Scoliosis: Which professional should I look for? – 2022


Scoliosis: Which professional should I look for?

The patient with signs of scoliosis should see a physical therapist, orthopedist or general practitioner.

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Scoliosis diagnosis

The diagnosis can usually be made through clinical tests and radiographs.

  • X-ray;
  • Computed tomography;
  • MRI scans;
  • Postural assessment (analysis of asymmetries).

Which professional should I look for?

The patient with signs of scoliosis should see a physical therapist, orthopedist or general practitioner. They are the professionals qualified to help diagnose the problem and the consequent referral to the best form of treatment.

Is scoliosis curable?

There is still no drug treatment for scoliosis, but some techniques can help with its treatment. Success will depend on different factors, including the severity of the curvature. But usually, there is a cure for scoliosis, yes. The important thing is to start treatment as soon as possible, following all the specialist’s recommendations.

How to treat scoliosis

  • Curves of up to 30 degrees: are treated conservatively with specific Physiotherapy exercises, mainly through GPR (Global Postural Reeducation).
  • Above 30 degrees: in addition to physical therapy, it is necessary to use vests.
  • Above 50 degrees: treatment can be surgical, as depending on the location of the curve, there may be compression of vital organs, such as the lungs and heart, or conservative if there is no compression of vital organs.

Treatment usually depends on some factors, such as cause, size and location of the curve, patient’s age and degree of deformity evolution. In most cases, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is mild and treatment can be waived. But the curvature can get worse. Initially, the patient undergoes a thorough functional, radiological and aesthetic evaluation, so that an appropriate treatment line can be traced afterwards. Physiotherapy is highly indicated for the treatment of scoliosis, with specific exercises that help to prevent the progression of the deviation and the consequent need for corrective surgery.


The benefits of Pilates practice for patients with scoliosis are varied, but prior knowledge of some characteristics of the pathology is essential to guide the patient to the correct exercises. Hence the need for a thorough assessment of the individual. Through a well-directed exercise program, Pilates offers stretching, strengthening and body balance, which helps to promote better spinal alignment. As the method also helps to gain more flexibility, muscle tensions and disc compressions end up being reduced, relieving the problem and preventing it from getting worse. During the practice of Pilates, the accompanying professional must carefully supervise the execution of the exercises so that there is no overload or pain to the patient.


RPG is also widely used for postural corrections and aims to rehabilitate the entire muscular system, restore proper posture and the natural movements of childhood. It is a very pleasant treatment that uses specific maneuvers to correct posture with manipulations on the spine, arms and legs. In RPG, “families” of postures are worked, through which respiratory processes are carried out; development of body awareness and balance; body alignment and balance of muscle tensions with vertebrae repositioning through the maneuvers. Remembering that the sooner the treatment is started, the better the results. Therefore, it is always important to observe the body’s irregular signals. In the case of children or adolescents, parents should analyze how their children sit, lie down or even if the clothes used are well aligned to the body.

Surgery for scoliosis

Surgery may be necessary in cases of very advanced scoliosis. When the severity of the curvature cannot be corrected with any of the conservative treatments. In this case, the objective of the surgical procedure will be to prevent further progression of the curve, in addition to obtaining some degree of correction.

What happens if scoliosis is not treated?

Without proper treatment, see the complications that can arise for the patient’s health:

  • Emotional problems;
  • Breathing problems;
  • Increasing progression of curvature, especially in children;
  • Damage to the spinal cord or nerve;
  • Spinal infection;
  • Low back pain in adults;
  • Extreme difficulty in fitting bones.


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