Adolescent Idiopathic scoliosis

Our mission is to provide the North Island with the most current information, support and treatment options for the non-surgical treatment of Idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliosis is a complicated condition and there are various options for treatment at different stages of the condition. Early intervention is the key to increasing the success of preventing the progression of idiopathic scoliosis to surgery and in some cases improving the curvature. There are treatment options for all ages, juvenile, adolescent and adults.

We are a Scolibrace provider, for more information visit our Scolibrace website

Scoliosis Patient Questionnaire Download our Initial Consultation PDF Information about ScoliCare
Adolescent Idiopathic scoliosis - Treatments - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Scoliosis Treatments

The earlier idiopathic scoliosis can be detected the greater the treatment options and the possibility of preventing progression to surgical level. The primary goal of non-surgical treatment, preventing surgery. If the scoliosis does not appear in infants or juveniles, regular scoliosis screening should be done between 10 and 14 years old (the most rapid growth years). This can help identify a progressing scoliosis early so that the appropriate treatment can be implemented. Effective Conservative treatment usually through scoliosis specific exercises and bracing has been shown in the literature to have a high success in preventing surgery. In many cases improvement of the scoliosis is possible.

Accurately assessing scoliosis is important in the management of the condition. A person with idiopathic scoliosis can expect to have x-rays taken of their spine throughout treatment. Proper assessment can minimize the exposure. The assessment involves clinical and radiological evaluations to measure effects the curves have on the body. Recognizing postural imbalances, like shoulder unevenness, head tilt, waist and leg changes can indicate a scoliosis is appearing. Scoliosis is complicated and often shows very little symptoms or signs as it develops.

In the past it was thought that exercise and rehabilitation cannot correct/improve or prevent the progression of scoliosis. This is true for general exercises and sports activities, however there is good research to support Scoliosis Specific Exercises like the SEAS (Scientific Exercise Approach to Scoliosis) can have a significant effect on the progression and improvement of scoliosis. Sometimes when curves are detected early and there is a low risk of progression, scoliosis specific exercises are all that is required for treatment. Other times specific exercises are used in conjunction with custom made bracing to support treatment. Specific scoliosis exercises and bracing can also help adults who have scoliosis or who have developed scoliosis.

Our Clinic offers a unique Custom-made 3D bracing system called Scolibrace. Through accurate analysis of the patient with a 3D scanner, digital x-ray evaluation, postural photos and proper clinical evaluation, a truly unique brace tailored to the person specific scoliosis. The brace is designed to stabilize and improve the scoliosis. All bracing is done with the team approach. Dr. Josh West will perform all necessary evaluations to produce the brace and the information will be sent to the team at ScoliCare. The case will be reviewed with the team and appropriate treatment will be implemented.

When a child’s scoliosis is detected early it is often only necessary to wear a brace at night. This type of brace is generally used for smaller curvatures between 10 and 25 degrees in younger children. Scoliosis treatment can last a long time so the advantage of this type of bracing is that it is only worn during the night and has a minimal effect on the child.

Our Clinic also offers kyphosis bracing (front to back curvature problems). The kyphosis brace is generally used in condition like Scheuermann’s Kyphosis, hyper kyphosis (hunch back), thoracolumbar hyper-kyphosis, and Anterior Sagittal balance issues (leaning forward).

We also offer Scoliosis Assessment and treatment of Scoliosis in Adults. Bracing and scoliosis specific exercises is available for adults with both existing scoliosis and adult onset scoliosis degenerative scoliosis (De Novo). Patients with significant pain and postures distortion can often get significant relief with part time wear of the custom 3D brace system. The brace is usually a low-profile that can easily be worn under the clothing. Scoliosis specific exercises can also be combined with adult brace wearing.

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is defined as a curvature of the spine that is 10 degrees or greater with some rotation of the apical vertebra. There are many types of scoliosis, however the most common type is called Idiopathic scoliosis and it makes up approximately 80% of the cases. It is not entirely clear why scoliosis occurs, but the research suggests there is a genetic component affecting 2-3% of the population. Not all idiopathic scoliosis cases reach surgical levels, and most do not cause life threatening condition, however it is very common for people with smaller curves to have quality of life issues like pain, posture distortions, and early degenerative changes as adults.

There are two internationally well-known organization that research scoliosis and provide guidelines for the treatment of Scoliosis. The Scoliosis Research Society mainly provides research and guidelines on surgical treatment of scoliosis and SOSORT (Society on Scoliosis Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Treatment) is the international society that mainly provides research and guidelines for the conservative, non-surgical, management of scoliosis. All treatment options at our clinic fall under the guidelines set out by these organizations.

Adolescent Idiopathic scoliosis - Treatments - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

What can you expect from our Clinic?

Scoliosis is a complicated condition and can often be a worry for the parents and child diagnosed with the condition. The research show that a team approach and compliance to treatment are necessary to get the best results in Conservative management or if surgery required. Our Scoliosis Center believes in a team approach and will correspond with GP, councillors and other allied health professional (Chiropractor, massage, or Physiotherapists) when necessary.

At the time you book an appointment for a scoliosis assessment you will need to fill out the online patient form and an online Scoliosis questionnaire. The online scoliosis questionnaire will be emailed directly to Dr. Josh West after it is completed. You will be asked to bring in any testing results that may have already been done. The initial visit will involve a clinical assessment and a radiological assessment (if not already done and if necessary, based on the clinical assessment). When the initial consultation is of a screening nature, x-rays will only be performed if there is clinical evidence to suspect a scoliosis or if we need to rule out some other condition. Occasionally an MRI will be recommended to rule out any other conditions. The initial examination will require seeing the skin of the spine. It is necessary to wear easy to move clothing and in the case of females a sports bra and tight shorts or two-piece bathing suit.

The clinical assessment will involve a history and examination. During the examination, your height, weight, neurological, range of motion, motion palpation and postural measurements will be taken to determine whether an x-ray is needed. The x-rays are very specific, and our center has digital x-ray to perform this evaluation. The initial evaluation will be approximately one hour when x-rays are required. When scoliosis is detected a review of findings will be performed on another day and will be approximately 30 to one hour depending on the complexity of your problem. On this visit your treatment options will be discussed.

Typically, there will be four treatment options based on the severity of the Scoliosis curve, postural distortion and the risk of progression. These options will be discussed with you on the review of findings.

Adolescent Idiopathic scoliosis - Treatments - Vancouver Island, BC, Canada