Scoliosis Treatment Singapore at Balance Core

Treatment for scoliosis in Singapore ranges from massage, exercise, chiropractic, to bracing and surgery. 3D Balance Management is a form of non-surgical scoliosis treatment we adopt at Balance Core. It’s safe and offers long lasting pain relief and posture correction.

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is commonly known as “curved spine”. The spine looks straight when viewed from the back or the front. It’s called scoliosis when it bends sideways.

Scoliosis can be broadly classified into 3 categories: 1) idiopathic: this accounts for about 80% of all scoliosis, and based on when onset occurs, it can be further classified as infantile (0-3 years), juvenile (3-10 years) and adolescent (>10 years) scoliosis; 2) neuromuscular: scoliosis caused by either neurological or myopathic conditions; and 3) congenital: scoliosis caused by congenital defects.

What causes idiopathic scoliosis?

Idiopathic scoliosis is believed to be associated with genetic factors and is not caused by “bad posture”. The prevalence of idiopathic scoliosis is approximately 2% to 3% in all children with more girls affected than boys, among which 90% are Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS), in which the spine starts to deform only when the child reaches puberty.

How do we tell if someone has scoliosis?

Scoliosis may be suspected and if the following postural changes are noticed:

  • Head not centered over body
  • Uneven shoulder height
  • Uneven scapular height or prominence
  • Unsymmetrical gaps between the arms and the trunk
  • Line of spine curved
  • Uneven height of hips

Other common findings include uneven shoulder / trunk rotations, prominent rib cage on one side, or weight bearing more on one leg.

Depending on which level of the spine is affected, the child may present with different posture faults. For example, if scoliosis occurs at the neck and upper back, the deformity is more of a rotation; if it occurs at the low back, the deformity is more of a trunk shift and side bending. Scoliosis is also commonly associated with pelvic obliquity, leg length discrepancy and foot deformities.

Does AIS get worse if left untreated?

Though some curves do not progress over time, most of the scoliosis curves do worsen over time, especially during the growing years of the children.

The 3 most important progressive factors involved in idiopathic scoliosis are:

  • Maturity of the patient: the younger the child, the more likely the curve is to progress
  • Severity of the curvature at the time of diagnosis: the larger the curvature magnitude, the more likely the curve is to progress
  • Curve pattern: lumbar curves are less often to progress

The severity of scoliosis rarely worsens after adulthood. However pain, reduced lung function and difficulty in certain daily functions are issues some adults may face. Our physiotherapy management is also suitable for adults with scoliosis to alleviate pain and promote optimal functions.

How is idiopathic scoliosis treated?

Most of the children with scoliosis less than 40 degrees are managed conservatively with exercises and bracing, not by surgery. One of the most crucial factors that determines the outcome of any treatment is to start treatment early. If a spine curve is suspected, the child should be referred for posture screening and X-ray immediately.

Once a scoliosis is diagnosed, the child should start physiotherapy as soon as possible, either or not a brace is needed. The reason is that scoliosis does not only affect a child’s appearance, it also reduces the body’s awareness of normal posture, alters neuromuscular control of the spine, and creates muscle imbalance.

What do we do at Balance Core?

Though scoliosis is defined as a side-bent, it always involves some degree of rotation and side-shift of the spine, therefore a 3-dimensional deviation of the spine.

At Balance Core, we adopt a unique 3D Balance Scoliosis Management to treat scoliosis. The best scoliosis doctors in Singapore recommend this treatment approach for its comprehensiveness and effectiveness.It helps reduce pain, prevent stiffness, improve functional performance and delay worsening of the curve, and is equally effective and beneficial for both children and adults.

We objectively track our patient’s spinal curvature with two tools.

  1. Scoliosis meter
    One of the signs of scoliosis is the presence of a hump noted on forward bending test. With a scoliometer, it allows the measurement of the angle of trunk rotation with a dedicated instrument called a scoliometer. The instrument is placed on the back and used to measure the most leaning point of each hump in degrees.
  1. Posture analysis grid chart
    This serves as a resource for explaining to patients their symptoms and rationale behind proposed treatments. With a grid, the improvements can also be seen clearly and objectively, allowing change to be documented accurately over time.

Treatment and management of scoliosis

Surgery is not necessary treatment for all scoliosis cases. If you are looking for scoliosis treatment without surgery in Singapore, physiotherapy is the way to go.

At Balance Core, we treat our patients with a unique 3D Balance Scoliosis Management which involves:

  • Detailed 3D postural analysis
  • Functional task analysis
  • Breathing analysis
  • Manual adjustments to reduce misalignment and structural restrictions
  • Corrective bracing (optional)
  • Specific corrective exercises and functional training to achieve optimal balance of the spine, in all 3 dimensions / planes

The average time needed to get familiarized with our treatment approach ranges from 6 to 10 sessions. After which, some follow up sessions may be needed depending on the age of the patient, the severity of the curve, whether or not the individual is suffering from pain, and their specific physical demands in daily lives.

Scoliosis Physiotherapy

In Singapore, Physiotherapy for scoliosis is not yet a routine treatment in the healthcare system. Traditionally when a child is diagnosed with scoliosis at a young age, the child gets to see a doctor and the common advice given is to “wait and see” approach to see if the scoliosis progresses. If it worsens, the child may need to wear a brace or the doctor may recommend surgery aiming at reducing the abnormal curvature. This reactive approach may lead to wasted opportunity to arrest the problem while it is still mild, or lessen the impact even if it is more established.

With proactive physiotherapy treatment aiming at reducing pain and muscular imbalances, and correction of postural or movement errors, the scoliosis condition may not progress into permanent changes.

Yoga for scoliosis

Yoga has been proven to offer great health benefits and pain relief to people with scoliosis. Scoliosis being an asymmetrical deformity, responds better to poses that focus on lengthening of the shorted / concave side, and strengthening of the weak / convex side. 

With a good understanding of the nature of the scoliosis curve, Yoga can be used as a form of maintenance exercise for scoliosis.

What about adults with scoliosis?

When treating children / adolescents with scoliosis, we expect responses in both the bones and soft tissues. For adults, as their bones would have reached maturity, we would only expect changes in the soft tissues, such as the muscles, the ligaments, and the joint capsule.

The main goals of treating adults with scoliosis are pain relief, posture correction / maintenance, and prevention of degenerations.