What is scoliosis?
What are the signs and symptoms of scoliosis?
- Uneven shoulders
- One shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other
- Uneven waist
- One hip higher than the other
How can physiotherapy and massage therapy help scoliosis?
Manual PhysiotherapyAlthough physiotherapy exercises can't stop scoliosis, there are a number of other factors that come into play with this sideways curvature. Essentially, with scoliosis, all of the lifestyle changes that are required to prevent joint disease in general and back pain are even more important because now there are two sets of curves. The normal lordosis, kyphosis, lordosis and the sideways cure of a scoliosis, must interplay and fight the effects of gravity to keep optimal alignment and posture. Curves cause joint stiffness and joint stiffness leads to a lack of mobility and compensations. Typically right at the apex of the curve, joints become stiff. The resultant compensations are in effect imbalances that then lead to dysfunctions and pain syndromes. A healthy spine is a mobile spine and one that can move in all directions and plans of motions both on a segmental level and on a functional level. Your physiotherapist can assess the intervertebral joint motions, the small motions between each vertebra, and they can then perform techniques that can specifically get these joints moving again. Manual physiotherapists have the ability to use their hands to palpate suppleness and joint motion. Each spinal level has a unique plane of movement and each has a slightly different functional angle. Restoring this mobility and suppleness will allow the spine to move as a functional unit without having to compensate.
Massage TherapyDue to the changing structure of the spine, the goal of the Massage Therapist is to help decrease the muscle tone and spasm on either side of the curve as well as relieving secondary issues that can occur such as headaches, sciatica and back pain. Deep tissue techniques, in combination with increasing circulation to the blood and lymphatic systems is essential to decreasing scoliosis related symptoms.
How can exercise and physical development help after back pain?
Scolisis associated with back pain or injuryIt is important to regain functional back range of motion, as well as to strengthen the muscles which help to support the back and spine. In addition to Manual hands on therapy techniques, exercises to increase range of motion can be performed at home and at physiotherapy. These include flexion (knee to chest), extension (back arching like a cat), side flexion (arm down side of body), and rotation (twisting). Your Physiotherapist will perform manual therapy techniques to release restrictions and follow up with range of motion exercises in order to maintain this new range of motion. Maintaining range of motion exercises can help to decrease pain and improve joint health by aiding blood and nutrients in getting to the joint. The next important goal following a back pain is to regain strength and correct posture. There are a series exercises to progressively develop optimal posture. Patients will start with simple posture correction exercises that both reinforce good posture but also stretch and strengthen this postural pattern. Trunk control, engaging the abdominal and scapular muscles by engaging your core muscles and brining your shoulder blades back and down initially in standing and in supine, later in sitting and while lifting and bending. Abdominal control during different activities and in different positions are essential for the development of safe functional movements such as when, lifting or bending, or working and then during posture control while driving a car or putting dishes away or working at the computer etc. We typically start with active postural correction and then with resistance using elastic bands and cables. Your Physiotherapist will advise which exercises are appropriate at which point of each patient's treatment and will progress the exercises throughout the course of treatment.
Physical Development with ScoliosisThe final step is to establish a personal improvement health plan to continue to develop physically throughout your life. This is especially necessary after injury or an accident when you have become deconditioned. All of our staff have a combination of health sciences and sports sciences training, having dual training in both kinesiology and physiotherapy and allowing us to provide a biomechanical focus. Once you have recovered from your injuries, our therapists will perform a functional movement screen and analysis to identify individual muscle imbalances that are unique to your inherited structure, to your movement patterns, and to your goals and interests in living a healthy physical life. We develop a individualized program that focus on:
- Your specific imbalances and movement patterns at work, home, and those evident during the activities that you participate in.
- You structural and genetic posture and alignment characterizes and how they affect your interests to do activity etc.
- We look at the ergonomics specific to your workplace and home
How can low intensity laser therapy help a painful scoliosis?
Physiological effects of Low Intensity Laser TherapyWith LILT there is an increased production and release of:
- Endorphins which - natural analgesics
- Cortisol – a precursor of cortisone
- Growth hormone – instrumental in tissue repair
- ATP – improves and regulates cellular metabolism
- An increase in protein synthesis – collagen, DNA, fibroblasts
- A facilitated venous and lymphatic flow
- Increased angiogenesis – the elevation of oxygen saturation
- Enhanced immune response
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