Scoliosis is not a disease. It’s dysfunction in the spine which causes a curvature.
Human spines are naturally curvy, but not horizontally. A horizontal curve provokes pain and physical dysfunction. The most common variety of scoliosis is seen in young patients aged 10 – 18 – adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. No root cause has been identified for AIS.
For the 2 – 3% of young people living with scoliosis, though, there’s hope. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis treatment in California at Scoliosis & Spine Associates has supported hundreds of young patients.
Conservative Treatment Options
Conservative treatment options are always preferred for our young patients. Included are several models – curvature observation, exercise therapy (Pilates, Yoga and Scroth) and bracing.
The combination of conservative treatment options presents an effective therapeutic path forward. Deploying movement therapy, combined with observation and bracing strengthens the patient, while mitigating the curve. This strategy offers our young patients empowerment, as they take ownership of their own care by engaging with it.
Keep tabs on the Curve
Observation may sound passive, but it renders important information for making decisions about treatment.
When the curvature is observed to be increasing, bracing and movement therapy are indicated.
When the patient’s curvature has reached between 30 and 45-degrees, bracing is applied to begin addressing it.
Bracing has been called on for many years as a proven method to halt curve progression. The BRAIST (Bracing in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Trial, 2013) Study, revealed that for bracing to be as effective as possible, patients should wear their braces for a minimum 16 hours a day (to a maximum of 20 hours).
Improvements in bracing technology (like the groundbreaking UnyqAlign brace) mean that patients are more willing to wear braces for the prescribed amount of time.
The nature of this next generation tool puts an end to the uncomfortable, unattractive (key for young patients) aspects of bracing. UnyqAlign has changed the game for youth living with AIS.
Exercise Is Powerful
Doctor-directed movement is another important tool in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis treatment in California.
While ongoing research to definitively prove (empirically) these treatments’ effectiveness is still needed, Scoliosis & Spine has seen superior results when employing exercise therapy.
Patients treated with exercise therapies see greater success in correcting their posture, also showing reduced fatigue and discomfort in the muscles. Breathing is significantly improved, making exercise an excellent complement to other treatments.
The Scroth Method is one of the most powerful movement therapy models for the treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.
Developed in 1920s Germany, Scroth’s mission is to strengthen the muscles supporting the spine and in the mid-section. When part of a specific program to lengthen and strengthen other muscle groups, Scroth relieves pain by improving the curvature.
Hope for AIS
Scoliosis treatments are changing. That represents better care for patients seeking adolescent idiopathic scoliosis treatment in California.
The team at Scoliosis & Spine are leaders in seeking continual improvements in the treatment of AIS. Our clinical lead, Dr. Baron Lonner, is an acknowledged scoliosis expert, spearheading research and development of emerging therapeutic models.