We talk a lot about adolescent scoliosis on this site, but many adults with scoliosis also want to learn to manage scoliosis for pain relief and to prevent progression as aging occurs.
Adults of all ages with mild, moderate and severe curves have participated and benefitted from the Schroth Best Practice® program we offer. Some have never had any previous treatment, others were braced as teens, some have had spinal fusion surgery while others want to avoid surgery. Many of our patients have tried a gamut of alternative scoliosis treatments, usually with unsatisfactory results.
Our patients learn the skills necessary to work toward halted scoliosis curve progression, improved postural appearance and pulmonary function, better stability and flexibility, and reduced pain.
We find that many women (men too!) living with scoliosis want to take a proactive approach to improve quality of life and prevent curve progression during childbearing years, or as aging occurs. For those with an active lifestyle, learning scoliosis-specific exercise and ADL training is invaluable, empowering and allows patients to learn how to avoid worsening scoliosis.
Women in their late forties, fifties and sixties often inquire about our program, since this is the time when they begin to experience noticeable changes in their bodies. Some women find that once menopause approaches or once it has occurred, hormonal changes seem to exacerbate scoliosis. Loss of height caused by spinal degeneration, physical changes, pain and/or spinal instability are some signs that may indicate scoliosis is progressing.
Those who have had fusion surgery are also candidates for Schroth therapy. Post-surgical patients sometimes experience symptoms as they age as a result of curve progression above and/or below the fused spinal segments.
What some people who have had scoliosis surgery do not realize is that after surgery there is the potential for the spine to collapse (height decreased, loss of disc height, increased curve angle) – leading to curve progression in adulthood.
Programs for post-surgical patients are less intensive but no less effective. Patients learn to stabilize the spine and reduce pain. Certain patients who were disabled at the time have been able to return to work and/or resume normal activities.
Adults with scoliosis pain or spinal collapse now have the option to be fit for the Schroth method compatible Gensingen Brace®. It has been used in Germany to help adults and offers the potential to manage pain, deter progression and improve posture.
Choosing to wear a brace as an adult is an entirely different experience than having to wear a scoliosis brace as an adolescent. Adults are at liberty to use the brace at their discretion. Several adults we’ve treated have opted to use the brace in conjunction with Schroth exercise for a dual pronged approach to counteract progression. All of them report that they are happy that they have chosen to do so.
Schroth Best Practice® can be helpful at any age for halting progression, decreasing pain, and empowering those with scoliosis. It provides patients with the knowledge and the ability to manage scoliosis for life.
Weiss HR. Scoliosis-related pain in adults: Treatment influences. European Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 3:3 91-94. 1993.