Scoliosis Treatment

By Sally Ann Quirke, Chartered Physiotherapist | Filed under: Scoliosis


Scoliosis treatments - what are they and how do they work? (or DO they work, even!).

I always enjoy the challenge of treating scoliosis. The reason for this comes from my own experience.

A number of years ago I was suffering from a functional form of scoliosis (see what is scoliosis) that caused me severe pain and dysfunction. I managed to cure the scoliosis fully using manipulation techniques alone with the assistance of one the Physios in my clinic.

This experience has lead me to look more fully at the different treatment options possible when addressing scoliosis and back pain with my clients in my physiotherapy clinic.

When considering treatment options of scoliosis, firstly, you must identify both the type and cause of the scoliosis.

  • Idiopathic scoliosis is where there is a scoliosis can be unknown or. We sometimes see it in Scoliosis in Children

  • Structural scoliosis can be a congenital condition and can be present since birth. This often responds well to surgery and exercise ONCE detected early.

  • Functional scoliosis is a good physiotherapists dream! Combining mobilisation with exercise therapy and Pilates - the recipe that I use - can produce great results.

If you can, seek a therapist with all experience in treating all three skills like myself, as it will save you a lot of money resulting from separate consultations. However, if such a therapist does not exist in your area, it is worth combining the expertise of a few therapists willing to work and communicate together.

If muscles are tight because of stress, my own approach is to first use craniosacral therapy to release the deep tension in your sacrum and upper neck. However other emotional therapies will help as well. I then follow this using mobilisation therapy to loosen any tight joints that may not be responsive to cranial treatments. Then, we move onto the exercises the I use through Pilates to stabilise the changes made in the manual treatments - making them more permanent.

Sometimes, but not often, complications arise and we need to communicate with doctors (with their access to x-ray / MRI machines) to make the adjustments needed to achieve a permanent recovery.

With my own functional scoliosis, through perseverance and a combination of good therapists, I achieved a permanent correction of my scoliosis and I have no pain. However, I should point out that this relies on me doing 3 hours of Pilates a week following an exercise programme that not only helps my back but clears my mind on a recurrent basis. This is what has worked for me - but each individual case is different.

Some people consider Yoga for scoliosis to be an effective way of managing the condition.

In summary, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis of the type and cause of your scoliosis - and then persist in looking for effective treatment to manage and sometimes correct your scoliosis (despite being told that you need to live with your scoliosis!).


While the content and materials contained in the articles on this website have been written & researched by Sally Ann Quirke, a professional, practising & fully qualified Chartered Physiotherapist (Physical Therapist) based in Ireland, they are provided for general information and educational purposes only. They do not constitute medical advice on any particular individual situation. Please see your Chartered Physiotherapist or other medical practitioner for full and individual consultation.

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