The effects of exercise on perception of verticality in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

Physiother Theory Pract. 2018 Aug;34(8):579-588. doi: 10.1080/09593985.2017.1423429. Epub 2018 Jan 8.


Purpose: Visual and proprioceptive cues are important for body orientation to maintain correct posture. This study investigated the effects of exercise training on subjective visual, postural, and haptic perception of verticality in patients with scoliosis.

Subjects and methods: Thirty-two female adolescents with moderate idiopathic scoliosis were randomly allocated to "Core Stabilization Exercise (CSE)," "Body Awareness," or "Traditional Exercise (TE)" groups. Each group completed a 1-hour supervised program, two days per week for 10 weeks while continuing to wear spinal braces. Perceptual visual, postural, and haptic estimates were assessed before and after treatment.

Results: Subjective visual vertical perception only improved in the awareness group. Subjective visual horizontal perception, postural vertical perception, total postural perception scores, total haptic perception scores, and haptic perception 45° to the right were significantly improved in the stabilization and awareness groups. For the 60° right and 60° left postural perception parameters, as well as the 45° left haptic perception parameters, perception improved only in the stabilization group. No improvement was observed in the traditional group.

Conclusion: Improvements in visual, postural, and haptic verticality perception within the stabilization exercise training and Basic Body Awareness group treatment suggest the addition of these exercise methods for the treatment of idiopathic scoliosis to improve internal body orientation.

Keywords: Subjective visual verticality; postural perception; scoliosis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Braces
  • Cues*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Orientation*
  • Postural Balance*
  • Posture*
  • Scoliosis / diagnosis
  • Scoliosis / physiopathology
  • Scoliosis / psychology
  • Scoliosis / therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Space Perception
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Turkey
  • Visual Perception*