What is Scoliosis? Range of Motion Physical Therapy Dublin

Scoliosis is defined as a medical condition in which a person’s spine is curved from side to side, curvature is normally found in the Lumbar and thoracic spine. Scoliosis may be structural or functional.

Structural scoliosis curves do not straighten during forward bending or side bending into the curve of the spine. There will be a lumber bulge or rib hump with forward bending when a structural scoliosis is present.



A functional (idiopathic) scoliosis can be caused by muscle imbalance, poor posture or a leg length discrepancy. This type of scoliosis generally straightens on forward bending or side bending into the curve.

Acute scoliosis is when there is facet joint impingement thus causing both muscle spasm and restriction in spinal mobility. The body will shift weight to the opposite side of the impingement due to pain, giving the impression of a curvature of the spine.

Functional Scoliosos can present in a number of ways, which depends on how many curves appear throughout the spine and angle of the pelvis.

When treating a right thoracic scoliosis as depicted, it is important to understand that the thoracic spine is side bending left and rotating back to the right, while the lower lumbers are side bending left and rotated right. In addition to this the left side of the pelvis is lower causing a longer leg length on the left side.

ScoliosisIn an effort to resolve this particular deformity it is important to look to de rotate the spine and look to level the pelvis, this can be done as follows:

  • Stretch the Left side thoracic spine by side bending to the right, while also strengthening the muscles of the right side for thoracic spine.


  • By also rotating the rib cage left it will de rotate the right rotated thoracic spine, and again strengthen the muscles that will help maintain this position.


  • To correct the lower lumbers it will help to level of the pelvis. The pelvis can be levelled by placing a book under the left foot.


  • The lumbers can be further de rotated by moving the right foot forward.


  • Again there are some easy exercises that can be done to help create long term change.

In addition to prescribing exercises and stretches it would also be important to release out the tight muscles along the length of the spine and around the pelvis, to ensure the exercise can correct the Scoliosis over time.

I have attached a video that gives some more information about Functional Scoliosis and how some stretches and exercises can help correct the Scoliosis.

How to correct Scoliosis with Exercise and Stretching.

If you would like to learn more about this condition or to book a consultation please contact me at Range of Motion Physical Therapy.