Scoliosis isn’t, as popularly believed, a disease. Rather, the term describes an abnormal spinal curvature.
All our spines are curved to some degree but vertically, not horizontally. It’s the horizontal curvature which causes physical impairment. And the most common form of this condition is experienced by young people aged 10 – 18 – Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. There is no known cause.
But there’s hope for the 2 – 3% of young people affected by AIS. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis treatment in New Jersey at Scoliosis & Spine Associates is that hope.
For younger patients, conservative treatments are always preferred to surgical interventions. These include an array of therapeutic responses, including bracing, exercise therapy (Scroth, Yoga, Pilates) and observation of curve progression.
Deploying conservative treatment options in combination usually offers an effective way forward. For example, combining movement therapy with observation and bracing strengthens the patient, while offering curve correction. But the best part is the empowerment our young patients experience with this approach.
Observing the Curve
Observation may not sound like a classical medical treatment, but it informs the way forward with respect to ongoing interventions.
When the curve, for example, is seen to be worsening, bracing is indicated, with the addition of movement therapy.
When the patient’s curvature is observed to have advanced to between 30 and 45-degrees, bracing is indicated.
Bracing has been demonstrated to effectively stop curve progression. The BRAIST (Bracing in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Trial, 2013) Study, revealed that effective bracing required patients to wear their braces for a minimum of 16 hours each day, to a maximum of 20 hours.
And with advances in bracing technology (like the revolutionary UnyqAlign brace), patients are much more likely to wear their braces for the prescribed duration.
This is due to the breathable, flexible nature of this next generation brace. No longer constricting, uncomfortable and unattractive (important to our patients), UnyqAlign is a treatment option that covers all the patient-friendly bases.
In recent years, movement therapy has become an important component of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis treatment in New Jersey.
While there continues to be a need for corroborating research to validate the efficacy of these treatments, at Scoliosis & Spine we’re seeing tremendous results when employing movement-based therapy.
Patients following a course of treatment which includes movement therapy experience higher levels of posture correction and reduced fatigue and muscle discomfort. Breathing mechanics are also improved.
One of the most promising movement therapy models is the Scroth Method.
Developed in the 1920s in Germany, Scroth’s mission is to strengthen muscles supporting the spine and in the mid-section, accompanied by a process of both lengthening and strengthening adjacent muscles. The goal is to remediate the curve and relieve pain.
Scoliosis therapies are continually evolving and that grows hope for those seeking adolescent idiopathic scoliosis treatment in New Jersey.
At Scoliosis & Spine Associates, we’re in the vanguard of advances in treatment for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Our director, Dr. Baron Lonner, is actively involved in research and development of improved techniques.