Not a disease, scoliosis refers to a disorder of the spine causing a curvature.
All our spines are somewhat curved – but vertically, not horizontally. A horizontal curvature results in pain and diminished physical function. The most common variety of scoliosis is observed in adolescents and teens aged 10 – 18 – adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. To date, there’s no known cause
But for the 2 – 3% of adolescents and teens with AIS, there’s hope. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis treatment in California at Scoliosis & Spine Associates has helped countless patients.
Conservative scoliosis interventions are always preferred. These include several key treatment models, including observation of the curvature’s progression, bracing and exercise therapy (Scroth, Pilates, Yoga).
Layering conservative interventions is the cornerstone of a transformative way forward. For example, combining movement therapy with observation and bracing physically strengthens the patient, while mitigating the curve. There’s nothing more satisfying than the empowerment this methodology offers our young patients. They take control of their wellness.
Minding the Curve
Observation may not sound like a pivotal part of treatment, but it’s effective for making treatment determinations.
When the curve is observed to be increasing, bracing is indicated, as well as exercise therapy.
When the patient’s curvature has grown to between 30 and 45-degrees, bracing is initiated to begin correcting it.
Bracing has long been observed to stop 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 no less than16 hours a day, to a maximum of 20 hours.
With improvements in bracing technology (like the new UnyqAlign brace), patients are more likely to wear their braces for the prescribed amount of time.
The breathable, flexible, nature of this groundbreaking brace eliminates the constricting, unattractive (important to young patients) and uncomfortable aspects of bracing. UnyqAlign is a therapy that has changed the game.
Recently, therapeutic exercise has become a major trend in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis treatment in California.
While ongoing research to clinically establish the effectiveness of these therapies is still required, at Scoliosis & Spine we’ve seen tremendous results when using exercise therapy.
Patients who are treated using movement therapies enjoy greater success in the hard work of correcting their posture, experiencing reduced fatigue and discomfort in their muscles. Ease of breathing is also markedly improved.
The Scroth Method is widely considered to be one of the most consistently effective exercise therapy modalities.
Established in the 1920s in Germany, Scroth seeks to strengthen muscles around the spine and in the trunk. When part of a focused program of strengthening and lengthening other implicated muscle groups, Scroth improves the curve and relieves pain.
Scoliosis therapies are continually improving and that means more effective care for patients seeking adolescent idiopathic scoliosis treatment in California.
At Scoliosis & Spine, we’re fully engaged in seeking continual improvement in treatment for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Our clinical lead, Dr. Baron Lonner, is fully engaged in research and development of emerging therapies.