember, consistency is key and so it’s very important that you remain committed to your treatment.
Book Your Appointment With Capitol Physical Therapy Today
Have you been diagnosed with scoliosis and want help to manage your symptoms and regain mobility?
Perhaps your child is showing signs of spinal curvature and you want to ensure they have the support they need as they grow, and as their scoliosis progresses.
Capitol Physical Therapy can help.
We can provide therapies and solutions to help manage your scoliosis and help to improve your quality of life.
1331 H St NW #200,
Washington, DC 20005
9560 Pennsylvania Ave. # 202,
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
Capitol Physical Therapy offers orthopedic and other pain related solutions, with our versitile team of physical therapists in Washington, DC