07 January 2009

Simple torso-rotating exercise can help patients with scoliosis

Wellington, Jan 5 : A simple torso-rotating exercise can significantly improve the condition of people with scoliosis, where the spine curves in an S or C shape, according a Kiwi researcher.

David Woodbridge, an Auckland physiotherapist, says that repeating the simple back-strengthening exercises can make a major difference to the lives of those suffering from the inherited condition.

It is believed that if a mother has scoliosis as a teenager, her daughters have a one in four chance of developing it as a teen, reports the NZPA

In scoliosis, the spine is curves by more than 10 degrees. While sometimes the curving stops naturally, but at times it continues to progress and the curve reaches about 30 degrees.

Currently, the patients are fitted with a brace, which may stop the curve getting worse.

If the curve reaches 40 to 45-degree range patients often have to undergo an operation to have steel rods inserted along their spine.

Woodbridge insists that a simple torso-rotating exercise treatment stops the curve getting worse, and can correct patients' spines before they reach that 40-degree range.

During the study, 95 per cent of their patients with curves under 40 degrees stopped getting worse, and in many cases improved.

One spine straightened out an amazing 43 degrees to almost perfect.

Woodbridge said that the exercise could also help alleviate the pain of the condition in older people, but might not be able to improve it permanently.

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