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What is Scoliosis?

What is Scoliosis?


Scoliosis is a neuro-muscular disorder that causes an abnormal curve of the spine. This curve can occur in the lumbar or thoracic regions. However, in some cases it affects the whole spine. You will be diagnosed with scoliosis if the curvature in your spine is greater than ten degrees.

It is generally first noticed during adolescence between the ages of 10 and 15, especially during a growth spurt. The most common form of scoliosis is idiopathic meaning that it has no known cause. However, it can also be caused due to muscle spasms or as a secondary condition of cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome.

What are the signs and symptoms?

The most common symptom of scoliosis is back pain. You can have back pain caused by the curvature of your spine.The curve puts pressure and stress on the spinal discs, nerves, muscles, ligaments or facet joints.

Other notable signs and symptoms are:

  • One shoulder or hip being higher than the other
  • Protruding shoulder blade
  • Head not centred directly above pelvis
  • Leaning of entire body to one side
  • Restricted breathing
  • Limited physical activity

Pain or discomfort is often not reported during early years. However, as time goes on and those with scoliosis get older they may begin experiencing the symptoms outlined above.

What treatment options are available?

The goal of treatment is to prevent the curvature of the spine from getting worse. Treatment of scoliosis depends on the severity of the particular patient. Physiotherapy is beneficial for providing pain relief and rectifying any imbalances within the spinal region.

Your physiotherapist will create a tailored treatment programme suitable for you and may provide you with stretching and strengthening exercises in order to maintain optimal flexibility, core stability and postural support. Treatments such as bracing may also be advised depending on the severity of the individual’s condition.

Dry needling and soft tissue massage is beneficial for releasing tight muscles and alleviating back pain. Pilates classes has also proven to help improve posture, increase range of movement and strengthen core stability among sufferers. Your physiotherapist will also assess your biomechanics and determine whether you need additional support from orthotics to correct any biomechanical faults.

Here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic, our physiotherapists are expertly trained in relieving the symptoms associated with scoliosis. If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment, contact us here.


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