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Rehabilitation

 

FAQs & FOAs
(Frequently Asked Questions & Frequently Offered Answers)

''Please note: this does not mean that you cannot email me anymore, if your question is not covered here then please feel free to email me and ask!!!''

Exercises Treatment - patients
Rehabilitation Clinics Treatment - general
Clinic practicalities Treatment - mine
  Scoliosis in general

Exercises

Can you give me the exercises you did to improve your Scoliosis, so that I will not have to attend a clinic?...I could not find them on your web page!!!
Everybody's curves are different (in number, size, shape etc.) and my exercise program would not be tailored to suit your curve. Therefore doing the same exercise schedule I do could be very harmful for you.

How many hours does one need to exercise for?
I exercise for 30 minutes daily. After treatment your exercise regime will be tailored for you. Dr. Rigo prescribed 30 minutes 5 days a week minimum for me, but I do them 7 days a week because I want to be extra safe. However this amount is only enough to maintain the health benefits I have gained.

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Clinics

Is this treatment available for English-speaking patients?
There is now a scoliosis clinic in the UK offering Intensive Rehabilitation treatment based on the Katharina Schroth method of treatment to English-speaking patients (see Scoliosis SOS for details).

How long does one have to attend for treatment and will I need follow-up treatment?
The average initial treatment period is about one month, during which time you will undergo intensive treatment and education to reduce your curve and enable you to perform the exercises alone. You will need to have short annual check-ups to adjust your personal exercise regime.

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Clinic practicalities

How much does treatment cost?
Scoliosis SOS offers many different types of treatment sessions and courses (see Scoliosis SOS for details).

What character strengths do I need for this method of treatment?
Determination and dedication, but the most important thing is to be motivated and do the exercises; if you do that you can achieve and maintain correction successfully.

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Treatment - patients

Will this treatment cure my scoliosis?
No - there is no cure for Scoliosis. However, intensive rehabilitation treatment has been successfully used in Europe since 1921 and it has been shown to improve: - lateral deviation, rib hump, spinal rotation, back shape & profile, postural balance, lung capacity & function, pain, muscle strength and spinal flexibility.

Does this form of treatment work for all curvatures of the spine, like Kyphosis?
Yes, rehabilitation can be used to treat both Kyphosis and Lordosis (as well as Scoliosis) and the results achieved have been equally successful.

What age does one have to be for this treatment to be successful?
Treatment generally is not suitable for those under 8, as long concentration spans and mature commitment is required for the treatment to work effectively. However, in exceptional circumstances treatment may be possible for small children. Scoliosis SOS takes a wide range of patients of different ages and there is no upper age limit, although patients must be able to bend and stretch reasonably.

Will the treatment work if I have stopped growing?
Yes. Rehabilitation treatment does not depend upon your growth maturity.

Do you think the treatment can help me?
Unfortunately only you can answer this question...if you believe you have the motivation and strength of will to ensure you do the exercises then, yes it should help you. However, if you take a very passive approach to the whole treatment process then it is very unlikely that you will receive any benefits from it.

Will I have to wear a brace as part of this treatment program?
Special braces are prescribed to patients who have not reached growth maturity, these are quite different to those usually prescribed in England and America.

Can I follow this treatment course if I have undergone/am undergoing bracing treatment?
Yes, although the brace must be removed whilst the exercises are being performed.

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Treatment - general

How long is this treatment program for?
Unlike surgery this is not a quick fix. The treatment program is for life.

What does the treatment program involve?
It consists of an exercise program that is tailored to the individuals' curvatures. It involves stretching and breathing to expand the weak/crushed side and to strengthen the muscles to maintain this improvement.

How intensive is the initial treatment course?
Very!! The program involves minimum 6 hours attendance of intensive rehabilitation sessions a day (3 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon) everyday from Monday to Friday for 4 weeks.

How successful is this treatment?
It is as successful as you, the patient, makes it. The choice is yours; those who enter the treatment program with a positive attitude and work hard reap the rewards. There is about an 80% success rate, which reflects on this.

Could you give me a bit of background in the Schroth technique?
The Katharina Schroth method of treatment is explained in Rehabilitation; Introduction.

How is the treatment taught?
Intensive rehabilitation treatment is taught by fully trained physiotherapists, who are certified in the Katharina Schroth method. The patient to therapist ratio is very good, with only six or seven patients who work with one therapist as a group.

Is this a conventional method of treating scoliosis?
No, but it has been taught successfully in Europe since 1921.

Is this an approved method by doctors?
Unfortunately most surgeons in England and America refuse to accept the evidence of this successful, non-invasive treatment.

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Treatment - mine

How did you find out about this treatment?
My discovery of rehabilitation treatment is recounted in My Experience; Part I.

Did the treatment help to lessen/stabilize your curvature?
The improvement I achieved in my lateral deviation is covered in My Experience; Part I and Part II. I did halve my initial lateral deviation and had almost maintained that correction when I returned there last summer - but I feel anyone can do this with determination!!

How often do you have your curve measured?
While I was under-going conventional treatment (bracing) in the UK I was x-rayed every 3/6 months. Now at the Quera Salvá Clinic I get yearly check-ups, during which time I have a computer assessment taken twice (once at the start to find out how well I have maintained my correction and again at the end of intensive check-up treatment to determine the amount of correction I have regained).

What have you found since your Schroth treatment?
The Katharina Schroth method is a severely underutilized form of treatment, despite its very high success rate. The reason for this is the extreme dominance of conventional forms of treatment in the UK and the USA, where most scoliosis consultants are surgeons and are therefore pro-operation. This leaves very little incentive for patients and their families to research and investigate alternative forms of treatment that usually have fewer problems and no bad long-term effects.

Did the treatment help to relieve your back pain?
I am fortunate in not having experienced back pain. I have to be careful and not lift heavy objects, and obviously certain activities that would put a strain on my back are out of the question e.g. contact sports and any activities that severely jar the spine.

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Scoliosis in general

How does one meet up with other people who have scoliosis?
The best way of getting to know people is to visit Google or another search engine and type in scoliosis or scoliosis experiences/stories etc. Alternatively, I have compiled links pages to personal accounts and websites about Scoliosis of other patients on the web, so please feel free to use them when browsing.

Can you tell me more about Backbone magazine?
Backbone magazine is a 6-monthly publication produced by SAUK (The Scoliosis Association UK) - their website is http://www.sauk.org.uk and it has contact details for them on there. It claims to be 'the only independent support group for Scoliosis in the UK' and is a charity run organisation. It does charge membership, but it is only a small amount to cover administration costs and I would certainly recommend it to anyone interested in Scoliosis, it has proved to be an invaluable source of information and it was through it that my mum first came across rehabilitation treatment and the Katharina Schroth Klinic.

Did you wear a brace?
I did wear a Boston brace whilst I was undergoing conventional treatment here in England, but it did not help me because I had almost stopped growing by the time I was fitted for it. So I only wore it for 2 years, but even then it left my back muscles weakened.

Do you still see a consultant regularly for x-rays?
No, I have not been back to see my consultant here in the UK since I started rehabilitation treatment. My mum was getting concerned over the amount of radiation I was being subjected to, due to the number of x-rays I had had taken and the last time he saw me he said I had reached Risser 4/5 and had basically stopped growing, plus Dr. Rigo re-scans me when I go back over for annual check-ups.

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