Living with severe scoliosis can be challenging, but there have been significant breakthroughs in treatment options that offer hope and relief. In this comprehensive blog, we will delve into the definition of idiopathic scoliosis, the most common type, and explore the various medical management options available. From conservative treatment approaches like Scoliosis Boot Camp and the ScoliSMART Activity Suit to surgical methods, we will cover it all. Additionally, we will discuss the clinically relevant anatomy of spinal curvatures, the epidemiology and prevalence of severe curves, as well as their causes and clinical presentation. You’ll also find valuable information on diagnosis methods, outcome measures, examination techniques, and physical therapy management for severe spinal curves. Whether you’re a patient or a healthcare professional seeking insights into severe scoliosis treatment, this blog is your ultimate guide.

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Definition of Severe Scoliosis Treatment

Severe scoliosis treatment focuses on managing and correcting a spinal curvature that exceeds 50 degrees. It encompasses various approaches tailored to individual needs. While traditional methods involve bracing and surgical intervention, breakthrough treatments like less invasive spinal surgery, spinal fusion and vertebral body tethering have shown promising results in correcting severe spinal curves. Additionally, non-surgical options such as scoliosis-specific exercises can effectively manage the condition. Consulting with a medical professional is essential to determine the most suitable treatment approach. By continuously advancing and personalizing treatment strategies, severe scoliosis can be effectively addressed, improving the quality of life for individuals affected.

Medical Management Options for Severe Scoliosis

Various medical management options are available for individuals with severe spine curves. In addition to traditional non-surgical interventions like Scoliosis Boot Camp, ongoing research is offering hope for improved outcomes in the future. Surgical interventions, including growing rod surgery, vertebral body tethering, and spinal fusion surgery, are often considered for severe cases. Collaborating closely with medical professionals is essential to identify the most suitable treatment approach. By exploring these medical management options, individuals with severe curvatures can aim for improved spinal alignment and enhance their quality of life.


Conservative Treatment Approaches for Severe Scoliosis

When it comes to the treatment of severe scoliosis, conservative approaches play a vital role in managing and improving the condition. Bracing is often recommended, especially for adolescents with growing spines. These specially designed braces aim to correct spinal curvature and prevent the progression of the condition. In addition to bracing, physical therapy is an essential component of conservative treatment, focusing on improving posture, flexibility, and muscle strength. Furthermore, pain management techniques such as medication, acupuncture, or nerve blocks can help alleviate symptoms and enhance the overall quality of life for individuals with severe scoliosis. By incorporating these conservative treatment approaches, patients can find relief and maintain their well-being.

Scoliosis Boot Camp

Scoliosis Boot Camp is a specialized program designed to help individuals with severe curvatures improve their posture and spine alignment. By combining Chiropractic treatment, physical therapy exercises, stretching, and strengthening techniques tailored to the muscles surrounding the spine, Scoliosis Boot Camp offers a comprehensive approach to treatment. This program also utilizes specialized equipment to provide support and promote proper alignment. Led by ScoliSMART chiropractors who develop individualized treatment plans, Scoliosis Boot Camp has been proven to be effective in enhancing posture, reducing pain, and slowing the progression of severe curves in certain cases, improving the quality of life for those affected.

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Now it’s even easier to connect with ScoliSMART. Schedule your no-cost, no-obligation phone or Zoom consultation online with a ScoliSMART physician. Visit the ScoliSMART BootCamp page and click the “Schedule Online” button at the top of the page. Then select the best date and time to connect with a physician. Schedule your consultation right here!

ScoliSMART Activity Suit

The ScoliSMART Activity Suit is an innovative non-surgical treatment option for individuals with the condition. This specialized suit, worn for a few hours each day, helps improve posture, alleviate pain, and slow down the progression of spinal curvature. By providing gentle resistance to targeted muscle groups, the suit strengthens them, leading to enhanced spinal alignment. It can be used in conjunction with other treatments such as physical therapy or bracing to provide a holistic approach to scoliosis management. Customizable to individual needs and adaptable over time, the ScoliSMART Activity Suit offers a promising solution for those seeking effective and personalized treatment.

Genetic testing and nutritional support

Genetic testing and nutritional support play a vital role in the comprehensive treatment of severe scoliosis. By undergoing genetic testing, healthcare professionals can identify any underlying genetic causes of the condition, enabling them to tailor treatment options specifically to a patient’s needs. This personalized approach can significantly improve the effectiveness of scoliosis management. Furthermore, adequate nutritional support, including a healthy intake of calcium and vitamin D, can help support bone health and potentially slow down the progression of the spinal curvature. By incorporating these key aspects into the treatment plan, individuals with large spinal curves can enhance their overall quality of life and potentially mitigate the impact of their condition.

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Diagnosis of Scoliosis

Accurately diagnosing severe curvatures of the spine involves a thorough evaluation using a range of diagnostic methods. X-ray imaging, MRI scans, CT scans, and physical exam, and medical history play crucial roles in the diagnostic process. X-rays provide clear images of the spinal curve, while MRI scans help assess the severity and identify any underlying conditions. CT scans offer detailed 3D images, aiding in surgical planning. Additionally, a comprehensive physical examination, including measuring the degree of curvature and assessing mobility, is essential in the diagnostic assessment. In certain cases, genetic testing may be recommended to identify any underlying genetic factors contributing to severe curvature of the spine. There are many different types of scoliosis curves. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, degenerative scoliosis, neuromuscular scoliosis due to cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, and congenital scoliosis.


Examination Techniques for Curvatures of the Spine

When evaluating severe curvatures of the spine, healthcare professionals rely on various examination techniques to determine the type of scoliosis. X-ray imaging is commonly utilized to obtain a clear view of the spine’s curvature and assess the severity of the back curvature. Additionally, MRI scans provide detailed images, assisting in identifying underlying causes or potential complications. Physical examination plays a crucial role in evaluating the range of motion, muscle strength, and flexibility. Moreover, the Cobb angle measurement quantifies the degree of spinal curvature and serves as a crucial factor in determining the appropriate treatment plan. Lastly, advanced imaging techniques, such as CT scans or EOS imaging, offer a three-dimensional view, aiding in surgical planning and assessment of treatment outcomes.

Physical Therapy Management for Severe Curves

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in the management of the condition. Utilizing techniques like the Schroth method and the SEAS approach, physical therapists enhance posture, alleviate pain, and potentially slow down spinal curve progression. Through specifically tailored exercises, this non-surgical treatment option helps strengthen core muscles and improve flexibility. By incorporating physical therapy into a personalized treatment plan based on the severity of the curvature, individuals can experience significant improvements in their overall quality of life.

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Goals and Objectives of Physical Therapy in Treating Severe Spinal Curves

Physical therapy is an essential treatment option for patients, aiming to achieve specific goals and objectives. The primary focus of physical therapy is to enhance posture, flexibility, and strength in the lower back and pelvis, leading to improved spinal alignment and reduced pain. By employing various techniques such as stretching exercises, strengthening exercises, and manual therapy, physical therapists work to achieve these goals. Additionally, specialized equipment such a type of brace or traction devices may be used during therapy sessions. With individualized objectives tailored to each patient, physical therapy aims to reduce the symptoms of scoliosis, enhance respiratory function, mobility, and overall quality of life.

Exercises play a vital role in effectively managing the condition. A comprehensive exercise program may include stretching, strengthening, and postural correction exercises to alleviate discomfort and enhance overall spinal health. Stretching exercises can improve flexibility and alleviate muscle tension, while strengthening exercises target core muscles and improve posture to provide better support for the spine. Postural correction exercises help retrain the body to maintain proper alignment, preventing further progression of the curve. Seek guidance from a qualified physical therapist for personalized exercise plans and progress monitoring.

Scoliosis Boot Camp

To learn more about how to treat the whole scoliosis condition and not only the curve, connect with our passionate providers at ScoliSMART. To explore a non-brace/ non-surgical treatment for your child’s scoliosis problem, you may schedule a no-cost Zoom or phone consultation with a ScoliSMART doctor. Please get in touch with us today!

Clinical Bottom Line on Severe Scoliosis Treatment

Advancements in surgical techniques have significantly improved the outcomes for individuals with the condition. Non-surgical approaches, such as bracing and physical therapy, prove to be effective in managing this condition. Early detection and intervention are crucial. Collaborative approaches, involving a team of specialists, are often necessary to provide comprehensive care. Ongoing research and technological advancements continue to drive innovation in treatments, with a focus on improving their quality of life.

Surgical Treatment Methods for Severe Scoliosis

There are various surgical treatment methods available for large curvatures of the spine, characterized by spinal curvatures greater than 50 degrees. These methods can be used alongside medical management options, such as bracing and physical therapy, to address the condition effectively. Bracing is only beneficial for adolescents during their earliest growth phase, as it may help slow further progression of the spinal curve. On the other hand, physical therapy focuses on improving posture, strengthening muscles, and reducing pain. For larger curve cases, surgical interventions like spinal fusion with metal rods or vertebral body tethering may be recommended. Spinal fusion involves fusing vertebrae together to straighten the spine and prevent the curvature from worsening.

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What are some side effects of severe scoliosis treatment?

Some common side effects of surgical treatment include back pain and lumbar discomfort, limited mobility, rib cage deformity, muscle stiffness or weakness, and medical problems from surgical procedures. It’s important to discuss these potential side effects with a medical professional before undergoing any treatment.


In conclusion, there have been significant breakthroughs in options for large spinal curves that offer hope and improved outcomes for patients. From conservative treatment approaches such as scoliosis boot camps and the ScoliSMART Activity Suit to surgical methods, there are options available to address severe spinal curvatures. Physical therapy also plays a vital role in managing these conditions, with specific goals and recommended exercises to help patients improve their quality of life. If you or your child is dealing with a large spinal curve, it’s essential to seek expert guidance and explore the available options. To learn more about the latest breakthroughs in, contact one of our ScoliSMART clinics.