A scoliosis is a curve and/or twist in the spine.
This can happen at any level of the spine and bend to either left or right.
Sometimes there are two or more curves throughout the spine.
According to the NHS, 80% of scoliosis cases are idiopathic. This means the cause is unknown.
Less commonly it can be due to the vertebrae not developing fully in the womb (congenital), bones weakening as we age (degenerative), conditions such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy (neuromuscular), or other conditions such as Marfan’s and Ehlers Danlos (syndromic).
Diagnosis of idiopathic scoliosis often occurs during adolescence when the child is experiencing growth spurts.
If you think you notice a curve, uneven shoulders or hips, one side of the ribcage sticking out or clothes not fitting properly on yourself or your child, see a GP and/or healthcare professional.
A GP can refer for an X-ray, which is how to determine if there is a scoliosis or not, how big the curve is and whether or not it would benefit from surgery.
Healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists and osteopaths can help with non-surgical management such as helping understand the curve and providing treatment to reduce the risk of worsening. They can also offer rehabilitation post-surgery.
Bracing for children is another option to reduce the risk of the curve getting worse, however the evidence is conflicting as to how effective they are.
Evidence on exercise for scoliosis however is good; so make sure to continue your exercises alongside any treatment methods.
At Winchester Wellness we have a physiotherapist who can teach specific, clinical Pilates exercises to people with scoliosis. She too has a scoliosis and therefore is very understanding, as well as having tried and tested many different interventions herself.