CORE STABILIZATION EXERCISE VERSUS SCOLIOSIS-SPECIFIC EXERCISES IN MODERATE IDIOPATHIC SCOLIOSIS TREATMENT

Review written by Dr Jarod Hall info

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a common disease with an overall prevalence of 0.47–5.2 % in the current literature. The female to male ratio ranges from 1.5:1 to 3:1. In particular, the prevalence of curves with higher Cobb angles is substantially higher in girls than in boys.

For moderate curves (Cobb angle 20°–45°), the conservative treatment is combined spinal braces and exercise approaches with the aim of preventing curve progression (1). However, the most effective exercise method for the treatment of AIS still remains a controversial subject. The objective of this study was to provide a comparison of the effects of combined core stabilization exercise (CS) and bracing treatment with Scientific Exercises Approach to Scoliosis (SEAS) and bracing treatment in patients with moderate adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

These findings should give clinicians improved confidence and freedom for programming variability when designing an exercise program to help manage those with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, as it does not appear that highly specific exercises are necessary to elicit a positive outcome.

METHODS

30 females with a mean age of approximately 14 years with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, who had moderate curves (20°–45°), were randomly divided into two groups. In addition to brace wearing for 4 months, one group received core stabilization exercise therapy (CS), while the other received SEAS exercise therapy.

All patients in the study performed an individual exercise program consisting of one 40-min individual in-clinic session/week for the full 4 months. Patients were instructed to continue performing their same exercise routine at home on their own for 20 minutes each. They were taught the exercises individually in the sessions and advised of the intensity at which they should exercise at home. Patients were also given a booklet outlining the movements for visual reference. In this 4-month period, the CS exercise group received CS exercise training, while the SEAS group received SEAS style exercises.

Assessments were undertaken at baseline and after the 4-month treatment period for each patient by the second investigator, who was blind to the allocation of the participants throughout the study. Final measurements were taken after the brace had been removed for 6 hours.

RESULTS

The results of this study suggest that both treatment conditions reduced curve progression, angle of trunk rotation, improved body symmetry, and cosmetic trunk deformity in the 4-month period. When SEAS and CS exercises were administered with equal intensity in addition

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