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What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis in children is an abnormal curvature of the spine. Scoliosis can be a C-shaped or S-shaped. Scoliosis in children can cause pain, stiffness and difficulty breathing. Signs of scoliosis in children may include:
  • One shoulder blade is higher than the other
  • One hip is more higher and more prominent than the other
  • The ribcage is more prominent on one side
  • Your child leans to one side
Scoliosis is usually idiopathic which means that the cause of curvature to the spine is not known. Scoliosis is more common in children with neuromuscular conditions such as Cerebral Palsy and Muscular Dystrophy because of muscle weakness and muscle imbalance.

Postural realignment by an experienced paediatric physiotherapistAbove: Postural realignment by an experienced paediatric physiotherapist

Types of scoliosis

The three types of scoliosis in children include:
  • Infantile Scoliosis which occurs before the age of three
  • Juvenile Scoliosis occurs in children aged between the age of 3 and 10
  • Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) which occurs between the age of 10 and 14
Scoliosis can also be classed as postural or fixed.
  • Postural scoliosis –usually occurs secondary to other problems, such as muscle imbalance, or a hip tilt (often due to a shorter leg) and can be corrected by positioning or stretching exercises.
  • Fixed scoliosis – means that the curvature of the spine is permanent and occurs due to deformities in the bones themselves. A fixed curve cannot be straightened by positioning.

Sretches and realignment exercises for the backAbove: Sretches and realignment exercises for the back

Conservative treatment for scoliosis

Physiotherapy treatment for scoliosis will help maintain movement and flexibility of your child's spine, reduce pain and maximise function. At our specialised paediatric physiotherapists will help your child manage their symptoms so that they can continue to enjoy activities at home or at school with friends and family.

Physiotherapy may involve: Orthopaedic braces - These are sometimes used in younger children to help realign the spine or prevent the curve from worsening and delay the need for surgery.

Lycra suits – These suits are made of lycra and cover the whole body to help maintain or reduce the curve of the spine and help improve hip position and trunk stability.

Surgery for scoliosis

In severe cases need some children may require surgical correction which may involve fusion of the vertebrae (bones in the spine) and fixing it together with rods, hook or screws to keep the spine straight.

Physiotherapy following surgery

At we provide comprehensive assessment and treatment for children following spinal surgery. It is important to commence physiotherapy treatment as soon as possible following the surgery for the best possible recovery. Our paediatric physiotherapist at will help rebuild your child’s strength and flexibility and improve posture in a safe and effective way so they can continue with the activities they enjoy at home or at school. Physiotherapy treatment will be focused on:
  • Relieving pain and swelling
  • Restoring and maintaining range of movement
  • Increasing muscle strength
  • Improving posture
  • Increasing comfort
  • Enhancing independence with everyday activities
  • Improving quality of life
Our motivated paediatric physiotherapists are experienced at treating children and adolescents following spinal surgery. An initial assessment with one of our physiotherapists will look at your child's movement and current symptoms and a structured rehabilitation program will be developed suited to your child which may involve: Physiotherapy will help maximise your child’s physical potential following surgery and increase independence with the activities at school or home. Your physiotherapist at will guide and support your child throughout their rehabilitation program so that they get the most out of their treatment.

For more information or to book an appointment please call 0330 088 7800, or book online today!

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