In Exercise and Health

What is scoliosis

Idiopathic scoliosis is classified as a patient having at least a 10-degree lateral curve of the spine often coupled with a rotational component (1)

Causes of scoliosis

The main causes can be:

  • a genetic predisposition
  • connective tissue abnormalities
  • skeletal, muscular and neurological disturbances during growth. (3)

There are scolioses that do not worsen, whereas others can experience dramatic worsening especially during the pubertal growth spurt, or that continue to worsen in adulthood. (2)

Symptoms associated with scoliosis

Rotational deformities associated with scoliosis can lead to an increased incidence of low back pain, pain, reduced respiratory function or impairments and a decrease in the patient’s quality of life (1).

Neurological symptoms and deficits are also common among adults with scoliosis including incidences of severe back pain, radiculopathy, claudication, myelopathy and bowel/bladder dysfunction (4)

Inclusion of manual therapies

The treatment for scoliosis can range from simple observation for less serious curvatures to surgical intervention for more serious cases (2). Between these, manual therapy is commonly used with some benefit in treating scoliosis.

Research has indicated that the utilisation of myofascial release by a practitioner, see patients experience a decrease in pain and improved posture. This is achieved by removing myofascial restrictions that create uneven axial loads on the spine. (1)

While acute pain is often improved with just a single dose treatment, more persistent and dysfunctional patterns only show noticeable improvement from the compound effects of several sessions (3)

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  • The effect of myofascial release (MFR) on an adult with idiopathic scoliosis LeBauer, A.  Brtalik, R. Stowe, K. (2008) Journal of Body Work and Movement Therapies Volume 12, Issue 4, October 2008, Pages 356-363
  • Manual therapy as a conservative treatment for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: a systematic review Romano, M. Negrini, S. (2008) Biomed Central
  • 3.Impact of massage therapy in the treatment of linked pathologies: Scoliosis, costovertebral dysfunction, and thoracic outlet syndrome Hamm, M. (2006) Journal of Body Work and Movement Therapies 1, Pages 12-20
  • Neurological symptoms and deficits in adults with scoliosis who present to a surgical clinic: incidence and association with the choice of operative versus nonoperative management Smith, J. Fu. K, Urban, P. Shaffrey ,(2008) C. Journal of Neurosurgery
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Showing 2 comments
  • Joanne Ashby

    Hello Sarah

    I’m deaf age 55 with lip-reading and I have Kyphosis and scoliosis pain , tinnitus from TMD and tight muscles.
    I need neromuscular massage therapy on spine.

    Can you help me.


    Joanne Ashby

    • Brad Beer

      Hi Joanne- if you need some assistance you are welcome to email me direct with a bit more detail/history-Brad

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