Jennifer has been incredibly helpful in treatment and also teaching me the right way to stand and walk for my condition. I would highly recommend her to anyone—and best of all, she’s a lot of fun!
When I was ten years old, I was diagnosed with Scoliosis, and in the months leading up to the diagnosis, I had noticed that my back had begun to hurt. I am now 15 and using the Schroth Method at Graham Therapy and Fitness. I’m super active now as well, tons of running and doing sports all the time, and I have no back pain.
Scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, often occurs when children are just entering puberty, which is a stressful enough time without also having to deal with a physical limitation. The cause is not always known, although rarer forms are connected to neuromuscular origins, muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy. Yet through a range of treatments, including scoliosis specific physical therapy.
What are warning signs of scoliosis?
In general, a lack of alignment in the upper body may indicate that a child has scoliosis. Specifically, if one hip and/or one shoulder looks higher than the other, or one shoulder blade seems to be more easily discernible than the other, scoliosis may be a factor.
In more advanced cases, back pain, a pronounced curve in the spine, or ribs that are noticeably more prominent on one side, can be a scoliosis indicator. Difficulty in breathing may occur, as your ribs press against one or both lungs.
What are the common treatments?
Children with moderate and severe cases of scoliosis will often need more intervention than physical therapy alone. Bracing is common for moderate scoliosis. There are many braces available, two examples of more recent advances in the thoracolumbarsacral orthosis or TLSO include customized 3-dimensional TLSO braces like the Rigo-Che^neau or the Gensingen Brace®
In mild cases, however, physical therapy may be enough. PT can additionally augment more aggressive treatment for moderate and severe cases.
How does physical therapy help?
Your physical therapist can help you retrain your body to function more effectively with your particular alignment issues. In addition, physical therapy increases your range of motion, as well as builds strength in parts of your body which have been weakened through misalignment.
Physical therapy is also useful for scoliosis patients who have muscles and joints which have stiffened over time. Through massage therapy, your physical therapist will ease this tension, while redirecting movement.
It’s never too late to begin physical therapy. Request an appointment at Graham Therapy and Fitness in Bethesda, MD to begin your treatment.