Physical Therapy for Scoliosis

Physical therapy can be a part of any phase of scoliosis treatment, including bracing and post-surgery. The treatment plan that’s right for you will be based on your type of scoliosis, its severity and your overall health.

Spine Care Professionals with Advanced Training

Ascension Seton takes a multidisciplinary team approach to scoliosis care. Physiatrists and physical therapists work together to create an individualized treatment plan for each person. A physiatrist, also known as a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor, has advanced training in scoliosis care.

Physical therapy involves a combination of therapeutic manipulation, healing treatment and exercise instruction. The skilled staff at Ascension Seton is committed to offering the best practices for your unique case.

Customized Treatment Plan for Physical Therapy

The first steps of physical therapy are evaluation and assessment. Posture and movement patterns of the whole body are observed. Any limitations, pain or imbalances caused by the scoliosis will be noted.

Physical therapy begins after physical evaluation and assessment. Your treatment plan will include only the most appropriate practices for your unique case.

The goals of physical therapy are to:

  • Reduce pain
  • Increase mobility
  • Help repair injured muscle and tissue
  • Encourage correct movement
  • Teach exercises that:
    • Promote flexibility
    • Strengthen muscles
    • Support and stabilize the spine

Each physical therapy treatment plan is customized to meet every individual’s unique needs. A treatment plan may include:

Range-of-Motion Exercises: Exercise to increase range of motion if scoliosis limits movement.

Strength Training: Muscles may become weak as a result of the spine’s position. Physical therapy may include a program to strengthen specific muscles around the spine or in other parts of the body. Strength training may focus on the abdomen, hips, shoulders, head or feet.

A key focus of strength training may be to increase core strength. Abdominal muscles, the pelvis, lower back and diaphragm make up the core. A strong core helps to support the spine and relieves strain on back muscles. This reduces chances of back injury.

Manual Therapy: Scoliosis can restrict movement. One goal of physical therapy is to gently restore motion to joints and muscles that may have become restricted. A physical therapist or physiatrist help to guide and retrain movement patterns.

Posture Correction: A curved spine can create an imbalance in posture. Poor posture strains other parts of the body or create additional problems. A trained specialist will help to correct and maintain good posture.

Modalities: Additional treatments such as ice, heat, electrical stimulation or ultrasound can relax muscles and relieve pain.

Training and Education: Physical therapists and physiatrists are experts in evaluating how the body moves. They may help a patient to learn proper movement patterns. Retraining the body through repeated exercises may be part of this component.

An important part of physical therapy for scoliosis is for the patient to add these practices into their daily life. Frequent repetition of the exercises and practices helps to reprogram the body.

Our staff will teach you exercises that are designed to improve your condition. You will be carefully monitored to confirm you are doing the exercises correctly, so that you can begin a home exercise program. This individualized program is created for you to continue your care on a daily basis.

Home Exercise Program

Exercise is one of the best methods for managing scoliosis and treating pain. It can be used to correct posture and retrain the body for healthier movement.

Different exercises target different muscles. Keeping the back flexible and strong is vital to overall quality of life. Exercise has many benefits, including:

  • Improving blood flow to disks, joints and muscles
  • Increasing muscle flexibility
  • Strengthening muscles to help prevent injury
  • Reducing pain

A home exercise program lets patients be active participants in their scoliosis care.

Experience the Ascension Seton Difference

Our centers are located in Austin and throughout Central Texas. To learn more about spine care from the Ascension Seton, please visit one of our locations.