A New Specialty Program for Scoliosis and Kyphosis Now Available in West Linn 

physical therapist works with scoliosis patient utilizing stall bars

In my efforts to continue to advance my knowledge around the spine, I have completed my Level 1 training in the treatment of Scoliosis (curvature of the back) and Kyphosis (rounding of the back).

This rare specialty, which requires intensive time and training, was taught to only seven physical therapists from across the United States and Canada. This Physical Therapy Scoliosis Specific Exercises training allows me to properly diagnose and treat Scoliosis and Kyphosis.

Scoliosis is defined as a curvature of the spine of 10 degrees or more with rotation. There can be a single curve or multiple curves and around 2-3 percent of the U.S. population has this condition. It is critical to receive advanced imaging (via X-ray) once scoliosis is detected so that the precise location of the curve(s) can be identified. The X-ray imaging also ensures our ability to track progress over time.  

Kyphosis is defined as an excessive rounding of the back and can occur in conjunction with Scoliosis or independently. Like with Scoliosis, an X-ray is helpful to see the extent of the rounding and to track progress over time.  

During an evaluation, a physical therapist makes a thorough assessment and reviews the imaging that has taken place to date. The assessment includes gathering a thorough history of the patient’s condition, a posture evaluation, testing to correlate what is indicated in the imaging to the physical presentation, identifying painful areas, and includes the traditional elements of a standard physical therapy assessment which includes looking at range of motion, strength, and overall function.  

physical therapist assesses a patient's spine

Once the evaluation is complete, the physical therapist will introduce targeted exercises specifically designed to stop the progression of these conditions in multiple positions. These correction positions are then added to the patient’s home exercise program and will need to be performed and practiced regularly.

Once these corrections are being performed accurately and effectively, a patient can better correct the abnormal curves and can begin to adopt these new, corrected postures. In adolescents, once the skeleton stops growing at the end of puberty, these exercises can typically be stopped as there is less risk of curves progressing.

The research in this field has shown excellent outcomes. Multiple randomized clinical trials show that corrective exercises specific for Scoliosis and Kyphosis are effective at stopping curve progression, preventing surgical intervention, and improving quality of life.  


Physical therapy for scoliosis.

Physical therapy can help individuals with scoliosis restore and maintain mobility so they can function at their personal best, and improve their quality of life.

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