View Full Version : Physiotherapy instead of surgery

Black Star
23rd October 2007, 02:19 PM
I wanted to let everyone know that Iíve found a physiotherapist who is having a positive effect on my scoliosis! :niceone:
<span style='font-size:10pt;line-height:100%'>
Having been diagnosed with scoliosis three years ago and urged to have surgery within the last year, I have been desperately researching non-surgical options.

This hasnít been easy. With a curve of 62 degrees (which has progressed by about 20 degrees in the last year and a half) I have been urged frequently by my surgeon, doctor and various other scoliosis specialists to have the surgery a.s.a.p.

Researching the condition online you begin to realize just how unknown this condition is:
ē Firstly, no one seems to be able to say what causes idiopathic scoliosis.
ē Secondly, no one knows for certain how to cure scoliosis.
ē Thirdly, everyone endorses their treatments for scoliosis.
ē Fourthly, everyone points out the problems/ risks/ deficiencies with any other scoliosis treatment. :nut:

For example I have found physiotherapists who recommend the katherina Scroth method but (thanks to this website) I have also found many flaws with this treatment. Some recommend a bubble treatment (I donít know the details of this) whilst others recommend acupuncture; some researchers in America even seem to suggest that scoliosis is a disease and the curve is only a side-effect - they suggest a brace, exercise and a change in diet to help. With so many contradicting treatments it becomes extremely confusing to decide how best to help yourself&#33; :???:

A relative recently suggested that I go and see his physiotherapists at Stortford Grange in Bishop Stortford (UK). I was very cynical about how they could help Ė I had tried physiotherapy once before with a local physiotherapist and was given an hour and a half of exercises to do each day (which they didnít even know would be able to help scoliosis). Needless to say it wasnít long before I gave up on the idea (thinking surgery an easier option&#33;)

However, I have found the experience of this physiotherapy really encouraging so far.

The first visit

On the first visit they gave me a thorough examination, (looking at my back, in various different positions, not just the x-rays) concluding that a probable cause of my scoliosis * was that my sacrum was unaligned. As a result of this, the back curves, to keep the shoulders and pelvis aligned so that the eyes are in alignment. They also suggested that this was possibly caused by a horse riding accident that I had when I was eleven and augmented by hyper flexibility (a condition which is apparently quite common amongst scoliosis patients).

*I say Ďmy scoliosisí because obviously everyoneís scoliosis is very different, affects different areas of the back and is likely to be offset by different things.

Working on the scoliosis

On the same day they started the treatment. This involved:

1. Manipulating the sacrum into line (this basically involved bending my body in half Ė not very comfortable&#33;)
2. Electrotherapy Ė this was, I think, to reduce the inflammation of the muscles that hadnít been used for a long time, and prepare them for exercises.
3. I was given a first set of 10-minute-a-day exercises to help strengthen certain muscles and straighten the bottom of my spine.

After this visit it was already clear that the sacrum was more in line.

Two more visits

Having been back a couple of times to check on the progress, the exercises I am doing have changed. After aligning the sacrum and doing the first two groups of exercises, my pelvis has aligned itself and the bottom of my spine has become much straighter in only a few weeks. In my particular case I am now doing exercises to work on the rotation in the middle of my spine).


The programme is tailored specifically to my scoliosis, so I know that everything I am doing is worthwhile and the exercises have never taken much time. (The first two sets took ten minutes a day and the ones I am doing now are taking only 30 minutes a day but arenít too strenuous and can be done whilst watching TV). Moreover the physiotherapists aim to have straightened the curve within a period of six months to a year Ė a time period that I am still cynical about&#33; However even if it does take longer than this, itís still better than exercises every day for the rest of oneís life, as is involved in the katherina Scroth method, or being exempt from sport for two years, as is the case with surgery. N.B. there is nothing that I canít do as normal whilst doing physiotherapy.

I can not confirm by any means that physiotherapy is the best root to take to tackle scoliosis and I am still being checked by my surgeon Ė In fact I have decided that if physiotherapy hasnít had a great affect after a year I will in fact have the surgery. However I am very pleased with the results so far and feel very confident in the experienced hands of the physiotherapists. All in all, I am a believer that surgery should be a last resort rather than a first and I feel that by trying the physiotherapy nothing has been lost&#33; I will keep you updated on how it goes&#33; </span>

23rd October 2007, 03:37 PM
That&#39;s really fantastic :-) It sounds to me like you have exactly the right plan, as you are giving yourself every opportunity to avoid the surgery, and yet also being monitored by your doctor so that you can confirm any changes. I really hope it works for you&#33; Even if you don&#39;t get much more reduction of the curvature, just being more comfortable has to be a very good thing :D

23rd October 2007, 04:09 PM
Excellent news, I hope things continue to go well for you.

I&#39;m relieved to hear you will still be monitored by your surgeon as that will give you the best range of options.

Good luck&#33;

Amazed Jean
23rd October 2007, 09:49 PM
I agree that yours is great news. I wholeheartedly support anything that reduces pain . As long as it doesn&#39;t hurt and might help go for it&#33; Do keep us posted and please keep a careful watch on yourself&#33; Good Luck&#33; and I hope to hear from you often with more great results&#33;

24th October 2007, 07:42 PM
What fantastic news - you must be made up&#33;

I have been researching non-surgical treatments and am, in fact going for a Schroth consultation in a couple of weeks but, must say that your experience sounds really very encouraging. I have started seeing an NHS physio recently and she has given me some excercies but I did feel that she didn&#39;t know much about scoliosis and that she just taked about posture and standing up straight (arggggggggh&#33;).

I wouldn&#39;t mind looking into visiting your place - is there a web site or an e-mail address?

Thanks for telling us about this - I get pretty demoralised when it seems that the only option is surgery&#33;

Black Star
25th October 2007, 04:45 PM
this is the website: http://www.stortfordgrange.co.uk/

if you can get there it&#39;s definitely worth going&#33;

Little Ali
25th October 2007, 11:39 PM
Originally posted by caro@Oct 24 2007, 05:42 PM

I have started seeing an NHS physio recently and she has given me some excercies but I did feel that she didn&#39;t know much about scoliosis and that she just taked about posture and standing up straight (arggggggggh&#33;).

Ha&#33; In my experience, I wouldn&#39;t waste your time with NHS physios with regard to scoliosis&#33; :nut:

I&#39;m really glad you&#39;ve found something that helps Blackstar&#33; Sounds fab&#33; Good luck&#33;

26th October 2007, 08:47 PM
That emoticon says it all little Alli&#33;

Thanks Blackstart - I&#39;ve looked them up online and e-mailed them. My usual question - does anyone know of somewhere similar further north? Its a long way for me to go and I don&#39;t have friends or family in that area. Not easy to manage with work and a toddler&#33; :-x

Little Ali
30th October 2007, 07:54 PM
Tee hee...I love that emoticon&#33;

Black Star
30th January 2008, 08:31 PM
Photos coming soon...

30th January 2008, 09:52 PM
The site mentions not a word about Scoliosis neither any word on if surgerically treated Scoliosis patients can be helped... It sounds like a chiropractor ways of doing things...

Now your facts on Schroth are also not correct, you do not have to do Schroth the rest of your life daily. And its an 80 year old Treatment that works for all in any ages and also for those with surgery.

What does this treatment cost? Can you explain some exersizes? Looking forward to those pics...