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ADVANCE Perspective: Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine

Alternative Treatment for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

Published January 27, 2017 2:36 PM by Jon Bassett
By Sarah Sutherland

According to a recent study spearheaded by Sanja Schreiber from the University of Alberta's Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, Schroth physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercises (PSSE) could be a preferred alternative to the traditional standard of care for PTs treating adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

"Our study showed that 88% of patients who did the Schroth physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercises showed improvements or prevented progression in their scoliosis curves over 6 months, compared to 60% in the group receiving only standard of care," Schreiber told Science Daily.

For the study, 50 patients with AIS 10-18 years of age, with curves of 10-45 degrees and Risser grade 0-5 were recruited from a single pediatric scoliosis clinic and randomly placed in either the experimental or control group. Researchers focused on outcomes including the change in the Cobb angles of the Largest Curve and Sum of Curves from baseline to 6 months. The intervention consisted of a 30-45 minute daily home program and weekly supervised sessions.

Ultimately, the researchers found that after 6 months, the Schroth group had significantly smaller Largest Curves than the control group, and the Sum of Curves decreased for the Schroth group similarly. They concluded that Schroth PSSE added to the standard of care was superior to standard of care alone for reducing the curve severity in patients with AIS.

How do you handle scoliosis in your practice?

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