The short answer is yes, people with scoliosis can live normally. However, it is important to understand the condition and its impact on the individual’s life.
Scoliosis is a complex condition, and the degree of curvature of the spine varies from person to person. Mild scoliosis may not require intensive treatment but there are benefits to monitoring the scoliosis regularly and, in some cases, applying less intensive treatment options. Moderate to severe cases place the patient at higher risk of progression and if the spinal deformity progresses they may eventually be suggested surgery as a treatment option.
People with scoliosis may experience physical and emotional challenges, but with proper treatment and care, they can still lead a normal life. Here are some ways in which health professionals can support people with scoliosis:
- Education: As a health professional, it is essential to educate your patients about their condition. Explain the cause, symptoms, and treatment options available. Inform them that with proper care, they can lead a normal life.
- Physiotherapeutic scoliosis specific exercises (PSSE): PSSE are an integral part of a conservative treatment approach for scoliosis for most patients. If delivered by a suitably trained and certified health professional, it can help improve posture, reduce pain, and increase mobility. This can also help prevent the progression of scoliosis. ScoliBalance is a type of PSSE that incorporates the best of multiple techniques, evidence based practice and clinical experience of a highly trained team of health professionals including chiropractors, physiotherapists and exercise rehabilitation specialists.
- Bracing: Growing adolescents with scoliosis may be particularly at risk of progression and many will require a brace with their PSSE program. If you are not trained in bracing you can help by referring your patient to a health professional who is trained in the assessment and management of scoliosis patients, including bracing.
- Pain management: People with scoliosis may experience pain, which can impact their quality of life. Some patients may be able to better manage their pain with PSSE and, where required, bracing.
- Emotional support: Scoliosis can impact a person’s self-esteem and body image. It is important to recognise this during the treatment process. This may be particularly important for adolescents who have been prescribed PSSE and bracing as a treatment option.
People with scoliosis can live a normal life with the right treatment and care. As a health professional, it is important to educate and support your patients through their journey. By offering a multidisciplinary approach to treatment, you can help people with scoliosis achieve the best possible outcomes.