Idiopathic is a term used to describe a dysfunction or abnormality of unknown causes. Juvenile scoliosis is usually an idiopathic form of scoliosis affecting teenage children when they reach puberty. With the help of physical therapy, scoliosis does not have to be disabling or painful.
In general, a lack of alignment in the upper body may indicate that a child has scoliosis. Specifically, if one hip and/or 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 stick out noticeably on one side, can be a scoliosis indicator. Difficulty in breathing may occur, as your ribs press against one or both lungs.
Children with moderate and severe cases of scoliosis will probably need more intervention than physical therapy alone. Bracing is a common treatment for moderate scoliosis. Severe cases of rapidly progressing scoliosis. In mild cases, however, physical therapy may be enough. PT can additionally augment more aggressive treatment for moderate and severe cases.
At New Stride Physical Therapy, we use the Pilates Method to retrain your body to function more effectively with your particular alignment issues. In addition, physical therapy for scoliosis increases your range of motion, as well as builds strength in parts of your body which have been weakened through malalignment.
Physical therapy is also useful for patients with scoliosis who have muscles and joints that have stiffened over time. Through manual therapy, your physical therapist can ease this tension, while redirecting movement. Electric stimulation, ice, and heat applications can also be beneficial for back pain and stiffness.