Category Archives: Physiotherapy

Knee Pain? It Could be “Jumper’s Knee”

Our Oakville Physiotherapy team treats knee pain from acute sprains to rehab after surgeries such as ACL repair and total knee replacements. Commonly we see people with knee pain that creeps up on them.

Have you been experiencing annoying knee pain at the front of the knee that doesn’t seem to go away? Did it seem to come on slowly and you can’t recall a specific event where you injured it?

You may have an injury called Jumper’s Knee also referred to as patellar tendinopathy. 

What is Jumper’s Knee / Patellar Tendinopathy?

Jumper’s knee is an overuse injury of the knee caused by repetitive stress on the patellar tendon- the tendon that connects your kneecap (patella) to your shin bone (tibia). As the name implies, any activity associated with lots of jumping, landing, or cutting (fast direction changes) can put you at risk for developing Jumper’s knee.  It is most common in active individuals who play quick intensity sports such as basketball, volleyball, track, skiing, or running. However, anyone who is active and has recently changed or increased their workout intensity, frequency or training surface can be affected. 

Soccer player standing on soccer ball showing sports physio in Oakville

Symptoms of Jumper’s knee include a dull, aching pain in the front of the knee just below the kneecap. Pain is often worse with activity and especially those involving bending the knee – running, jumping, squatting, or lunging. The knee may also be aggravated by prolonged sitting. 

Since Jumper’s knee is an overuse injury, it is important to learn how to use and load the tendon properly so the tendon can heal and avoid injury in the future. A physiotherapist can thoroughly assess your knee to determine if your symptoms are consistent with Jumper’s knee, or another cause. They can also show you how to safely exercise in order to optimize the strength and recovery of your patellar tendon in a way that is personalized to you. 

Oakville rep basketball sports injury clinic and knee pain

Whether knee pain is keeping you from playing rep basketball or soccer, or from maintaining a healthy lifestyle with activities of enjoyment, our Physio’s are here to help!

If you are currently experiencing knee pain, please contact us to book with one of our physiotherapists. 

Thumb Pain – from an Oakville Physio

For being a small joint, having pain or issues in our thumbs can cause us big problems!

Our thumbs help us grip, and grab in fine ad gross motor tasks. From carry a baby seat to holding your hand open in a baseball mitt, to knitting and chopping dinner, you don’t realize how important you thumbs are until you have thumb pain that prevents you from doing these things comfortably.

Even though it’s a small area, your Physiotherapist and Massage Therapist take your complaints seriously. Like all injuries and pains in the body your physiotherapist will take a thorough history of our health, habits, the onset of the issue and how it is presenting. They will take you through movements and special tests to rule in and rule out various issues and types of tissues.

Like many issues in the body thumb issues and pains can from the joints (where the bones meet), the tendons, the muscles, and the ligaments. In some cases it can be more than one thing contributing to the pain.

Chronic Thumb Pain / Issues

With chronic or ongoing thumb pain Physiotherapists often look to the joints or the tendons as a primary culprit.

Osteoarthritis (OA) – the carpometacarpal joint of the thumb can cause ongoing thumb issues. As Physiotherapists we look to patterns of pain. The thumb joint may have a squaring type of change and the joint line may be tender to the touch. Your physiotherapist will work with you on your goals to help you protect the joint, manage your pain and get you closer to activity. Having osteoarthritis does not mean you cannot improve your pain.

Tendinosis – The tendons of the thumb connect the muscles to the bone. They act as a pulley system. These tendons over time and with repetitive loads can wear and thicken. Although less common than other areas of the body this can be an issue in the thumb. Your physio or massage therapist may suggest working on these tendons and the surrounding muscles. They may provide you with exercises to strengthen the area as well. Sometimes modifying what you do can also be part of the trick.

Trigger Thumb – Having the thumb catch and get stuck during movement can be painful, or not. When you move your thumb into a fist and then try and open it it may catch or click. For some people, they have to use their other hand to open the thumb back up. This can also happen in the fingers and is aptly named “trigger finger”. This is also known as “stenosing tenosynovitis”. The tendons move through the tendons sheaths and a series of pulleys. In trigger thumb or finger, an enlarged flexor tendon gets trapped or caught up in the pulley system. The area of entrapment may be closer to the palm than the area that gets “stuck”. This area of entrapment can be painful, but is not always. Your physiotherapist or massage therapist will give you treatment depending on how this presents and how it is affecting your daily life.

Like most things, these painful thumb issues are best treated early. If you have been having thumb pain that is new, not going away, is impacting your activities of enjoyment, or is worsening, it is helpful to have a thorough physiotherapy assessment. If the issue has been there for longer or there has been an increase in pain, physiotherapists are also a part of your team.

Our next blog post will talk about more acute, or sudden injuries of the thumb.

Contact us at our Oakville Physio, Massage, Yoga, and foot clinic to book with one of our trained practitioners.

How Physiotherapy can Help Headaches

Headaches can be the result of many things. For many people headaches can be a fairly regular occurrence. For some people if they are not addressed headache symptoms can increase.

Our North Oakville team of physiotherapists, RMT’s, and acupuncturists work closely with many people who experience headaches.

There are different types of headaches and as such treatment options may vary. It is important to have a trained professional assist you with your headache diagnosis. Your physiotherapist can be part of your team in this regards.

Physiotherapy treatment can be quite effective in treating headaches that are caused by the joints and muscles in and around the neck. One category of headache physio is effective in treating is called cervicogenic headache (CGH) or “neck headaches”. Working with a qualified physio in the treatment of cervicogenic headaches can be very helpful in relieving pain and preventing future occurrence.

Diagnosing a Cervicogenic Headache:

Your physiotherapist will likely use information provided in the gold standard outline developed by the Cervicogenic Headache International Study Group (CHISG). The outline recognizes that it may be a cervicogenic headache if:

  • There are signs / symptoms of neck involvement. This means headache is created with neck movement / positioning, by application of pressure to the upper neck, or decreased neck range of motion combined with arm / shoulder pain
  • The headache can be confirmed by nerve block type injections- this is impractical in most settings for diagnosis purposes
  • Pain on one side of the head (this pain does not shift sides, but rather remains on one side)
  • Those of the female sex are more likely to experience this type of headache
  • People who have this headache have limited help from common medications
  • There may be a history of head / neck trauma or injury
Oakville Physiotherapy clinic fall prevention

Cervicogenic Headaches and Physiotherapy Treatment:

Your physiotherapist will do a thorough assessment based on the history of your headaches, your symptoms and a physical examination. Once they have ruled out anything where they may want you to be seen by a physician they will work with you on a treatment plan for your headaches.

As with all patients your treatment with a physio is not one size fits all. Based on your individual case they may suggest a combination of hands on treatment, exercises and activity / environment modifications to help treat your headache.

If you think you have been experiencing this type of headache, one of our physiotherapists will be able to provide a thorough assessment to ensure you headache is coming from your neck. They will then work with you to come up with a plan of action to provide you with relief.

Contact us to book in with one of our North Oakville / Burloak Physiotherapists.

Osteoarthritis & Physiotherapy

As Physiotherapists, RMT’s, Chiropodists and Yoga Therapists we see many people who have osteoarthritis. We may or may not be treating them for issues directly related to the arthritis.

What is Osteoarthritis?

There are many different types of arthritis. Some affect the joints, some affect the tendons, muscles and ligaments. Some affects specific areas, and some affect the whole body.

The most common type of arthritis is Osteoarthritis or “OA”. This is a type of arthritis that affects a persons synovial joints. In OA, the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones may have changes or be worn away. Joint changes in OA can (but not necessarily) cause pain, stiffness, inflammation and trouble with movement.

OA refers to the classic “wear and tear” of the joints. It is commonly seen in the knees, hips, low back, neck, the joints of the fingers and the big toes. The pain generally stays locally in the joint that it is affected by.

Risk Factors of Osteoarthritis Include:

  • Age
  • Female Gender
  • Obesity
  • Anatomical Factors
  • Muscle weakness
  • Previous joint injury (eg. sports or occupation related etc)
Low back pain at oakville physio

Primary versus Secondary OA

Primary OA refers to normal “wear and tear” of the joints. It generally starts showing in people between 55 and 60 years of age. Everyone is different in how they experience symptoms and IF they have pain and limitations. The above risk factors also play a role in this.

Secondary OA refers to a specific injury or trigger that may accelerate cartilage breakdown. Injury, obesity, a history of certain diseases like diabetes, marfan syndrome and other connective tissue disorders,

Signs and Symptoms of OA:

People with osteoarthritis may come into our Oakville clinic looking for treatment from one of our Physio’s, RMT’s or Chiropodists due to one or a combination of the following issues.

There may be a precipitating event that flairs up symptoms of OA like a fall or injury. A person may complain of local pain. The intensity of the pain may be variable. A joint with OA may have stiffness or a decreased range of motion. This can be from a combination of the joint as well as the soft tissue structures around it, over time.

A person with OA may hear clicking or cracking with movement of a joint that may or may not decrease as they move more. The noises may or may not be associated with pain. There may also be mild swelling around a joint with osteoarthritis.

Imaging and Arthritis:

In addition to the signs above some family doctors like to send people for X-rays to confirm their suspicions. X-rays show the joint surfaces and the space between the joints. This will show the thickness and smoothness of the cartilage.

X-rays can sometimes be a red herring.This means that sometimes there may be pain in an area and the imaging shows no joint changes or someone may not have any pain but X-rays show more significant arthritis.

Physiotherapy for knee pain caused by osteoarthritis / OAarthritis

Management of Osteoarthritis:

If you have OA and or the above symptoms, a physiotherapist is a key member of your health care team.

The treatment and education they will provide you should be focussed on your specific limitations, your lifestyle and your goals.

If a joint replacement like a total knee replacement (THR) or total hip replacement (THR) is in your future, we (physiotherapists) can BOTH help get you ready and help you with your recovery. Hopefully you will access physiotherapy early enough that we will help you delay or even prevent needing these surgeries!

Physiotherapists will help you with specific ways to add strength and mobility in an area. This will help with activities of daily living and pain. Fall prevention activities are very important in people with OA as there is a 30% increased falls risk in people with OA. Some of this may have to do with pain medications frequently prescribed. Physiotherapists can help both with a persons pain and pain management as well as longer term pain management strategies.

Massage Therapists can also help with pain and mobility in stiff joints.

Chiropodists can help with the joint alignment from the bottom up through the use of custom orthotics. This can help with both hip, knee and low back OA.

How WE can help!

Having Osteoarthritis does not mean you are destined for years of pain and problems. There is a lot that can be done conservatively to take action.

Oakville Physio showing exercise prescription

Our team at North Oakville’s Palermo Physio and Wellness centre is here to help not only with your aches and pains but also with prevention.

Our Registered Massage Therapists can work on joints and muscles that are stiff and uncomfortable. Many people book in for massage when they have pain and find value in booking massages at regular intervals.

Our Chiropodists provide thorough biomechanics assessments and gait analysis. They can give advise on footwear and measure and fit you for the best custom orthotics for you and your lifestyle and needs.

Our Physiotherapists will work with you to help you get stronger, move better and to work towards your goals. You deserve to have an amazing quality of life and we are here to help!

Contact us to see how we can help!

What is your Achilles Tendon?

Tendons, bones, muscles, nerves, ligaments, cartilage….

There are so many terms and word to sort through when it comes to our bodies. Skeletal muscles are contractile. They contract and shorten to produce movement. They contract to hold and joint in place. They lengthen under force as well eccentrically (picture lowering down stairs).

Ligaments connect bone to bone and help secure your different joints.

Cartilage covered the joint surfaces between joints. It provide shock absorption and helps with smooth movement.

Your tendons are an extension of the skeletal muscles that connect muscles to bone. They act with a pulley and lever system to help produce movement.

Forces in and on your body don’t take place in a vacuum. These structures as well as the bones help move you, stop you and absorb forces.

Your achilles tendon is the strongest and largest tendon in the body. It is vulnerable to injury due to its limited blood supply, age related changes and specific activities.

Foot Care, Oakville, Milton, Foot clinic, podiatrist

Injury to the Achilles Tendon:

Tendonitis

Tendonitis is the acute inflammation of the tendon. In this case the achilles tendon connecting he calf muscles to the heel bone becomes irritated and inflamed. This is often associated with overuse. This is often from doing more or too much too quickly for our bodies to adapt. For many people there is a sudden increase in exercise activity or intensity.

Achilles tendonitis can cause local pain and stiffness. The first steps after sitting or laying down may cause pain in the achilles area. Walking down stairs can also sometimes be painful or stiff feeling in the area of the achilles tendon.

Achilles tendonitis can be common in athletes like runners, soccer, basketball, and volleyball athletes with running and jumping repetitively. Sudden increases in volume as well as a persons body structure can play a role. It can be helpful to have the area looked at by a Physiotherapist and / or Chiropodist to provide specific treatment.

This type of treatment may include things to address the inflammation and pain in the short term. It will also likely include long term suggestions of strengthening, footwear modifications and possibly custom orthotics.

Tendinopathy

Achilles tendinopathy is a longer term overuse injury of the achilles and excessive chronic stress. Due to the chronic nature of this issue, there may be a range of changes to the tendon. These changes are more likely to happen when there are repeated bouts of tendonitis that are not treated, managed or prevented.

Higher risk factors are obesity, high blood pressure, sudden load changes to the achilles tendon, Type II diabetes, prolonged steroid use, inappropriate footwear, and a family history.

Rupture

Rupture or tearing of the achilles tendon is the most common rupture in the lower body. It its most common in those aged 30 to 50. Patients often describe this injury as feeling like someone has kicked them. They may hear a “pop” or “snap” sound.

Achilles tendon ruptures, like many injuries are multifactorial.

Achilles tendon ruptures are most common in people who are active “on occasion”. This could mean mild activity during the week and some weekends playing a couple games of floor hockey or soccer. There is a small percentage of people (~10%) that report having tendinosis prior to the rupture.

Ruptures tend to happen around 2-4cm from where the tendon attaches to the heel bone.

Achilles tendon ruptures may happen from sudden and forced plantar flexion (pointing), direct force on the area or longstanding tendinosis.

Foot and ankle position as well as systemic factors can predispose someone to achilles tendon issues. It is important to treat and have best control of all factors for best healing of the area. Some system issues predisposing a person to achilles issues are diabetes, renal failure, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, thyroid issues etc.

If you have been having heel or achilles pain that is ongoing, progressing or off and on, one of our North Oakville Physiotherapists or Chiropodists would be happy to assess you. They will take your health history, watch how you stand, move and walk and assess the area.

This thorough and individualized assessment will provide them an idea of factors leading to your achilles pain / dysfunction and allow them to give you individualized advice and treatment. Most insurance benefits cover physiotherapy and/or chiropodist assessments and treatments. At our Oakville clinic we are able to provide direct billing to most insurance companies.

Contact us to book your in person physio or Chiropody appointment at our North Oakville Clinic or virtual physiotherapy appointment.

C-Section Pre-hab and Rehab

While many people experience a pivot from an expected vaginal delivery to an emergency Cesarean Section (C-Section) birth. There are also many people who have a planned or scheduled C-Section.

If this is the case, Physiotherapist can help prepare you in advance for the birth as well as the first few days. While many people try and soften the process by titling it a “C-Section birth” and a view point that it is as valid of a birthing process as a vaginal birth (which it IS!). A C-Section is still a surgical procedure that has different considerations when it comes to recovery than a vaginal birth.

It is possible to have have pelvic floor issues post c-section even when / if a person has not laboured, had to push, or delivered vaginally.

yoga stretching poses from an oakville virtual physio
Postnatal Physio-C-Section
These pelvic floor issues post C-Section may be:
  • Pain / discomfort with urination
  • Stress or urge urinary incontinence
  • Pelvic floor pain or discomfort
  • Bowel issues / constipation
  • Pelvic organ prolapse (POP)

In the early days post C-Section your pelvic floor focussed physio can provide you with a plan in how to set your home environment up to best help your own recovery as you care for a newborn.

Once your C-Section incision is healed, your pelvic floor focussed physio can assess and gently treat your scar / incision or the surrounding area. Your Physio can also assess your pelvic floor. You should be provided with some education and a plan of how you can self treat at home and how to fit it into your new life!

If you have not had your scar massaged or worked on by a physio and you are further down the road of your recovery, if is never too late. People are often surprised by how much C-Section scar work as part of physio treatment can help with low back issues and pelvic floor tension / issues as well as in the local area.

If you are interested in a pre-hab or prenatal physiotherapy session for a schedule C-section we are here for you. We are able to see you in person in our North Oakville Physio clinic. We are also able to “see” you virtually via Telehealth if you are residing or have a permanent address in Ontario.

Contact us to book in!

We are able to provide direct billing to most insurance companies.

What “kind” of grandparent are you or do you envision yourself being?- from an Oakville Physio

Picture your child having kids. What kind of grandparent do you want to be?

Did you have a vibrant fun grandparent in your life? 
Do you picture yourself wanting to play at the park or on the floor with your grandchild(ren)?
Do you see yourself during visits carrying your grandchild up and downs the stairs?
What about a quick jog to keep them out of danger outside?
Do you see yourself feeling good and not in pain after your visits? or taking a few days to “recover?

It’s true that we start losing muscle mass as we age. But this change is not inevitable, nor should we just accept it. Other changes may include decreased endurance, and balance.

The focus on working out and lifting weights and other forms of strength training for aesthetic reasons does a disservice for the amazing functional and health benefits that gaining and maintaining muscle can provide!

Who hasn’t seen advertisements for workouts, workout clothing or other activity activities where it seems to be unattainable and beyond reach to even start?

Do you have barriers that have been holding you back from starting?

There are many reasons people may avoid strength training. It could be fear or the idea of who lifts weights. It may be that an injury or health issue has stopped you in the past. It may be that you have been too sore after doing a workout video etc.

Physiotherapy and physiotherapists can help you get started with strength training that works for you.  They can address these barriers and work with you towards your goals.

Dumbells showing oakville physio clinic near Bronte

The bonus is that many barriers that may prevent you from beginning a strengthening program or routine exercises actually BENEFIT from strengthening.

As a Physio, we would call this exercise prescription BUT potato potAto…

These include but are not limited to:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteopenia
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Post- total knee replacement / total hip replacement
  • Having a “bad back”
  • After cancer treatment (breast cancer, colon cancer etc.)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Kyphosis
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Kyphosis
  • Parkinsons Disease

In order to gain strength and mobility, your system must be challenged. This does not mean pushing through or beyond you physical limits, but rather inching forward.

We don’t make positive change by staying in one place!

Your physiotherapist will work with you on your goals.

Carrying your grandchild may be one.

Getting up and down from the floor safety and confidently may be another.

Going skating or playing soccer with the little ones in your life may be another.

Showing family activity in oakville from an oakville physio blog

Being an active and involved parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle is an amazing way to enhance bonding and enjoy time together.

Contact us to book in with one of our amazing north Oakville physiotherapists. We service Oakville, Milton, Burlington in clinic and Ontario through virtual / Telehealth physiotherapy. We are able to provide direct billing to most insurance companies.

Golf Prehab – Palermo Physio and Wellness

It’s hard to think that golf season may be just around the corner when you go outside today. It’s COLD in North Oakville and Halton and we still have ton of snow on the ground.

BUT

Spring really is just around the corner. Often when seasons change and the weather is nicer we jump right into our new activities. Whether it is running outside or golf, it’s easy to get excited and spend a few days a week on our activity.

Our North Oakville Physio’s, RMT’s and Chiropodists often see people complaining about issues because of this leap into activity. Sometimes it even creates problems that keep people from the very activity that provides them so much enjoyment!

NOW is the time to begin “spring training” for golf to make this transition smooth and prevent injuries. Your Oakville Physiotherapist can help provide a full assessment of your range of motion, mobility, function and strength.

Golf course logo showing oakville Physio doing virtual physio for golfers

After a full assessment, including discussing your goals, they will provide you with a treatment plan that will progress until golf season starts for you.

Don’t let elbow pain, shoulder pain, hip back, low back pain or knee pain keep you from getting out a golfing at some of or awesome local Oakville, Milton and Burlington courses and driving ranges!

You may be surprised, as you build resilience to prevent injuries, your golf game may benefit as well!

Contact us to book in with one of our sports medicine oriented physiotherapists.

Let’s Talk Snow Shovelling and Beyond

After a large snowfall, we often see patients in our clinic. From Physio to Massage, to Yoga, our practitioners are helping people with injuries and aches and pains.

We have shared blog posts in the past with snow shovelling tips (Click Here) to help prevent injuries.

While the advise still stands, it is often a surprise to people how challenging clearing the drive and sidewalk can be. People are often surprised by how they feel afterwards as well. The snow we got in North Oakville and the surrounding areas of Burlington and Milton was A LOT at one time on January 17, 2022. The Halton School Boards have their schools closed for a second day now.

BUT.

It is a good opportunity to be honest regarding how robust and resilient you are. Is there any activity you do in your week that helps to increase your robustness and resilience for tasks like this MASSIVE snow fall?

While going for walks and doing steady state cardio is fine. It is good for your heart, lungs, brain etc. It is NOT strength training. Including exercise that challenges your muscles in your week is what will prepare you for these types of tasks.

Snow shovel showing Oakville Physio and massage clinic

Whether you lift large amounts of snow all at once or do repeated smaller shovels, the net amount of snow is still the same.

If there is one thing our North Oakville Physiotherapists, Massage Therapists and Yoga Therapists can encourage people to do, it is to add global strengthening activities to your week.

PUSH

PULL

SQUAT

LUNGE

HINGE

CARRY

If you are new to these types of activities, are recovering from a surgery or health issue, or recovering from a surgery or are post part, our Physiotherapists are here to help get you started safely.

Kettlebells at Physio clinic in Oakville

If you are injured from this past snowfall our Oakville RMT’s and Physio’s are here to hep you recover with the goal of preventing the same thing from happening in the future.

Contact us to book in at our North Oakville Clinic serving Oakville, Milton and Burlington in person. We also treat physiotherapy patients virtually all over Ontario!

What if my child has scoliosis?

What is Scoliosis?

A normal spine has three main curves: cervical lordosis, thoracic kyphosis, and lumbar lordosis. These curves occur in the frontal plane, meaning they curve front to back. A scoliotic curve curves to the side.

Therefore, a scoliosis refers to when the vertebrae in the spine do not follow a straight line but are curved sideways. Sometimes they can also rotate, or twist, like a corkscrew.

A small scoliotic curve may be barely noticeable by eye, or it might be so slight that an X-ray (or MRI) would be needed to measure it. In those cases, the scoliosis is unlikely to cause any issues.

However, when a scoliosis is present in children, the curve may continue to grow until their skeleton is fully developed. This means that if the curvature becomes significantly large, it can cause more than just bad posture.

It can lead to headaches and back pain, loss of normal range of motion, digestive issues, affect breathing, and eventually cause early arthritis due to the unusual pressure on some of the joints, etc.

Observable symptoms of Scoliosis

  • The head is not centered with the rest of the body
  • Uneven shoulders
  • Constant leaning to one side
  • Difference in hip height
  • Difference in shoulder blade height or position
  • Uneven arm position as the arms hang on both sides of the body when the child is upright
  • A sideways curvature of the spine when the child bends forward
Signs Of Scoliosis. Normal healthy spine and curved spine with scoliosis.Scoliosis in children

Causes of Scoliosis

Most commonly (80-85% of the time), scoliosis is idiopathic, meaning the cause of it is unknown. In some cases, the development of idiopathic scoliosis can be due to a genetic predisposition.

While it can be diagnosed at any age, it is usually diagnosed in kids 10 and older.

There may be a correlation with poor posture as well. This is where we can differentiate if a scoliosis is functional or structural.

  • A functional scoliosis develops due to certain postures and compensations that are likely due to muscle tightness and imbalance. In those cases, the spine appears to be curved but is not actually.
  • A structural scoliosis originates in the spine and cannot be corrected by correcting posture and muscle imbalance

Less commonly, scoliosis can be:

  • congenital, meaning that there were problems in the spine before a baby is even born. Usually, the spinal bones are either not fully formed or are fused in ways they should not be.
  • neuromuscular, meaning that conditions that affect the nerves and/or muscles of the body (such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy), will affect their ability to support the spine, leading to the development of a scoliotic curve
Oakville Paediatric physiotherapy, massage, yoga therapy

Severity of Scoliosis

Mild – Curve is less than 25 degrees, and risk of progression is 22%

Moderate – Curve is between 26-40 degrees, and risk of progression increases to 68%

Severe – Curve is above 40 degrees, and risk of progression is quite high at 90%

What to do about scoliosis?

In mild cases, if there are no symptoms or cosmetic concerns, then often the course of action is nothing.

However, until the child or adolescent is fully grown, the risk of progression is there. This means that the scoliosis should be monitored regularly (usually annually) and a referral to physiotherapy might be appropriate for preventative strategies and education.

In moderate cases symptoms are more likely, such as headaches, back pain, digestive issues, and fatigue with activity. A brace is often recommended to reduce the risk of progression and give the organs more room.

Physiotherapy and sometimes other disciplines, such as registered massage therapy and chiropractic, may also be an effective adjunct to bracing to help with symptoms and postural correction / education.

In severe cases, especially if a curve is above 50 degrees, a brace is not going to be able to able to slow progression, and surgery is likely to be recommended. Surgery usually involves spinal fusion to realign the vertebrae.

There have been many advances in surgical correction of scoliosis so the kind of surgery required will depend on the type of misalignment, the severity of symptoms, and the location of the scoliosis.

Overall, surgery has good outcomes.

What can Physiotherapy do about my child’s scoliosis?

In mild cases, treatment is preventative:

  • Postural correction and education
  • Postural exercises to correct muscle imbalances that have developed due to the scoliosis
  • Manual therapy (soft tissue release, joint mobilizations) to help improve flexibility and restore range of motion that have been impacted by the scoliosis
  • Postural taping to give proprioceptive feedback to the body and provide awareness to the child so they can better self-correct as they become aware of how their body is sitting in space

In moderate cases, treatment also helps to eventually wean off bracing while managing any associated symptoms.

In severe cases, physiotherapy might be helpful post-operatively to correct the muscle imbalances that had developed pre-operatively.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information!

Can my child still play sports?

Yes, exercise and sporting activities (especially ones that focus on core strength) are encouraged!

In the severe cases, there may be some sport restrictions following a surgery. This is usually because after a fusion there will be some permanent loss of overall range of motion. However, kids often are able to return to sporting activities within 6 to 9 months after surgery.

baseball player showing post ACL reconstruction rehab at Oakville Physio clinic