Louise Ings is one of ScoliCare’s Exercise Physiologists and works with scoliosis patients every day.
Describe the types of scoliosis patients you see in your clinic.
A large portion of my patients are adolescents who have very recently been diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis, usually after a sudden growth spurt. Of the older adults I do see (45yo +), the majority were diagnosed as a teen and at that time the conservative treatment options were less available and not widely used.
Describe common challenges faced by patients with scoliosis and how you help patients to overcome these challenges?
When patients have an initial session with me, sometimes they have done some research and ‘Dr Google’ has definitely shown to provide patients with horror stories and misleading information. The most common challenge is identifying the misinformation and educating patients with the correct information.
Treatment for scoliosis is a long term, and really a lifelong, rehabilitation plan with on/off phases and it can be challenging for patients to accept that. Communicating risk progression at different stages of life and how to decrease that risk is important. Providing education on postural changes to look for, and discussing short, medium and longer term goals also assists with accepting their diagnosis.
Why did you decide to work in the area of scoliosis?
During my many years at university I was always fascinated with all aspects of the spine. I find working with scoliosis patients very rewarding and patients really work hard and commit to their rehabilitation journey. I enjoy working with people with scoliosis because the treatment options are evolving and there is more awareness. We are finding more people are receiving a quicker diagnosis, and proper treatment and management is more readily available, and I love being a part of that driving force.
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