Corrective exercise-based therapy for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Clin Rehabil. 2022 May;36(5):597-608. doi: 10.1177/02692155211070452. Epub 2021 Dec 28.


Objective: to analyze the efficacy of Corrective exercise-based therapy in the improvement of deformity and quality of life in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

Data sources: PubMed Medline, Scopus, Web of Science (WOS), Physiotherapy Evidence Database, CINAHL Complete and SciELO, until June 2021.

Review methods: Randomized controlled trials was selected, including participants diagnosed with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, in which the experimental group received Corrective exercise-based therapy. Two authors independently searched the scientific literature in the data sources, extracted the data and assessed the risk of bias. A pairwise meta-analysis using the random-effects model was performed.

Results: Eight randomized controlled trials providing data from 279 adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients were included. Seven randomized controlled trials including 236 patients showed moderate-quality evidence for a medium effect (SMD = -0.52, 95% CI -0.96 to -0.1), favoring corrective exercise-based therapy for spinal deformity reduction. Corrective exercise-based therapy was better than no intervention (SMD = -0.59, 95% CI -1.18 to -0.01) but similar to other intervention (SMD = -0.2, 95% CI -0.67 to 0.27), and a medium effect was found (SMD = -0.51, 95% CI -0.89 to -0.13) when corrective exercise-based therapy was used with other therapies. Four studies including 151 patients showed low-quality evidence of a large effect of Corrective exercise-based therapy on Scoliosis Research Society measurement (SRS-22) total score improvement (SMD = 1.16, 95% CI 0.36 to 1.95).

Conclusion: In mild and moderate adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients, corrective exercise-based therapy could be used to reduce spinal deformity and to improve quality of life as isolated treatment or as coadjuvant treatment combined with other therapeutic resources.

Keywords: exercise movement techniques; exercise therapy; meta-analysis; scoliosis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Humans
  • Kyphosis*
  • Mind-Body Therapies
  • Quality of Life
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Scoliosis* / diagnosis
  • Scoliosis* / therapy