Adult degenerative scoliosis is the most common spine deformity in adults. Patients present a lateral curvature of the spine and vertebra rotation. Curves meeting indications for treatment affect 24% of the aging adult population. Adult scoliosis causes pain, curve progression, and cosmetic deformity affecting quality of life and function. Pain affects 90% of patients with AS. Other than surgery for severe cases and pain medication, very little non-operative treatments have been investigated. Scoliosis-specific exercises have shown promise in a single study in adults and in an Alberta adolescent study.
The goal of this pilot randomized controlled trial on the effect of Schroth exercises in adults with degenerative scoliosis compared to observation is to determine the feasibility of conducting a larger study. This study will help plan and secure funding for a larger study by examining the ability to recruit enough eligible participants, whether patients can follow the prescribed program session attendance and complete the home exercises prescribed. The early estimate the effects of the exercises on pain, quality of life, disability, deformity and posture measurements will help determine the potential of this approach and the likely success of a larger RCT. This study addresses a need of adults with degenerative scoliosis who do not meet surgical indications but still experience pain and disability by exploring a promising exercise approach.