Adult scoliosis can be reduced through specific SEAS exercises: a case report

Scoliosis. 2008 Dec 16;3:20. doi: 10.1186/1748-7161-3-20.


Background: It has been known since many years that scoliosis can continue to progress after skeletal maturity: the rate of progression has shown to be linear, and it can be used to establish an individual prognosis. Once there is progression there is an indication for treatment: usually it is proposed a surgical one. There are very few papers on an alternative rehabilitation approach; since many years we propose specific SEAS exercises and the aim of this study is to present one case report on this approach.

Case presentation: All radiographs have been measured blindly twice using the same protractor by one expert physician whose repeatability error proved to be < 3 degrees Cobb; the average measurement has been used. In this case a 25 years old female scoliosis patient, previously treated from 14 (Risser 1) to 19 years of age with a decrease of the curve from 46 degrees to 37 degrees , showed a progression of 10 degrees Cobb in 6 years. The patient has then been treated with SEAS exercises only, and in one year progression has been reverted from 47 degrees to 28.5 degrees .

Conclusion: A scoliosis curve is made of different components: the structural bony and ligamentous components, and a postural one that counts up to 9 degrees in children, while it has not been quantified in adults. This case shows that when adult scoliosis aggravates it is possible to intervene with specific exercises (SEAS) not just to get stability, but to recover last years collapse. The reduction of scoliotic curve through rehabilitation presumably does not indicate a reduction of the bone deformity, but rely on a recovery of the upright postural collapse. This reduction can decrease the chronic asymmetric load on the spine and, in the long run, reduce the risks of progression.