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Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Online ISSN 1973-9095
Ferraro C., Masiero S., Venturin A., Pigatto M., Migliorino N.
Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Unit, Institute of Orthopaedics, University of Padua, Italy
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper was to test the efficacy of exercise therapy in modifying the evolution of the deformity in children with mild idiopathic scoliosis.
METHODS: We recruited 34 consecutive scoliotic subjects (mean age 11.6 years, range 8.7-14.1 years) with an initial mean Cobb angle of 14.9° and a mean hump height of 7.3 mm. They were assigned to one of two physical therapists who used different techniques with the same therapeutic goals (active postural correction of scoliosis). Subjects were asked to continue their exercises at home for at least 30 minutes a day. Thus, most of the exercise programme was carried out in the home. After a mean of 2 years of a) treatment, we performed a multiple linear regression analysis for the changes in Cobb angle as a function of a) the actual involvement in the home programme (minutes per day), b) the physical therapist variable, and c) the potentially confounding variables (such as initial Cobb angle and age, Risser sign and duration of the treatment). A simple linear regression analysis was performed for the changes in hump height as a function of the level of participation.
RESULTS: Results showed that maximal participation in exercise therapy (≥30 min day) for the mean duration of 2 years, as compared to minimal participation (<10 min/ day), slowed down and even halted the progression of the deformity (curve and hump). Results did not differ significantly between the 2 therapists’ groups.
CONCLUSION: If followed rigorously, an accurate exercise programme appears to effectively limit the worsening of deformity in mild scoliosis.