Can Physical Therapy for Scoliosis Help Correct Spinal Curvature in Adults?

Scoliosis is a curvature and rotation of the spine that can be mild to severe. If the curvature is less than 40 degrees, it may not cause many or even any symptoms. If the curvature is more than 40 degrees, a host of unpleasant symptoms may visit a sufferer. They may experience shortness of breath, chest pain, pain and numbness, and a height reduction. Some children have scoliosis that is mild enough to be undetectable in childhood, but they may find out years later, in adulthood, that they have this condition. The disease is progressive, with the curvature increasing over time. Even mild scoliosis can eventually evolve into a troubling condition later in life. Physical therapy is sometimes used to treat some of the symptoms of scoliosis.

How physical therapy works into the treatment plan for scoliosis will depend on how you respond to physical therapy. Sticking with the plan, going to visits religiously, and giving it a true try are your best bets. Don’t start physical therapy, not see instant results, and then turn away. For physical therapy to truly work, it takes a bit of time and effort. While it’s frustrating, it can be worth it. That said, physical therapy won’t always work to alleviate symptoms of scoliosis, but it’s one of your most worthwhile treatments to try.

The Purpose of Physical Therapy

The overall goal of physical therapy is to realign the spine in a way that’s like a more natural spine. A popular method for this is the Schroth method, a threefold mission to readjust the curvature so that it falls in a more natural position. Like all physical therapy programs, the Socratic method uses exercise specifically tailored to the unique curvature of your spine to get the result that you’re looking for. Its exercises help to:

  • Establish more muscle symmetry
  • Train you to breathe into the concave side of the body
  • Training you to be more aware of your posture

As exercises strengthen your muscles and train you to sit, walk, and stand in a more natural posture, your muscles are more capable of adapting to the unique curvature of your spine, and of course, your spine begins to be in a more natural position. Although this method, and other physical therapy methods, by no means cure scoliosis or fix your curvature, they are training you to adapt your body’s muscles and posture in such a way that symptoms are alleviated. The Scorath Method is often used with young children, so it definitely helps adults as well.

Other Physical Therapy Exercises

The Socratic method isn’t the only method that physical therapists use to treat the most severe symptoms of scoliosis. Exercises are used in other ways as well, just for simple muscle strengthening and training your brain to better send your spine the message that it needs to stand up straighter. The condition itself can be seen as a failure of the body to get a signal from the brain that the spine needs to continue “standing up straight,” and thus the development of the curvature.

Thanks to exercises in physical therapy, some lucky scoliosis sufferers will experience such a relief in symptoms that they won’t need back braces or surgeries. For those that aren’t helped by physical therapy, back braces and spine stabilization surgery may be the options needed.

Exploring Treatment Options

When you have a persistent complex medical problem, exploring treatment options is a necessity. Just one treatment option might not be enough, and some will simply not work. While it’s daunting in the beginning to wonder what will bring relief, it’s something that requires enough bravery to follow through. Scoliosis is one of nature’s trickiest progressive conditions, and a multifaceted approach that might include therapy is a possibility.

Preparing yourself to enter physical therapy may take some work, too. There might be doubts, anxiety, and even frustration. Think the best, follow-through, and you may be surprised that physical therapy works for your case. It has happened before to people who have scoliosis that physical therapy remedies the bulk of the problems. It might just happen to you, too, but the first step is to call and request help. If you believe physical therapy might be a smart option for your case, please call our centers today to see if we are the answer to your problems. We’re always here, eager to help scoliosis patients get help. Call now at 205-637-1363.

Call Now ButtonCall Now