Treatment for scoliosis is based on:
The doctor may recommend observation, bracing, or surgery.
Minor degrees of scoliosis need no invasive treatment.
Physical therapy, such as chiropractic treatment and exercise, may be of help. There will be an initial assessment, followed by a course of treatment. Then the chiropractor will regularly monitor the child, usually every three to six months for children diagnosed around puberty or early teens.
In progressive or more severe forms of scoliosis the chiropractor will refer you for an orthopaedic opinion.
The use of a spinal brace may be needed (to keep the spine as straight as possible). This is usually worn until the spine stops growing, around the age of 16-18. It will not cure the curvature, but can prevent it getting worse.
In very severe cases, spinal surgery may be needed in order to fuse the vertebrae together or to insert a permanent metal rod, sometimes followed by a period in a spinal brace.
This type of surgery is generally effective and can help to correct severe curvatures. However, there are risks.
Coping with scoliosis is difficult for a young person in an already complicated stage of life. Teens are bombarded with physical changes and emotional and social challenges. With the added diagnosis of scoliosis, anger, insecurity and fear are to be expected.
A strong supportive peer group can have a strong impact on a child's or teen's acceptance of a brace. Encourage your child to talk to his or her friends ahead of time and ask for their support.
Consider joining a support group for parents and kids with scoliosis. Support group members can provide advice, relay real life experiences and help you connect with others facing similar challenges.
For more information:
The Scoliosis Association UK
020 8964 5343
Milton Keynes: 01908 307075
Northampton: 01604 460200
Aylesbury: 01296 489231