Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. It’s more common than you may think! It impacts 3% of our youth population and that percentage trends upwards in the aging population.
There are two categories of scoliosis: Functional and structural. A typical functional scoliosis presentation occurs with a leg length discrepancy (LLD). When the LLD is assessed and correctly managed then the curve can resolve itself. Whereas, with a structural curve, there are changes that occur to the bones of the spine (the vertebrae). There is anterior (front) & lateral (side) vertebral wedging that causes the vertebrae to shift during a child’s or teen’s growth spurts.
The most common type of scoliosis occurs between 12-14 years of age and is referred to as Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS). Idiopathic meaning, unknown cause. Researchers are working to determine what the exact trigger(s) are that lead to this condition but there are not definitive answers at this time.
Idiopathic Scoliosis may result in the following asymmetries:
Uneven or protruding shoulder blade(s)
Pelvis obliquity - uneven hips
Apparent leg length difference
A ribcage that is more prominent on one side in standing or when bending forward
If you suspect your child or teenager has scoliosis, it is recommended you bring them in for assessment (either to their family doctor or to a Schroth trained physiotherapist). The goal is for scoliosis to be detected early to ensure conservative management is promptly started as a way to slow down curve progression.
Our Schroth trained physiotherapist can assist you in determining if you or your child has scoliosis and will happily support you in all the steps along the way!
What is Scheuermann's Kyphosis?
Scheuermann’s Kyphosis (SK) is a spinal condition that is most evident when looking at someone’s posture from the side view. The condition greatly affects the middle back (in the thoracic spine), as the spine looks excessively curved or “hunched” forwards.
The typical SK presentation includes:
A fixed, rounded forward or ‘hunched’ thoracic (middle) spine
Excessive forward pelvic tilt with increased lower back curve (lumbar lordosis)
What is The Schroth Method?
The Schroth Method is a conservative exercise program designed to treat the unique nature of each persons individual curve(s) in a 3-dimensional way. When there are structural changes to the vertebrae, it is important that a customized exercise program is created to achieve the desired treatment outcomes.
This method uses the concepts of elongation, trunk/chest expansion and muscle activation to un-rotate the spine and strengthen the muscles that support the growing/aging spine.
The primary treatment goals include:
Educating you on your unique curve so you can visualize your spine in 3 dimensions
Slowing the curve progression
Resolving and managing pain & discomfort
Improving postural differences in the body
Improving breathing to help increase your lungs capacity
Strengthening muscles to balance out any side to side differences in the trunk & hips
Schroth is not only great for scoliosis and SK, it can also be very useful for postural differences. For example, you might notice your child or your spouse has one shoulder blade that sticks out more than the other or that one hip looks higher than the other. These differences can lead to muscle imbalances and discomfort which can increase one’s risk for injury. By improving one’s strength in a straight(elongated) or neutral position, postural imbalances can be corrected/improved which will decrease the potential for overuse or sports related injuries.
Schroth at Lab Health Esquimalt
This year has taught us a lot! As healthcare practitioners we were able to expand the classic treatment model. Physiotherapists were able to demonstrate that positive treatment outcomes can be achieved not only in-clinic but also virtually via tele-health!
Our Schroth Physiotherapist, is now offering a hybrid, scoliosis-specific treatment model that includes both tele-health and in-clinic sessions.
As a way to ensure your treatment goals are achieved, physiotherapist Sharaya will be bringing her vast knowledge of spinal pathologies and best practice treatment approaches to our list of provided services.
Sharaya will be offering The Schroth Method at our Lab Health Esquimalt clinic in the form of Schroth Comprehensives. Schroth Comprehensives are one example of an innovative treatment approach using tele-health and in-person care models. The Schroth Method is a unique treatment approach and is often best learned in longer, more frequent treatment sessions. This approach involves both education, movement and mindfulness.
What is a Schroth Comprehensive?
It typically takes 10-15 hours to learn and become independent with a Schroth program. Unlike conventional physiotherapy, longer sessions that are more frequent are recommended to improve retention of material taught and can lead to treatment outcomes being achieved quicker.
If you decide to proceed weekly with treatment, until you have completed your 10-15 hour program, the typical treatment lengths are 60- or 90-minutes. Since, in-person sessions are currently only offered 1x/month you may prefer a longer session to learn the majority of your program over a 2-3 day period (completing 3-4 hour sessions each day).
What do I need for my tele-rehabilitation appointment?
You will need the internet, a computer, tablet or smartphone with video and microphone capabilities or a telephone if you would rather. You don’t have to download any programs as we will email you a link to your virtual appointment. Just keep an eye out for that email right before your scheduled appointment. Wear clothes similar to what you would wear in person in the clinic or gym.
Will my extend health insurance plan cover this?
Each plan covers comprehensives and tele-rehabilitation differently. Please call your provider to check your individual coverage. If come across any barriers to coverage please reach out to us and we will try and help in any way we can!
Call Lab Health (meet Kayla!) & Book in with Sharaya today!
You will be asked a few questions to ensure our Schroth trained physiotherapist has the imaging and information required to prepare for your initial assessment.
Book your 75-minute Initial assessment (this session includes: a complete medical history, assessment, education & determination of your individualized treatment plan)