Physical therapy for scoliosis consists of decompression, straightening and spinal strengthening exercises. Proper treatment can be highly effective at reducing levels pain, although it will never get the spine completely straight.
Read all about scoliosis in Sarah's first book, initially published in 1986, now in fifth edition
With acute flareups of scoliosis, it's impossible to get comfortable sleeping. One of the best solutions is to use an elderly feather-and-down pillow which has partially lost its stuffing and push this into the small of your back. This makes lying on the back is much more comfortable, but it also helps with sleeping on your painful side. Usually, you need it on the convex side, with the bulk of the pillow stopping you sinking deeper into the curvature. Sometimes it's best to actually tie the pillow around your waist.
Using pillows to bolster the crooked spine in sleep is the the most basic physical therapy for scoliosis
Using the BackBlock to create spinal decompression is the single most effective thing you can do for spinal scoliosis. The 'pressure change therapy' of the BackBlock regime is best carried out at home because it must be done regularly.
Over the BackBlock is the first step in dealing with spinal scoliosis
See here how to buy a BackBlock
You will see in the scoliosis treatment video below that the aim is not to straighten the spine. The aim is to lessen the forces of spinal compression on the spinal discs where they are pinched on the concave side. This literally allows the disc cells to breathe, so they can self-repair and fill more effectively with water to be a more competent shock absorber.
Anyone serious about looking after themselves with scoliosis, to ease the pain and prevent it getting worse, should start with this video. It is a must see event. You can read more about The Physical Therapy for Scoliosis video here.
With more advanced scoliosis treatment, the aim is to ease out the contracted soft tissues in the concave side of the spinal curve. This involves using the BackBlock in side lying, balancing on the convexity of your spinal curvature in the thoracic area. This is a wonderfully exhilarating treatment, where it really feels as if you're doing something proactive yourself.
Research with animal studies tells us that healthy discs tolerate compression better if they are stretched regularly*. Researchers also tell us that disc distraction is the best way of promoting disc rehydration and facilitating disc healing** (See research papers named below).
In the videos below, Sarah's first shows you on the plastic model and then using her hands to mobilise her own back. This is particularly helpful physical therapy for scoliosis. And you can do it yourself.
* Lotz et al 2008 Annulus fibrosis tension inhibits degenerative structural changes in the lamellar collagen Eur Spine J 17:1149-1159
** Guehring et al 2006 Disc distraction shows evidence of regenerative potential in degenerated intervertebral discs as evaluated by protein expression, magnetic resonance imaging, and messenger ribonucleic acid expression analysis Spine 31 (15):1658-65