What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a three-dimensional deformity of the spine that, based on the age of the first detection, is defined as infantile(up to three years), juvenile (from three years to puberty), or adolescent (from puberty to complete bone maturity).
Over 80% of cases are diagnosed during adolescence.
It affects about 3% of the population and concerns seven cases in ten of the female sex, even if it is serious in less than 0.5 per thousand.
It is defined in 80–85% of cases as “idiopathic”, an elegant way to say that for now we do not know the cause. In other cases, it is secondary to neurological, congenital, metabolic and other diseases.
A family disease
Idiopathic scoliosis is a family disease, in the sense that if someone in the family has it, it is likely that others will suffer, albeit with different gravities: thus, we should pay attention to children and grandchildren.
Scoliosis is a disease that has no obvious symptoms (e.g. pain) and should be approached in a careful manner by relying on expert specialists.
Usually, scoliosis occurs during growth and worsens until bone maturation, with a peak at the beginning of puberty, at the threshold of adolescence.
If it exceeds certain levels (often over 30°, almost always over 50°), the progression does not end with growth, even if it becomes very slow (0.5–1 degrees per year).
Often it follows a curvature sideways and forwards in old age (think of the hunchback of Notre Dame or the witch of Snow White).
A therapy step by step
Scoliosis should be treated one step at a time, the difficulty is to start from the right one.
The purpose of a rehabilitation treatment (with exercises and/or bracing) is to obtain a spine that allows, in the context of a well-developed body and psyche, good functionality in adult-hood.
Scoliosis cannot be healed. Healing would mean going back to zero degrees, which is really exceptional, but what really matters is having a slight curve even if the spine is not perfectly straight.
Scoliosis therapy ends at the end of bone growth, when the monitoring phase starts with periodic checks depending on the entity, i.e. annual, biennial, or every three years.
If, at some point, scoliosis begins to worsen, there are two possibilities: to undergo surgery, or to start to perform regular specific exercises to keep the situation stable.
Isico rehabilitation treatment
We treat scoliosis using the Scientific Exercises Approach to Scoliosis (SEAS) protocol.
It is not a methodology but an approach and as such it’s in a continuous evolution thanks to the knowledge and to the scientific evidence that ISICO achieves through research.
The treatment protocol is used with patients with mild scoliosis (below 15°): it is the first step when trying to avoid bracing.
It is important to understand that the exercises can’t replace the brace, but they have the capacity to train self-awareness, reflexes, and motor alertness.
The results show their utility in scoliotic patients.
The scientific evidence has shown that the exercises can reduce bracing and in case of patients wearing the brace, they help in maintaining the correction achieved during brace weaning.
For curves over 35°, the Sforzesco brace is prescribed (a brace comparable to the correction of a plaster cast but that guarantees greater freedom of movement).