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How Do You Treat Scoliosis Effectively?

By Expert Author: Garima Anamdani

This spinal ailment results in the patient suffering from a lateral spinal curve. This C-shaped or S-shaped curve is caused due to injury, birth defect, infection or minor non-structural causes. So, the effective treatment of Scoliosis depends on select important factors:
• Patient’s age – This is an important factor because it allows the spine specialist to estimate the potential growth possible after the date of physical examination.
• Degree and pattern of curve – Current pattern and degree will suggest the present and future damage possible over the passing years.
• Type – Infantile, juvenile and Adolescent; these types occurs in age group of up to 3 years, 3 to 9 years and 10 to 18 years respectively.
• Location of curve: It can occur in any part of the spine. The general types of this can be classified as thoracic, lumbar and thoraco-lumbar.

Based on these factors, the spine specialist will choose the most suitable treatment. There are primary options available to the spine health expert such as:

• Observation – Once it is detected, the most preferred step is observation. Physician or spine health expert track the development of curve over period of time. It allows them to calculate rate of curvature progression and base the most efficient treatment possible.
• Bracing – If a young patient has a spinal curve of over 25 degrees, with years of likely growth ahead, back braces are recommended to minimize further damage. Bracing is not scoliosis treatment, though. It prevents further curve development in infantile and juvenile scoliosis patients. It is not useful in mature patients as it cannot change current skeletal curve into normalcy. The most commonly used braces for this ailment are Boston brace and Charleston bending back curve.
• Surgery – This is not the preferred choice. But, there are cases, where it is recommended if any worsening of curve may damage nearby organs, tissues and other connecting tissues. If your skeletal curve is greater than 45 to 50 degrees, surgery is recommended. Spinal experts can go in for surgery from the back of the spine or from front of the spine.

There are a few other treatments available. But, it is important to understand that it is not possible to predict tangible benefits towards the recovery.
• Exercise
• Chiropractic treatment
• Nutritional supplements
• Electrical stimulation

The fact is that physiotherapy and occupational therapy are currently being used for most patients for a long time. Though certain methods of treatment such as Schroth method have demonstrated their efficiency in scientific experiments, the vote on all generic practices in these therapies for Scoliosis is still out there. Thus, they are used in limited capacity only.

Dr Garima Anandani (P.T.), CMP, Dip. MDT
Head- Clinical Operations, Qi Spine Clinic
Dr Anandani is the first clinician from India to qualify for the prestigious Diploma in M.D.T. from The McKenzie Institute International and University of Otago. She has acquired specialized training in Spine rehabilitation from St David's Spine and Sports Therapy, Austin, Texas (USA) and from The Polyclinic, Seattle (USA). She is also one of the few Certified Mulligan Practitioners in India, with over 14 years of clinical experience in handling musculoskeletal disorders

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